Developing self esteem

Published 4:52 am Friday, May 16, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- It wasn't so much about helping parents establish their own self esteem at Northside Child Development Center's self-esteem workshop Thursday evening.
Leslie Krouk, a Northside special education teacher who also teaches night classes at Lake Michigan College in subject areas like diversity, conflict resolution and how to guide children through social development, said her class focuses more on how parents can help their own children develop self-esteem.
Parents attending Thursday's workshop not only listened to what Krouk had to say on that topic, but also took part in practical exercises that created and illustrated some of the many situations, scenarios and problems parents encounter when raising children.
Krouk, however, said one thing is imperative when trying to develop childrens self esteem.
During the workshop, Krouk talked about what self esteem is; the connection between self-esteem, social competence and success in life, as well as how self esteem is developed in children.
Tawanna Blann, who is on Northside's Parent Board Committee and has a daughter in the school's Head-Start program, said it's the first time she has taken a class like the one offered Thursday.
She seemed to enjoy the class, as did the rest of the parents.
Blann said the class also showed her ways to be more calm when dealing with children.
Greg Stoop, who attended the class with his wife Jennifer, said also he picked up things he will try to adopt with his own children.
Stoops, having attended the workshop, said he now has a better understanding of how important it is to give children more attention to the things they are doing, and to spend more time with them.
Krouk, who on a regular basis has a variety of different parent/child related workshops at Northside, as does other teachers at the school, said it's also important for parents who try to develop their childrens self-esteem to understand the importance of individualizing their approach to each children.
To give an example, Krouk said her two daughters, who are 19 and 22, are completely different; one philosophical while the other wanting things "cut and dry."
That means Krouk had to adjust her own approach to them as they have been growing up.
Although Thursday's workshop was only one isolated event, Krouk said these types of classes, if held consistently, in the long run can help both schools and parents.
She said what these classes do is to inform parents about some of the things teachers try to practice at school.
And she said when parents and teachers understand each other, that also helps make things easier for the children as they grow up.