Top Ten Mantras
These are ten mantras the Year 5 and 6 girls came up with in the session ‘Improving Confidence’:
- You can do it
- Be true in yourself
- I am awesome
- Never give up!
- My mum there, my dad there, nothing to make me afraid
- Everyone makes mistakes
- I can rely on myself
- Listen to yourself
- Don’t make molehills into mountains.
- My voice needs to be used!
The mantras they came up with were a mix of dealing with your fears, ‘It’s just a dream’, and reaffirming your confidence. These ten are some of the most positive affirmations they came up with, one of them that really brings out the themes of the mentoring and what the sessions are trying to achieve:
‘My voice needs to be used!’
This really sums up the importance of building your confidence and learning how to articulate what you want from your life. We asked them to think about a situation that scared them and what they could say to themselves to help them get through that, one popular situation was speaking in front of people, when everyone is staring at you.
The group took part in one of their favourite activities, building a group web where we passed the string back and forth with each girl giving another group member a compliment, building up an atmosphere of strength and comfort. They found it quite a challenge to find the words to give compliments. One girl wrote that what she had learnt from the session was how other people enjoyed being complimented.
They took their new found skills in complimenting into another task which was to verbally persuade another person to open their closed fist (Icebreaker 12 from Mosaic Mentor pack). This was really interesting to hear the different tactics they had used, from complimenting them into it, to politely asking them to fetch a pen, to asking them to give a high five! My partner was determined not to open her hand even when I tried to teach her how to sign her name, she determinedly signed with one fist still closed. We took the time to reflect on skills used for this, and whether or not they had succeeded in their aim.
The session was a mix of icebreakers and activities such as mind mapping. I found an icebreaker in Dove’s self-esteem for girls resource, which you can find here, where you pass an imaginary alien around the group with sound effects and facial expressions. The different ways they communicated their response to the alien was really funny and unique to each girl, it culminated with Sarah throwing the alien out of the window!
Tips from this session
- Begin the session by tying in the themes of the last session; we opened with asking the girls of any more role models they’d thought of since last time.
- Return to a favourite activity, especially when you promised to last time!
- Be aware young people aren’t as confident as they appear, try and make sure everyone’s voice is heard at least once in the session.