Written by Cairn Guidance, a Dove Self-Esteem Project Partner
The theme for the Dove Self-Esteem Project’s (DSEP) 2019 Cadre Trainer Retreat was The Journey to Body Confidence. Every human being takes this journey, most of which is probably not wholly conscious. We become who we are by experiences, thought processes, and the significant lives that touch ours, amongst other things. Does anyone just wake one day and know they are body confident? It’s a process that probably ebbs and flows.
A character in a movie, told another character who had just said something disparaging about themselves, if they didn’t like it, do something about it. They weren’t seeing what the disparager saw, however, they honored where the person was and made a suggestion. If there is something a person does not like within themselves, they have the power to change it. Was the disparager basing their remarks on unfulfilled realistic personal goals or what they thought others expected or thought? These were fictional adult characters. However, how often do youth have this conversation and make changes based on the unrealistic expectations of others, such as their peers, or manipulated media images or messages? How do adults, specifically educators, help students on their journey to adulthood? On their journey to body confidence and positive self-esteem?
The Dove Self-Esteem Project’s cadre trainers (cadre) came together in June for a day and a half retreat to focus on their role in this journey. While some of the cadre provide direct services to students, they all focus on increasing awareness and implementation of the DSEP Confident Me! body confidence and self-esteem lessons, for 11 to 14-year-old students, to the educators who teach these youth. The retreat was designed to recharge, increase knowledge and skills, and provide opportunities to network across cadre and within the cadre located in their region. The cadre has grown to 25 professionals located across 23 states in each region of the United States. They represent health and physical educators, school nurses, school social workers, school counselors, and prevention and wellness professionals.
To say they each understand the importance of the DSEP Confident Me! lessons is an understatement. Being able to give educators tools to support the instruction of their students is a core of their mission. They know there are students who are struggling with peer pressure, personal and professional social media issues, appearance ideas, etc. They also know the DSEP Confident Me! lessons add value to the educator’s instruction.
Cadre share their message primarily via local, state and regional conference presentations and exhibits. They also write articles and blogs, as well as host webinars. Many are an active presence on social media. The retreat gave them the opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate and share ideas. Their goal is to make The Journey to Body Confidence as positive and as seamless as possible for students through the educators who teach these students.
How often do we as adults say something disparaging about ourselves to ourselves? Learning about these lessons can remind us that we too may internalize unrealistic external measures regarding our appearance ideals. We may offer compliments to other adults and our students based on how they look or how they dress, instead of honing in on those things that truly make the person who they are. The DSEP Confident Me! lessons help educators adjust the way they offer recognition to their students, while helping students better value themselves and others and what makes them who they are as unique and contributing individuals.
The Dove Self-Esteem Project cadre trainers hope, when you learn they are present at your conference or meeting, that you stop by their presentations or exhibit booth. If they write an article or blog, they hope you read it and take away some jewels. If they host a webinar, they hope you attend. Students do not learn as well when they do not feel the best about themselves. They do not reach out and grow as well. Students who do not feel the best about themselves may make poor choices. Educators are there to help students become their best. The DSEP Confident Me! lessons are there as a support. Visit Dove Self-Esteem Project to learn more about the no cost, researched, single and five-lesson curriculum.