Feeling Good About Yourself

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    What is Self-Esteem, and Why Do You Need it?

    Self-esteem is feeling good about who you are. Make a list of things you are good at, like painting, running, or taking care of your dog. Getting a parent or teacher to help is a good idea if you have trouble thinking of things. You can even add things you would like to be better at, and then figure out ways to make it happen! When you feel great about yourself, the sky's the limit.

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    How to Handle Teasing

    You might get teased if your mom kisses you at the bus stop or if you trip in the hallway. Most everybody gets teased, and it could be about anything. The trick is to learn to keep your cool. Getting upset gives the person teasing you power. Lots of kids tease because they are unhappy or not feeling good. Next time you're teased, laugh it off -- say "so?" or just walk away.

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    Freckles are Only Skin Deep

    One of the ways people are different is skin color. If you have light skin and eyes, you may have freckles on your face and arms. They come from being in the sun, which causes skin pigment cells to change color. Freckles aren't harmful, so there's no need to point them out. Freckles can lighten as you get older or when you’re not in the sun as much.

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    Braces Can Rock

    Don't worry about getting braces.  Lots of kids have them. And soon you'll have awesome, straight teeth. But if you're worried about kids seeing your braces for the first time, ask your teacher if you can do "Show & Tell" on the day you get your braces. It might seem like you have to wear braces forever, but it'll be worth it. In the meantime, see if you can choose rubber band colors to match your style.

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    Healthy Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

    It's more important to be healthy than a certain size -- thin, tall, short, or muscular. Pictures of models or actors rarely look the way they do in "real life." As you grow, your body changes. If you're worried about your looks or weight talk to your parents, a friend, or someone you trust. They'll help you see you're great like you are, and you can plan ways to be healthy together.

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    Learning at All Speeds

    There's a good chance that you or other kids in your class don't all learn things the same way. Some kids might have trouble paying attention, listening, or reading. They may learn so fast they're bored by what the teacher teaches. By realizing we all learn at different speeds and have different strengths, it's easier to understand why some classwork may take longer for you or your friends to finish.

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    Getting Used to Glasses

    If you are having trouble reading or seeing the blackboard, you may need glasses. Lots of kids wear glasses, and it's great not to have to sit in the front row or squint to see. Don't be embarrassed about your glasses. You'll be able to pick out cool frames you like, and you'll get used to your new look soon. Chances are your friends will want to try them on.

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    Sports Should Be Fun, Not Make You Stress

    Team sports like basketball or baseball can be a great way to make friends and be fit. Winning shouldn't always be the goal though. Getting better, practicing, and having fun is more important. If you mess up and teammates or coaches get angry and it bothers you, let your parent know. Together you can come up with a plan. Not into team sports? Try golf, karate, or tennis.

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    What to Do About Bullies

    Lots of kids are bullied. When more than 1,200 kids were asked, about half said they had been bullied. Bullying is when a person is being mean on purpose. If someone is picking on you, telling an adult is the best thing to do. It lets other kids know it's not cool to bully. You can also practice what to say to the bully at home, so you'll be calm and prepared if he bothers you again.

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    Cool Clothes and Stuff

    Did you know some companies want you to think you'll be more popular if you buy their clothes, shoes, or electronics? But a lot of times the only difference between two brands is the price.  It's not about what you wear but how you wear it -- with confidence is best. And when you see an ad with your favorite star showing off something, ask yourself, "Do I really like it, or do I want it just because a celebrity has it?"