I would like you to stop for a moment an imagine a self-esteem workshop for a group of pre-teen boys. What types of activities do you think might be planned? What would the boys do? Really think…
I would like you to stop for a moment an imagine a self-esteem workshop for a group of pre-teen boys. What types of activities do you think might be planned? What would the boys do? Really think about this for a moment before I go on. What comes to mind when you think of boys and self-esteem building?
Now, I want to tell you about a workshop called “Boys Unstoppable!” The workshop is put together by a company in the personal care industry. The boys arrive with their dads. They sit down at tables and find paper and magic markers.
The leader, known as a “Self-esteem Ambassador” first asks the boys to think about their dad and his appearance. The Ambassador asks each boy to write down anything he has heard his dad say about his looks. Then the boys create a second column, and they write down how those statements made them feel.
One boy, Tommy, starts to fidget in his chair. Why do they have to think so much about their feelings? It’s a nice day out. Can’t they go out and do something?
The Ambassador smiles like a salesman or a Ken doll. He introduces the next exercise. The boys are asked to think about all of the good things about themselves. Then the Ambassador hands out “confidence cards.”
The cards say “I have a beautiful________”
The Ambassador tells them to fill out as many cards as they want.
Tommy stares at the cards. “I have a beautiful face?” he thinks. Not really, he thinks, but he writes it down anyway.
The exercise is kind of hard. It’s hard to fit what he is good at into that sentence without it sounding weird.
“I have beautiful math skill.”
Tommy thinks about last week when he won the 100 yard dash. He was proud of that. “I have beautiful running skill” is awkward. So he writes “I have beautiful feet.”
That’s not right. He gives up and looks out the window.
“What’s wrong?” asks the Ambassador with a kind of cheery sympathy.
“I can’t think of anything,” Tommy says.
The Ambassador tilts his head. Tommy can tell he is thinking that the boy is a real hard case. He must have no confidence at all. It’s worse than he thought.
(Read the full article on my blog by following the link)