Best Practice #3: A SENSE OF MASTERY

Developing life skills in children and adolescents…

Early traumatic experiences may cause children and adolescents to develop low self-esteem, poor self-mastery, and the belief that they are unable to accomplish tasks or develop new skills. It is important to work with youth on building new skills and developing a sense of mastery. In addition to improving social skills, developing a sense of mastery and becoming involved in different activities can help to strengthen feelings of self-worth.

The World is Mine

I’d been training for this battle
Since the day when I was born.

When the war cry of depression
First threatened my unsuspecting heart
And the foot soldiers of anxiety
First set up camp in my mind--
I had yet to tally the advantages
Of my troops, my weapons, my terrain.

My hands became the mouthpiece
Of voices that sought to ruin me.
“You are worthless,” I would copy
On the page a hundred times,
Dutifully, like a child at the board,
Sentenced to stay after school.
“You are ugly,” followed next.
“You don’t know anything about anything.”

At this my skilled combattants
Restrained themselves no more:
On the front line, lullabies and songs,
Fairies and goblins, rhymes and legends,
An arsenal of adjectives,
Sonnets by the score.

These, the friends of my youth,
Struck down the lying voices of the enemy!
Declared my own words the strength and the law of the land.
My bold teachers, my wise warriors,
Proved the world is mine.

- Grace Phan Jones





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