From the outset, RAIS facilitated courses on Thinking Skills, and Philosophy for Children with the aim of supporting parents, teachers, family support workers, and community workers to develop the thinking abilities of the children and young people that they work/live with.

However, it became apparent early on that many of the adults who attended these courses were not as confident or self-assured as we thought they might be – which was affecting their ability to make the most of the thinking strategies that they were learning.

As a response to this, we developed a number of courses to support the development of self-esteem and confidence. We advertised them as Supporting Children’s Self Esteem because we felt many adults wouldn’t attend if they thought the course was going to focus on their own self-esteem (either because they are uncomfortable focusing on themselves, or because they are so keen to support their children that they won’t make time for themselves). However, the nature of each course was to follow a pattern of:

  • Identify what self-esteem and confidence is (eg. Confidence to talk, to love, to succeed, to fail, to stand out, etc)
  • Explore strategies for the development of personal confidence
  • Look at ideas for helping children and young people to be more confident in themselves and their abilities.

Here are some responses to our courses:

Encouraging Self-Belief (ESB) course

ESB was great on a personal level.  Looking at goals and how to achieve them and maintain a balance in life (Parent)

The ESB course has had an impact on my personal life as well as work life.  Since completing the training I have made huge moves from my comfort zone in all aspects of my life and it didn’t hurt too much. I think the strategies we learned about have become part of my life and not something I have to think about for example trying to turn negatives into positives
(First School Teacher)

As a group, we benefited from the ESB course by helping us to look at our attitudes and beliefs, both of the group and as individuals.  One team member was empowered to seek alternative employment where she is happier.  Clients have reported greater self-esteem, self-awareness, and confidence in their own abilities (Health Visitor)

ESB – we were made aware that pupils’ feelings greatly influence progress, behavior, and attitude to work.  Many of the suggested strategies have been built into the PSHE scheme of work and have been beneficial to pupils and staff.
(Teachers at a Middle School)

Through the Other Side
This course was specifically written to support women with post-natal depression

I have gained self-esteem since I started my first RAIS course. I have a different way of thinking about things. I am a different person because I am more confident.  I have recovered from Post Natal Depression with RAIS’s help quicker than I think I would have without it.  All in all, I have enjoyed all aspects of my courses and experiences of RAIS (Parent)

I felt that RAIS input to the “Though the Other Side” Group was invaluable. Mothers’ evaluations of the group highlighted the course material as extremely positive and it most definitely contributed to reduced anxiety levels, improved coping skills and lower depression scores.  Group members commented on their increased confidence and improved feelings of self-worth (Family Support Worker)

I enjoyed the courses immensely.  It helped me understand my own child better and how I can help her achieve more with positive thinking and self-belief and self-confidence which can take any of us a long way in what can be a very difficult life.  I learned different ways in which to approach obstacles which come our way from time to time and felt I generally deal with things more calmly which in turn rubs off on the people around me.

It is also helpful to know that you are not alone out there and everyone else has the same reservations and that we all learn from these ways of thinking not just our children.  I definitely feel that I learned from these courses (Parent)

The sessions helped me make some major decisions with confidence and they felt quite empowering (parent)