Primary 5-8, Secondary
Encourage students to consider where they are getting their self worth from, and what is filling them up.
We walk away knowing
I can choose the people and things I rely upon to reinforce my self-worth. Some are more reliable than others.
Fill up your balloon!
This is a simple analogy which will demonstrate how your sense of self-worth needs to be made of solid reliable things, rather than things that come and go.
- Sand or flour
In this demonstration, the balloon represents your sense of self worth.
There are different ways to fill up your balloon.
First, you can blow it up to represent some ways we make ourselves feel good. For example: likes on social media, shopping, succeeding.
Ask students to give examples of things that might make them feel good in the short term, and blow up the balloon a bit with each example.
Then, ask them to give examples of things that would take away your self worth e.g. relationship break up, someone making a mean comment on social media, etc.
Demonstrate how those things can pop or deflate the balloon and leave the person feeling worthless.
Next, get students to volunteer ideas of things that help you feel good about yourself in the long term. E.g. healthy relationships, mentors, looking after your body with exercise and sleep, supportive friends.
For each idea funnel some sand or flour into the balloon.
Demonstrate how these things will keep the balloon inflated even if something bad happens.
Explain that problems come into everyone's life, they are represented by needles. When a needle touches the balloon that was filled up with hot air, the whole balloon explodes.
You can be crippled by one small problem: If you are relying on a person too much and they break up with you, you could be devastated; If you are basing your self worth on money and you have a financial catastrophe, you are also sunk, but when you fill up your balloon with sand, problems still come, but they do not destroy you. They still hurt, but you have the coping mechanisms to deal with them.
Students can then fill in the balloon worksheet with all the things in their lives that reinforce their worth and can be relied on.