A shift towards fostering healthy self-esteem and self-confidence has taken place across the education sector and within our own roles as parents over the last generation. And with good reason! Kids are more overstimulated, over-scheduled and plugged in than ever before. It’s no wonder that this results in stressed and anxious kids. In an era where the emphasis is on building kid’s resilience in order to foster happier and more confident kids, there are some simple ways we can all take the pressure off.
Building resilience and confidence doesn’t happen overnight. Parenting is not always easy so go easy on yourself and your children while working together to help them feel more self-confident. Here are some strategies you can use to help you children, no matter what age and stage they are at.
Role modelling confident behaviour such as trying new things, developing a skill or talking
through our daily stressors can have a big impact on the way that very young children learn to cope with their own emotions. What’s that old saying? They’ll do what they see, not what you tell them to do. Here are some other easy ways to encourage the development of self-esteem and confidence:
· Positive and specific language when acknowledging effort
· Opportunity to challenge their physical and mental skill set
· Plenty of choice-with each option being a great outcome for all involved
During our classes, we offer the chance for children to make as many decisions as possible. Selecting which colour scarf to use, where to sit on the mats or whether or not to kick the cheese wedge all contributes to a sense of autonomy.
Watching children of this age group begin to explore the world around them, develop their language, and their physical and intellectual skills is very exciting. Some of the challenges children face in this stage of their development include independence versus accepting boundaries and limitations, emotional regulation versus ‘meltdowns’ and tantrums, and learning to interact and negotiate with others cooperatively. Here’s how we can help them develop confidence and resilience:
· Demonstrating mindful practices and meditation
· Developing opportunities for open and authentic sharing within the family conversations
· Celebrating achievements, no matter how minor
Non-competitive physical activity is what Acro Kids is all about. Some cool, new Parkour skill or the sense of achievement a child feels the first time they master a somersault is definitely worth celebrating!
If you thought that toddlers loved to copy what you said and did, just wait until a pre-teen is watching! This age group seems to absorb what is happening in their environment and develop thoughts, ideas and values on what they are witnessing. Again, it is vital to role model confident behaviours. This means no people pleasing or fearing judgement when things are not ‘perfect’. The bonus is that, as a parent, you will probably start feeling more confident too! Here’s some other reminders:
· Use movies, books and news articles to discuss their world view and values
· Give them opportunities to move their bodies to reduce stress and anxiety
· Set achievable challenges and watch them bloom
Developing self-confidence for life
Developing a healthy relationship with their body is vital to the happiness of teenagers and adults alike. Starting to explore ways we can use our bodies as a tool for joy and positive experiences gives kids of this age a bench mark as they grow older.
Helping children develop into happy, confident and resilient kids doesn’t have to be a serious undertaking. In fact, the more fun you have together, the easier it will be to model health self-esteem to the children in your life.
To find out more about what Acro Kids has to offer, take a look here