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Self-regulation resources and training to support children’s mental health

Teaching children to love themselves

As children grow, it is important that they learn the art of self care. It is vital for their self esteem that they learn to feel loving towards themselves. Here are some tips to help children develop the art of self care

1 Make a list of everything you like about yourself. It might be that you like your eyes or hair and better still you like the fact that you are patient or kind or friendly. See how long you can make the list.

2 Ask friends and family what they like about you. Add this to your list as you may have missed out some points.

3 Find a special notebook and write your list down. You might like to decorate the notebook. This is your special notebook and every time someone says or writes something nice about you, write it down. Keep it safe as you are going to continue writing in this book when you are a teen and then when you are an adult. Look at the notebook often and keep reminding yourself of your wonderful qualities. Every time you feel a little down, you will be able to come back to your notebook and feel special and loved again.

4 Repeat to your self ‘I am a very loveable person, I am wonderful and loving and kind’ Even when people are talking to you, try to keep reminding yourself what you are. You might like to write your special words and put them up in your room to remind you how special you are.

5 Everyday, do something that you love doing – something that makes you feel good about yourself. It could be going for a walk or run or bike ride or playing your favourite game. Doing things you love will help you feel better about yourself.

6 If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up inside about it. Everyone makes mistakes and it is how we learn and improve. Simply accept that you made a mistake, say sorry and remind yourself that you are special.

7 Give yourself a hug before you go to sleep. See if you can feel the loving feeling in your body as you hug yourself and remind yourself ‘I am lovely, I am lovely’

8 Each day spend some time being quiet. You can use this time to relax and also remind yourself how special you are. You might even like to silently repeat your affirmations.