29 April

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    Confidence:       “The belief in oneself and one’s powers or ability.”

    Self-belief, or self-esteem, is one of those intangible factors that can transform a child. When I consider how our boys at Campbell grow in confidence throughout their time with us I ask what it is we are doing to ensure every boy believes in himself and what more could be done.

    From the very beginning of their time at Campbell – which for some boys is 3 years old in Kindergarten – it is vital that we encourage the development of self-confidence and recognise the harmful effects of low self-esteem. We must strive to provide an understanding of the meaning and purpose of life beyond the classroom.  On a daily basis our teachers adopt a number of approaches to aid this development of self-esteem, all of which are easily replicated in everyday life outside of school.

    Be Yourself: Encourage each boy to ‘be himself’ and not compare or contrast himself with others. Find the unique thing that makes each pupil an individual and encourage confidence in that trait.

    Focus on the positives: In Northern Ireland we are particularly good at concentrating on our mistakes. We should encourage the boys when they make a mistake to look at what they have learnt and how they will do it better next time.

    Having purpose: Feeling good about oneself comes from doing something to feel good about. Being kind and actively serving others promotes a sense of value and purpose. Positive self-esteem is grounded in the action of doing and understanding the difference between “I want to…” and “I am beginning to…”

    Boys, especially teenage boys, need continuous active reinforcement of all these elements as they develop their own sense of self. If we can equip them in their formative years to believe in themselves we will have given them a confidence that will carry them through their adult life.