One of the reasons that I love to teach yoga to children is because of yoga’s power to create change in both the body and mind. Children are just learning about themselves. Their self opinion is tied to the people around them — peers, teachers and family members have a huge influence on how kids see themselves. Yoga allows kids to find their own strength and teaches children to trust their own voice inside of their head instead of always listening to what others have to say.

That being said, the reality is that other people do effect how children see themselves so why not keep a reminder of the positive things others have said or written to refer to on the occasion when self-esteem falls.

A great idea that I found on a fabulous website for adults is to create a self-esteem folder. You can call this folder something more playful for children but the general idea is to fill up this folder with notes from parents, siblings, friends and teachers about the child’s positive qualities. Birthday cards, drawings, certificates from programs or sports, quotes that people have said about the child, work from school in which  they have pride — basically anything that will help boost up the child’s feeling of worth should be included.

I remember back in elementary school wanting so much to be this one girl in my class. She had long black shiny hair, she was smart and pretty and was admired by everyone. I was so jealous of her that I also remember getting in trouble for throwing cut up paper at her… if only I had a box or file to glance at back then to remind myself that I too had qualities that made me special.