THIS WEEK: three tips to build CONFIDENCE in your children at home based on LIONS Self Defence & Martial Arts in Leicester.
We all hear the words confidence, self-assurance, assertiveness etc thrown around when talking about kids. While at school, I often heard teachers say to some of my fellow students ‘You need to be confident’, without actually telling them HOW. This is like telling someone who doesn’t know geography ‘you need to drive to London’ without giving them any directions – they are DESTINED to failure-ville. With kids going back to school after several weeks off they may be feeling concerned and apprehensive so it’s important to empower them with confidence before they go back.
I want to share, what I have found to be the roadmap and flashlight that lead to CONFIDENCE based on the martial arts and destroy
It is well known that in a good martial arts school children and young people gain confidence. I was speaking to a kids yoga/dance teacher a few weeks ago and she explained that while her students confidence increases as a result of dance she’s noticed that those of her kids who come to my Martial Arts classes in Leicester seem to improve their confidence the most. She asked me what I think the reason for this is, after-all you would expect the performing arts to breed confidence (and it does). The reason is very simple, dance, yoga and other such activities teach you to be confident in situations where you are in control whereas martial arts teach you to be confident in situations where someone is deliberately trying to control you. Therefore you are empowered to have confidence in yourself, not the situations, others or the environment.
- CELEBRATE SUCCESS – Confidence is a feeling of trust in ones own abilities, qualities and judgements so think about it this way, the more your child succeeds the more they trust in their abilities, qualities and judgements = confidence! We must acknowledge and celebrate these success, and here is the secret – they don’t need to be big! for example, at LIONS we set the goal with each of our children to achieve black belt then we break that down into smaller goals and opportunities for success (coloured belts) and we break that down even further into Skill Tags. With each skill completed our children achieve a new coloured tag and their success is celebrated. This empowers our kids with confidence and enthusiasm to continue to work hard to achieve their goal. They also get more and more confident because of all of the skills that they are acquiring. **HINT: Kids are very visual learners so we need to use visual tools to help them to see their success and progression – SEEING is BELIEVING** DO IT AT HOME: Set a goal with your child, for example learning all of their times tables. break that down into smaller milestones and then assign each one a prize such as a coloured wrist band. Then set up a bright coloured star chart, every time your child does an exercise or recites the entire table correctly they achieve a star and 15 stars equal the wrist band. This will not only develop their confidence through achievement but also empower them with the life skill to break big goals down into small achievable steps.
- PLAY – playing games is the BEST way for children and young people to learn. Scholars and psychologist such as Nicholas Humphrey have argued that humans play games to aid development and learning. This is why at LIONS we teach all of our self defence through age appropriate fun high energy drills and games.Games build confidence because of support from fellow team-mates and because of friendly competition from the opposition as well as the learning the importance of losing.
DO IT AT HOME: Play games with encouraging support and friendly competition. Their confidence will improve as a result of winning and realising they can continue to try if they lose.
- ENCOURAGE – words have the power to create concern or confidence so pick them wisely. whats more important is that our words as teachers, parents, elders often become the self talk word choices for the kids we encounter. At LIONS it is a huge part of the culture to use praise. Praise is used by myself for the class and individuals, students are praised in every lesson by their peers during group tasks in the form of cheers and kind words and by the parents in the form of applause and individual praise during water breaks.
DO IT AT HOME: here are some of the words you can use…
“GOOD JOB”, “AWESOME”, “YOU GOT IT”, “YOU DID REALLY WELL”, “IM PROUD OF YOU” etc etc…
- BONUS TIP! – INVITE FRIENDS – All of our awesome LIONS either come to class with school friends all summer long or are making new friends in class. If they come with school friends then they are in the swing of spending time with their friends base before going back which eliminates concern and stress of having friends when they go back. With them making new friends at LIONS they gain the confidence to go back to school and socialise straight away and make new friends there.
DO IT AT HOME: See if you can invite your child’s school friends over to play before school starts so they have a solid friends base before starting back.
Gaining confidence isn’t instant, it takes time – like building a muscle. With enough nurture every child can shine with confidence. When kids come to my class I can sometimes see that they are nervous, shy and some have evidently been crying. I support these kids by giving them words of encouragement and praise and by the end of the lesson they are smiling from ear to ear. It warms my heart when that student who was so terrified and crying on lesson one stands at the front of the class during the cool-down in lesson 12 and counts the class into the exercise in a nice loud clear voice. Thats the development and creation of confidence that makes me tick and the very reason I teach. I truly believe that these 3 tips are the reason for this development.
If this article helped you then please let me know some of the tasks you did and what improvements you noticed and please feel free to pass this article on and share it.
If ever you are in our area and would like to enrol your kids or teens in our LIONS martial arts school in leicester we would love to have you and make you feel at home – www.LIONSSelfDefence.com/join – 07452924496