What have you done today to make you feel proud?

So, our final batch of summiteer skills lessons, surely we must be a dab hand at these by now! However, when it comes to being a ‘proud pathfinder’ it raised some uncomfortable philosophical questions! What does pride mean? You can take pride in your work, pride in your achievements or pride in someone else.

Is being proud something we actually want to encourage in children? Is it a good thing? What’s the difference between pride and boasting? At this point we had more questions than answers. The more we read, the more uncertain we felt.

We tried to think of things we are proud of - despite being on this planet for more years than we would care to admit, we struggled to compile a list. We were however; very good at telling each other what we should be proud of.

As a result of this conversation, we came to the conclusion that it is vital to teach children to be ‘proud pathfinders,’ as it is so tied in with how they see themselves and their future aspirations. We thought back to many past pupils who have struggled with their self-esteem and felt like failures and knew that they would have found it tricky to think of something they were proud of.

We really thought about these children as we planned the lessons, the activities aim to:

  • Enable children to reflect on their strengths
  • Understand that everybody has unique strengths
  • Teach children to take pride in what they did achieve and not what they didn’t
  • Encourage children to be proud of themselves
  • Demonstrate that being proud isn’t always tied in with success – you can be proud with how you coped with something, dealt with something or bounced back from it

Having decided on what we wanted to deliver, we were surprised at how difficult it was to find stories about mountaineers feeling proud. Surely all mountaineers who reach the summit must be proud, no matter how big or small the mountain? The mountains didn’t let us down though! Many of the examples we have used come from people overcoming adversity and managing to take pride in their achievements regardless.

So, in the words of Heather Small, ‘what have you done today, to make you feel proud?’  You may be surprised by how tricky this question is to answer.

Let’s try and make it is easier for our children.