During the camp, I noticed the kids did not display a sense of pride in themselves. They talked freely about being proud of a team they admired in sport, but had quite a different attitude towards being proud of themselves, their family or their class.
I discovered the difficulty of the “pride” feeling at a very early stage, when I asked each of the kids to introduce themselves and then to tell the group something about themselves they were proud of. Everyone, kids and adults, looked at me in surprise.
Recognizing my own feelings is the basic level of emotional intelligence, so I thought that when we address leadership, recognizing things I am good at as a starter would be a good way for the kids to start appreciating their strengths. I was not surprised to see how much easier it was for kids (and grownups) to talk about things they were not proud of, as if they had practiced those so much they came to them naturally.
Most of the kids struggled with the idea of being proud. I pushed them by giving an example. I said, “I’m Ronit (we were still getting to know one another) and I’m very proud of myself for organizing this camp”. Some shy kids said hesitantly they were proud of themselves for having been chosen to be in this camp, but most of them said they did not know what to say. They used words like “boasting” and “bragging”, being “full of themselves” and “arrogant” as the reasons they could not find anything they were proud of.
Read more about kids and pride…