Why Self-Esteem Matters
According to KidsHealth.org when children feel good about themselves, it sets them up for success — in everything from school to friendships. Positive feelings like self-acceptance or self-confidence help kids try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and try again. Taking pride in their abilities and accomplishments helps kids do their best.
By contrast, kids with low self-esteem might feel unsure of themselves. If they think others won’t accept them, they may not participate as often. They may allow themselves to be treated poorly and have a hard time standing up for themselves. Kids who don’t expect to do well may avoid challenges, give up easily, or be unable to bounce back from mistakes.
Having low self-esteem can block success. It can leave kids distracted by the stress of how to deal with everyday challenges.
How Self-Esteem Develops
Contrary to what some might think, self-esteem does not come telling kids they’re wonderful, special, and great (even though they are!). Giving every child a trophy doesn’t help kids’ self-esteem. Indeed, it’s possible for kids to feel good about themselves even when they fail.
When children compete — win or lose — they see that their own hard work and practice can make a difference. Earning a prize contributes to self-esteem only when a kid knows he or she earned it.
Self-esteem is the result of experiences that help a child feel capable, effective, and accepted.
When kids learn to do things for themselves and feel proud of what they can do, they feel capable. Martial Arts is fun to learn and performing moves with a class build competence and then confidence.
Children feel effective when they see that good things come from efforts like trying hard, getting close to a goal, or making progress. Earning belts in martial arts is all about goal setting and teaches kids that hard work and effort pays off.
When kids feel accepted and understood by a parent or someone close, they are likely to accept themselves, too. Their good feelings about themselves multiply as their sensei or teacher praise good behaviors, help when needed, and give encouragement and support. Students in martial arts support and encourage each other. Events like graduations, social events and being part of a team of other positive kids is all part of Martial Arts.
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