The Role of Self-Kindness and Self-Esteem in Children in Fostering Psychological Resilience and Positive Psychology
Psychological resilience is the capacity of an individual to avoid stress and adversity in order to prevent such problems as bad health. The other problems are depression, mental illness, and general body dysfunction (Cooper, Flint-Taylor & Pearn, 2013). People and children with psychological resilience can make good plans to execute it, and increase their self-confidence and self-esteem[G1] (Cooper, Flint-Taylor & Pearn, 2013). [G2]
Positive psychology is the use of scientific understanding and psychological intervention to bring happiness to individuals with mental disabilities and psychological stress (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). It is possible to achieve a satisfying life through positive psychology rather than treating mental disability (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). One way of promoting positive living is by increasing the Child’s self-esteem and self-confidence through resilience (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). This essay aims to analyze the ways to promote psychological resilience to help a child with mild learning disabilities and physical health problems[G3] . The limitations and any other issues related to clinical matters will be vital to the discussion. Psychological resilience and positive psychology are two areas that help young children and adults to raise their self-esteem through avoiding stress to cope with the learning challenges (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009).[G4]
Self-esteem is the way we perceive value to ourselves, to the world, and the way we think we are valuable to other people (Svebak, 2010). Self-kindness is the quality of being kind, having consideration for others, or having the urge to help other people (Svebak, 2010). Kind people have compassion for others and do not show any selfish behaviour to the friends or neighbours (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011). The connections in the terms are positive psychology helps individuals to tolerate, cope, and live well in spite of the stress and the adversities they are facing. Psychological resilience helps individuals, both the adults and the children to cope with stress and adversities while positive psychology deals with the treatment of mental disabilities to attain psychological resilience (Svebak, 2010). Positive psychology enhances self-esteem in individuals, and self-esteem promotes psychological resilience when individuals have a high regard for themselves (Svebak, 2010). Self-kindness results from having a positive attitude towards other people, which make them, cope with stressful situations, such as financial difficulties (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). From the definitions and the evaluation of all the terms, it is true that psychological resilience, positive psychology, self-esteem, and self-kindness have a connection (Seligman, 2006). A research by the Institute for Research and Society, on psychological resilience, showed that people with a high self-esteem and self-kindness have increased psychological resilience [G5] [G6] (Seligman, 2006). Positive psychology promotes self-esteem and self-kindness, which in turn, promote psychological resilience according to the National Institute of Health (Cope & Whittaker, 2013).[G7] [G8]
Approaches to Positive Psychology
Positive psychology is a very pivotal intervention in stress management and the treatment of learning disabilities in both children and adults [G9] [G10] (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). The main approaches to positive psychology involve activities that make a person happy, have a meaningful life, and promote the mental well-being (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). The approaches are:[G11] [G12] [G13]
Pleasures are those activities that cause happiness to a person easily and lead to delight of the individual (Coulson, Oades & Stoyles, 2012). The activities have a quick impact on peoples’ emotions and the senses, making them feel better within a very short time. In essence, a person does not require any efforts to feel the happiness; joy and delight just happen to the individual or child. Examples of the pleasures are body massages, which lead to the relaxation of the muscles and the mind. Relaxation helps in making a person happy, which in turn help him cope with stress [G14] [G15] (Coulson, Oades & Stoyles, 2012). Another example is good food that enhances the appetite, decorated rooms, swimming pools, bathtubs and many others, which relieve stress in a person or a child (Coulson, Oades & Stoyles, 2012). [G16] [G17]
Gratifications are those activities that are challenging and make people use more strength at the same time making them happy (Seligman, 2013). They require a lot of efforts to achieve, but their long-term effects are rewarding. One example of a gratification activity is long-term love relationship through kindness, listening, and doing good things for the people one loves. The activities require self-sacrifice and effort to impress the loved ones. For the case study, showing the boy some love and doing kind things will promote his self-esteem. His learning capability will also improve once he accepts and puts effort into the gratification activities, for example, by reading his favourite book more often (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011). The other gratification activities are drawing, gardening, solving puzzles, volunteering and writing (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011).
Doing Meaningful Activities
Meaningful activities are those activities that involve engaging in activities that promote the [G18] fulfilment to people’s lives, either personally or professionally (Svebak, 2010). These activities can bring happiness once the person achieves his/her objectives. Everybody cherishes success and any time an individual attains his/her goals, he/she becomes very happy and satisfied. Meaningful life activities require somebody, especially children to involve more in gratification activities (Svebak, 2010), which will strengthen the skills of the person. A researcher, Martin Seligman said,” Total immersion, in fact, blocks consciousness, and emotions are completely absent”(Seligman, 2013).In this, he encourages people to engage fully in the activities that bring satisfaction to their lives. Some of the activities may involve assisting the poor in legal representation to enable them acquire justice. For example, since the withdrawal of the legal aid in England in April 2013 (Stewart & Brennan, 2013), many low-income families cannot afford legal fees for[G19] in divorce cases. As a lawyer, one can offer his/her services to the poor families, which will be a gratification gesture (Stewart & Brennan, 2013). The activities make the individual forget many bad emotions and conscience reducing mental stress. The boy in the case study can benefit from the approach, as being active in many activities will enhance his mental capacity. Seligman, (2013) notes that the three approaches are important for mental, emotional, and physical development of individuals hence leads to psychological resilience.[G20] [G21] [G22] [G23]
Positive emotions are very important to help achieve happiness and excitement for both physical and emotional satisfaction that lead to happiness (Seligman, 2013). Some of the interventions improve a person’s well-being, growth, creativity, fulfillment and any other activity that brings joy and relaxation of the person. For the case study, the boy can apply some of the interventions to promote his mental and physical health and improve his learning capability. The positive psychological interventions are:
According to Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, (2009), gratitude can be a source of positive feelings to a child. The research shows that those people who express gratitude to other people feel a lot of inner satisfaction and happiness with their actions. Being grateful is a virtue that brings about the feeling of wellbeing to a person and reduces depression, increases happiness, and raises self-esteem. A study by Morgan, Gulliford, and Kristjánsson in 2014 on the effects of expressing gratitude showed that those who express gratitude are more relaxed (Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjánsson, 2014). The boy in the case study can gain from gratification by receiving grateful notes and comments from the teachers and other stakeholders to improve his health. [G24]
Best Possible Selves
Children can write the events in their lives and any actions they undertake and how they feel about them (Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjánsson, 2014). The activities create a lot of self-confidence to the individuals, and they can achieve their goals in life. Writing will always remind the child the experiences and can provide some comparison with the recent happenings.
According to Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjánsson, hope is the ability of individuals to pursue their goals in life, which make them feel excited, determined, and committed to their roles. Hope brings harmony to different individuals, especially the one that results from spirituality or it may lead to the reduction of broodiness in individuals ([G25] Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjánsson, 2014). Hope enables people to seek advice from their peers and parents, which reduces stress and depression of the individuals seeking advice. [G26]
Signature strengths refer to the exhibition of appreciation of bravery, beauty, gratitude, and forgiveness by individuals depending on their experiences. For example, individuals who recover from certain illnesses show positive characteristics than those who have never experienced severe illness (Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjánsson, 2014). The recovery makes them be strong and believe in their physical fitness. [G27] Thus, they do not worry about facing difficult situations. Some people possess emotional courage to face and counter challenges to achieve difficult goals in their lives through persistence and bravery. The other forms of strengths are humanity, pursuit of justice and temperance, which lead to physiological toughness and reduce depression and stress.
[G28] [G29] [G30]
Positive Psychology and its Relevance to Children Development
Positive psychology has a big effect on the human brain, especially that of a growing child (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). The brain can master everything that the child experiences when he/she is very young, and as the child matures, the mastery improves. Positive teachings create optimistic thinking as the brain can register the actions that become habitual to the child [G31] (Schueller, 2010). Repeated actions make the child do the same thing repeatedly and unconsciously, which forms part of their character.
According to Dr Seligman positive psychology, helps in getting rid of learning difficulties in young children (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). For example, consider the scale of -5 to +5. In many cases, education will move an individual from -5 to 0. In this case, 0 denotes that somebody is okay and getting from 0 to +5 is very difficult. Therefore, education does not assist so much in moving from 0 to +5, and the only way somebody can assist children to get there is by promotion of good habits and correcting their weaknesses.
Concepts or Clinical Approaches to Promoting Psychological Resilience
There are various concepts that help in promoting a healthy living for the children and adults, such as:
Mental training is a new approach for assisting people to relax the body and the brain to facilitate confidence in individuals and positive thinking (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). The approach also assists people to solve problems and develop critical thinking. Through the method, individuals and children can improve their mood and lower anxiety levels while lowering depression and increasing the individual’s self-esteem (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009).
Strengthening the Human Spirit
The parents and caregivers should play a big role in strengthening the human spirit in children as they grow up to help them improve their psychological resilience (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). As the children develop, the parents need to do many tasks, and their parents and caregivers should make sure they assist their children in that area. Engaging in various activities will help the children acquire a sense of responsibility and develop physically and intellectually (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009).
Teaching and Discussion
Teaching children from an early development stage help the child to acquire skills in various fields and become responsible. The child can control bad emotions at an early age by incorporating the ideas from the lessons taught (Fuller, Chapman & Jolly, 2009). Teaching can occur in various places such as homes, worshiping centres, social places, or in schools. A child should learn how to remain positive and have the self-confidence to prevent any possibilities of stress and depression. Discussions are very important for any growing children as they assist the child to express him/herself at the same time acquiring self-confidence. Through resilience, a growing child can achieve many good qualities and abilities.[G32]
Trust is very important to growing children in enhancing positive thinking. Parents and caregivers should not expose their children to a dangerous environment, especially those children with disabilities[G33] (Schueller, 2010). A good and trustworthy relationship should exist between the parents, teachers, and any other member to ensure that the children can share their problems and challenges. Parents should avoid issues that can lead to their divorce or separation as it brings agony to the children. Since many parents cannot afford the legal fees after the Ministry of Justice withdrew the legal aid to low-income earners in the UK [G34] [G35] (Stewart & Brennan, 2013), parents should try to live in harmony. In the case of a divorce or separation, many parents cannot afford to pay a lawyer to handle children cases involving their upkeep. The children end up traumatized and stressed[G36] (Schueller, 2010), although positive psychology can help them to cope with the situation and make them attain psychological resilience.
Encouragement, the Children to be Autonomous
Children should learn how to be independent at an early stage to instill a sense of responsibility to the child. The environment should allow the child to do an activity on their own and seek guidance in case of any challenges (Schueller, 2010).
Setting Role Models
Children always imitate the actions of the parents and, therefore; parents should provide an environment free from people of unquestionable characters (Schueller, 2010). The children with learning disabilities can suffer both physical and psychological trauma if exposed to a dangerous environment, such as a divorced or a separated family. The withdrawal of legal aid for low-income earners will affect families with children suffering from learning disabilities [G39] (Stewart & Brennan, 2013), as in the case of separation, these children end up suffering psychological stress. For such a case, the parents should struggle and maintain peace in their homes to avoid incidences that can cause trauma to the child. [G40] However, in case of a separation or a divorce, the parents should struggle to raise the legal representation fees and not just depend on the government legal aid. The other approaches for enhancing resilience are home rules, problem-solving, and access to education.
Empirical Findings from Positive Psychology
Research by various scholars; show that there are variables that promote the well-being of children and adults (Schueller, 2010). The variables enable the children to manage stress and adversities to overcome any possible trauma. The factors are showing gratitude to other people, being selfless, and extraversion. The other variables that lead to the well-being of young children are, exercising daily through plays, having goals for their life as they mature, and the existence of stable marriages for adults. Children who grow in stable marriages have less stress than the ones whose parents separated (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). Studies by Schueller show that attaining a good education, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy weight will improve the wellbeing of children and adults (Schueller, 2010). The other activities that enable children cope with the challenges of life are having self-acceptance, being physically fit, perseverance during hard times, and having enough sleep [G43] (Schueller, 2010).
Limitations of the Empirical Findings
Some of the limitations of the empirical findings may include inadequate time to engage in some of the healthy activities (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). Such activities are playing and working for the attainment of individuals’ goals (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). The issues of getting a good education may not bring resilience to the children as what matters are the children’s interests. Children with learning disabilities might not benefit from some of the findings, such as play due to their learning disabilities, such as recalling verses in play songs. Some children with disabilities can have self-acceptance, but the others might not accept them, leading to stress. Children with learning disabilities may not acquire a good education in some nations, where there are no special schools.
Psychological resilience is a good remedy for some conditions like stress and depression, according to the findings by the National Institute of Health (Cope & Whittaker, 2013). Through positive psychology, children and adults can heal from mental illnesses, live a good life, and have high self-esteem and self-kindness. Clinical and concepts approaches include mental training of the children and trustworthy relationships while psychological interventions include gratitude and hope. Some empirical findings, such as selflessness and exercises promote positive psychology. Some limitations such as the limited time to engage in play may hinder the achievement of positive psychology. The parents and the caregivers should make sure that their children have some spare time to play and socialize with their peers.
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nts that are not appropriate for children are clubs, fighting scenes, conflict, and abusive places. The