The MASK Academy is a year-long multi-tiered peer-to-peer program that aims to build social and emotional skills in children while helping the school create a positive climate in a manner that helps teachers and school administrators meet educational standards.
Our goal is to improve school climate, build healthy children, and strengthen parent-child bonds through psycho educational information, classroom-based activities, and education on current trending topics through
the MASK Academy and MASK The Magazine.
The Parent University is an important part to the MASK Academy. Establishing ongoing communication with your child on these social situations will help lead them to healthy choices.
Did you know?
Did you know the average child hears 432 negative comments per day and only 32 positive ones?
Your child was educated to
day on Self- Esteem
Building and developing strong self-esteem.
Each MASK lesson that your child is taught has a MASK kid story. MASK uses a storytelling approach to enhance the learning experience. This is also a great way to initiate conversation about their lesson. Simply ask them what they learned about Aimee.
So that you are aware, Aimee is in 4th grade and has built healthy self-esteem by being a good friend, a respectful student, and being helpful around the house. In our story, Aimee starts playing the guitar and dedicates all of her time to practicing. When she breaks her arm riding her bike and is not able to play the guitar anymore, she starts feeling bad about herself. Aimee realizes that she had started to build her self-esteem around playing the guitar and needed to start filling her bucket with all of her other amazing qualities again. We want you to be able to have conversations with your children about how they are feeling about themselves. Ask your child about Aimee’s story. Tell them that you hope they would talk to you if something like that ever happened to them.
What you can do?
- Affirm effort instead of outcomes. Kids can be sensitive to parents’ and others’ words. Remember to praise your child not only for a job well done, but also for effort. But be truthful. For example, if your child doesn’t make the soccer team, avoid saying something like, “Well, next time you’ll work harder and make it.” Instead, try “Well, you didn’t make the team, but I’m really proud of the effort you put into it.” Reward effort and completion instead of outcome. Be cautious of focusing on outward appearances or over complimenting. It is ok to tell your child they are beautiful, just balance physical compliments with affirmations of appreciation of efforts. Example: On her own, your daughter puts together the cutest outfit and combs her hair into a pretty style. Refrain from saying how darn cute she looks, and instead try saying “Wow what a talent you have for putting things together.” As you can see, this comment is focused on effort rather than genetics.
- Be a positive role model. If you’re excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your kids might eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem and they’ll have a great role model.
- Identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs. It’s important for parents to identify kids’ irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they’re about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping kids set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves will help them have a healthy self-concept.
- Example: Child says, “I’m ugly” Parent naturally replies, “You’re not ugly, you’re beautiful.” Child says, “You’re just saying that because you are my mom.”
Instead, parents response should be to ask questions: “Do you really believe that? How does that make you feel?”
These questions will help your child learn how to build their self-esteem from the inside.
- Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to kids. For example, a child who does very well in school but struggles with math may say, “I can’t do math. I’m a bad student.” Not only is this a false generalization, it’s also a belief that can set a child up for failure. Encourage kids to see a situation in a more objective way. A helpful response might be: “You are a good student. You do great in school. Math is a subject that you need to spend more time on. We’ll work on it together.”
- Be affectionate. Your love will help boost your child’s self-esteem. Give hugs and tell kids you’re proud of them when you can see them putting effort toward something or trying something at which they previously failed. Put notes in your child’s lunchbox with messages like “I think you’re terrific!” Give praise often and honestly, but without overdoing it. Having an inflated sense of self can lead kids and teens to put others down or feel that they’re better than everyone else, which can be socially isolating. (Leave special notes
Special one-on-one dates with your child)- A simple statement as – Do you know that nothing you can do will make me love you more or less, I love you no matter what.
- Give positive, accurate feedback. Instead of saying, “Good job finishing your homework.” Be more specific, try saying something like, “I am so proud of you for getting right to your homework after school. I didn’t even have to remind you and now you have time to play outside before dinner.”
- Watch your Words. Comments like “You always work yourself up into such a frenzy!” will make kids feel like they have no control over their outbursts. A better statement is, “I can see you were very angry with your brother, but it was nice that you were able to talk about it instead of yelling or hitting.” This acknowledges a child’s feelings, rewards the choice made, and encourages the child to make the right choice again next time.
- Create a safe, loving home environment. Kids who don’t feel safe or are abused at home are at greatest risk for developing poor self-esteem. A child who is exposed to parents who fight and argue repeatedly may feel they have no control over their environment and become helpless or depressed.
- Help kids become involved in constructive experiences. Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem. For example, mentoring programs in which an older child helps a younger one learn to read can do wonders for both kids. Volunteering and contributing to your local community can have positive effects on self-esteem for everyone involved.
When promoting healthy self-esteem, it’s important to try to find the right balance. Make sure your kids don’t end up feeling that if they’re average or normal at something, it’s the same as not being good or special. Not everyone gets an award, but everyone is unique.
Complimentary digital copy of MASK the Magazine