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Helping Your Child Develop Positive Self-Esteem

Children with high self-esteem feel valued and accepted and have a positive perspective on themselves and everyday challenges. As karate instructors, it is our privilege to help your child develop positive self-esteem and confidence. In every class we teach, we provide opportunities for your child to grow in their ability and confidence to master new skills. An encouraging karate instructor who inspires a child can have a positive impact by making that child feel safe to try something difficult. The child soon learns that if they try – they can achieve. They are not afraid to make a mistake or do a technique incorrectly. They learn not to quit or give up when learning something new. This is a wonderful pattern for a child to build their self-esteem and confidence which they will carry into their teen and adult lives.

As parents, we can create a safe haven for our child at home that will boost their self-esteem and teach them to be kind to others, as well as to help those who may also be struggling with confidence issues. It is significantly easier for a child to overcome challenges if there is a constant, positive support system at home, by reminding them you will be there through the good and bad moments and that you love them regardless of the mistakes they may make. They will be able to cope more effectively with obstacles in their path and be willing to reciprocate this love given to them onto others, resulting in a more confident, kind, and loving person.

As your child grows, allow them to do things in their unique way once in a while as they learn how to do new things, as this reinforces independence, responsibility, and creativity within them. Provide your child with opportunities to try and learn new activities – ranging from easy to difficult – that challenge them to develop further as a person. From the basics of learning how to read or ride a bike, lead by example by showing them how to do the activity, then allow them to interpret the way they see fit and try it for themselves. This can be somewhat hard for those of us who like to have control. However, allowing them to learn their way will build their sense of responsibility and independence while also telling them that you have confidence in them and their capabilities.

Allow your child to feel empowered by giving them choices, within a reasonable set of options you have selected. For example, offer your child the choice of either cereal or eggs for breakfast. Letting them make simple decisions for themselves not only prepares your child to make more difficult choices they will face as adults but also allows them to build their independence and accountability. It also shows your child there are consequences for their actions while teaching them the essential life skill of being accountable for the decisions they make. Rather than you just predetermining what they will do, which could result in the child becoming too dependent on their parents.

Regardless of whether they’ve learned how to swim or have completed their homework, praise your child in a specific manner and commend them for a job well done, no matter the specific achievement. When a child sees how proud of them you are, they will begin to take pride in themselves and continue to strive to not only make you proud but themselves in the future. It is also valuable to praise your child around other adults and not just at home. When we complement our kids, they tend to take it with a grain of salt, however, whenever they hear you tell a friend or relative about their achievements, they tend to be more receptive to the praise. So, feel free to let your child hear you brag about them to others, as you are proving you’re not just saying it to make them feel good, but rather because you genuinely believe in them. By doing this small act, you can dramatically improve your child’s self-esteem, and even make them believe in the kind words you are saying.

It’s no secret children observe and copy everything their parents do, yes, even the bad stuff too. So, it’s essential you provide your child with an exceptional role model to look up to. This does not mean you have to be perfect or that you should beat yourself up if you make a mistake in front of them. For instance, a parent who calls themselves stupid or who doesn’t try to tackle challenges will result in their child being more likely to follow in their footsteps and develop a poor sense of worth. Look at this as an opportunity to not only build your child’s confidence but boost your own, while also bonding.

To be an effective role model, it is crucial you spend one-on-one time with your child, whether it is just grabbing a bite to eat, going to the store, or reading a book together. Try to schedule alone time with your child at least once a week. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other more in depth and talk about what’s on the child’s mind, but it also cements the deep bond you two share.

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