Growing up a shy girl brought on a lot of self-esteem issues because I was never really sure how to act or what to say.
Now that I am a mom to Kayla and Cabrini it has become one of my top goals to do everything I can to raise confident daughters.
Me and my confident little Queens
Something we have all heard is how extracurricular activities really boost self-esteem.
The researchers at Harvard tell us "the benefits of high quality, structured extracurricular activities go far beyond the rewards of the activities themselves."
So you can bet Kayla and little Cabrini have already been to a few Mommy and Me classes to get that confident ball rolling.
A few weeks ago I saw a couple kids aged 6+ start their first Capoeira class. They were so curious and nervous. I saw them trying to follow along with the ginga (basic movement) and they were getting it all wrong at first (as all kids do). But they weren't focused on that. They were focused on how much fun they were having. On the encouragement. On the music. On the other students.
I have seen students get frustrated or are have a bad day. And I have seen them take control of their emotions and bring their focus back to class.
Of course all these things don't happen perfectly each time, but I see the growth. And it makes me proud. And it makes me excited for when my girls will get to take class with Daddy and learn those important life lessons. Being a wife to a Capoeira Professor is really compelling and I love it!
I've read a lot of books and posts about self-confidence. A great resource for me has been kidshealth.org. This is some of what they say helps contribute to self-esteem:
"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.
Children feel effective when they see that good things come from efforts like trying hard, getting close to a goal, or making progress. For example, kids who take part in a service project feel good about themselves when they see how their actions matter.
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 parents praise good behaviors, help when needed, and give encouragement and support. "
I want to share with you some comments our parents have said about Mico's classes. This makes me so proud and again just so excited for these kids:
If one of your goals is to have a confident child but you aren't sure where to start here's a great tip:
Get your kid to say hello to strangers, friends, and family when first arriving somewhere. This is huge. You are giving them the autonomy to introduce themselves and create a presence for themselves.
This is one of my personal favorites. I learned this from Mico. He asks all the kids to greet other students in class with a handshake he made up. Growing up socially awkward ("Do I say Hi? Do I shake their hand? Give them a side hug? What?!") has made this resonate with me because I STILL struggle with this.
Teaching students to greet their peers as soon as they walk in is a great life lesson for manners and self-confidence (no more wondering what they should do!).
Before we end, one last quote:
"Since joining Allied Capoeira League, my self-esteem has skyrocketed and I have never felt so encouraged and appreciated by people who are all over the country."
Those are words from our amazing kids teacher, Brittney. Capoeira impacted her life and now she is sharing that with other kids and her fellow adult peers.
It's really inspiring to see our students make Capoeira part of themselves.
Until next time,
P.S. I would love to hear ways you are keeping your child confident. Is it through positive reinforcement? Activities where they can develop skills they love? What challenges have you faced with your child's self-esteem? Comment below!