Helping build your child’s confidence

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A little forethought goes a long way

Article Provided by Premier Martial Arts


Building our children’s sense of self-confidence is one of the most important duties we have as parents. It is with us as we whisk them to ballet practice, make their lunch or rush them off to school. Parents are ideally positioned to positively build or raise their child’s level of self-confidence and self worth. The great part that it doesn’t take any extra time, just a bit of forethought and follow through. Here are the three rock solid suggestions to boosting your child’s confidence:

1. Retain

The first rule of building a child’s self esteem is doesn’t lose it in the first place! Trying to rebuild a child’s self esteem is much more difficult than to increase an already healthy one. Be conscious of what you say and the way you say it to your children. Children instinctively look to their parents for approval and love. All it can take is one frown or off hand remark to level a child’s self esteem. So next time junior brings you his art project from school- the one that looks like it was created by a wild rabid animal with paint, don’t say anything negative. Just smile and follow the next suggestion.

2. Reinforce

Reinforce with your child constantly what they are doing right. When talking with your children focus on their strengths and successes. Dwelling on past failures and weaknesses does nothing to motivate a child or sustain her esteem. Sure, Billy didn’t score the winning goal at soccer, but his passing and ball handling improved tremendously. Compliment them with phrases like “I am so proud of you because…” then give the reasons and supporting details.

3. Rein in

Rein in the need to be a permanent ‘fixer’ for your child. Being a permanent ‘fixer’ means stepping in, regardless of age or capability and fixing your child’s problems for them. This can send subconscious signals to your child that they are unable to deal with their problems productively on their own. It can sometimes lead to resentment and rebellion or indifference. Children are meant to make mistakes and learn from them. No one is suggesting not guiding and protecting them from harm- but if they know how to tie their shoes let them. Let them feel the triumph of having done it themselves- no matter how small the task. Point out to them often how everyday in every way they are getting better and better.

Standing up to peer pressure and saying no to drugs just doesn’t happen on its own. It is crucial that you take charge in protecting your child’s self confidence and esteem. Build up your child’s confidence to the point that just like basketball superstar Michael Jordan, who after being cut from the high school basketball team didn’t give up, but chose and was encouraged to stick with basketball and improve in the areas he needed to succeed. This same sense of self-confidence, no matter how small it starts out can be built up and stoked into a raging fire of indomitable spirit in your child. Once you get it started through consistent encouragement, thoughtfulness and patience it will never burn out!


Barry Van Over is the owner and president of Premier Martial Arts International, of which there are currently over 80 location nationwide. Mr. Van Over has two locations in the West Knoxville area and been empowering families lives through the martial arts in the Knoxville community for over 20 years. Mr. Van Over and his local studios can be reached at

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