5 books to build self-esteem in children
Feeding your child's self-esteem is as important to their mental health as getting them to eat their five a day is to their physical health. And it's clear that the stop and start of schools (and normal life) these last ten months will potentially be making an impact on our children's general mental health. Before we move on to our very special Book Club this week, we wanted to share some recent news around this subject which will serve as a useful little reminder of how important our own behaviour is, around our little ones.
Last week a Canadian study into self-esteem in grade 5 children ( our year 6 in primary school) was published, that showed a marked difference in levels of self-esteem of children who ate with their families, and children who didn't. The researchers discovered that the more times children ate supper alone or in front of a television, the lower their self-esteem. So while we are often busy, or maybe tempted for our children to eat their meals at different times to us, just taking the time out to spend meal times together, is going to help towards building a more resilient child.
Here are some book ideas to help your child further with building a healthy amount of self-esteem.
1. No Matter What
by Debi Gliori
Age suitability: 1 - 3 years
This story of a fox and her little cub is essentially about self-doubt and a parent's unconditional love. I’m grim and grumpy,” says Small to Large, “and I don’t think you love me at all.” But nothing could be further from the truth, and Large knows just how to reassure Small in this warm and tender story about a child’s biggest worry and a parent’s endless capacity for love.
2. Speak Up, Molly Lou Melon
by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow
Age suitability: 4 - 8 years
A follow up to the Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, this story sees Molly Lou tackle a bully in the school. She's the same delightfully different girl, the one with a voice that 'sounds like a bullfrog'. Having learnt more self-confidence in her first outing, this story sees Molly Lou use her beautiful big voice for good, whether it's standing up for a friend, or admitting to a mistake. Illustrator Catrow's pictures fill the pages with wild perspectives, goofy-looking kids, and hilarious details.
3. Moon Patrol
by Shane Clester, illustrated by Devin C.Hughes
Age suitability: 5 - 9 years
For any children who enjoy an alien adventure, this is a very special book.
An alien race has modified its DNA to eradicate any differences and yes, you guessed it - they soon run into a universe of trouble. With his magical space guitar, Axis travels around showing why it's important to be different and that having lots of different cultures is valuable. Teaching self-esteem and diversity, this is a thoroughly modern, colourful adventure story that's a lot of fun.
4. I am: Positive Affirmations for Girls
by Aaliyah Wilson
Age suitability: 3 +
A lovely colouring book with illustrations of girls with positive affirmations on every page. The 34 colouring pages encourage little girls to think beyond social conventions and inspire conversations with adults about what it really means to be confident, brave, and beautiful. This colouring book seeks to remind and inspire girls that they are worthy, beautiful, tough and enough...it encourages children to accept their unique qualities, and promotes positive self-esteem.
5. The OK book
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichenheld
Age suitability: 4 - 8 years
It may not be the most fashionable message to give to our children, but after the year we've all had, wouldn't it be great for them to learn that actually you don't need to be the best or the greatest at anything, especially when you are just getting to grips with something new.
A wise little book that teaches that being OK just may lead to the discovery of what makes one great.