Cheer and self esteem

What about cheer and self esteem?  Well, cheerleaders like to feel good about themselves just like everyone else.  Cheerleading coaches and cheer parents can help by playing a role in driving self esteem, but maybe not how you think!

Somehow, somewhere people got the idea that praising children (of all ages) would increase their self esteem.  Well, there is another line of thought out there:  the thought that praising for effort is way better than praising for abilityAlong that line of thinking, the best thing cheer parents and coaches can do is to teach cheerleaders to love challenges, enjoy accomplishing new skills and to learn how to handle setbacks and mistakes.

These are skills that will help them boost their self-esteem for the rest of their lives.

After all, wouldn’t we rather see a child be able to deal with a “not so great” performance and not get that specific “bad”  performance tied up with the idea that the child is not good because of the “bad” performance? 

You might think that with so much boosting of self-esteem going on, that depression would be decreasing.  Actually, the opposite is true.  Depression is more of a problem than ever in children and adolescents.  So then, what exactly are we doing  wrong?

It just might be that we are praising the ability rather than the effort.  Just maybe we should praise the effort and see what happens.  I love that idea!