Low self-esteem has become one of those topics that has been so overworked that it is often dismissed. But if your child struggles and continues to be down on himself, it is important to find a solution. Children who are painfully shy, anxious or struggle with specific disorders can be helped through holistic moves. Words are not enough; this is one area where verbal encouragement rarely is enough to break free.
Take steps to help your child build their confidence. Sports are a common denominator for many struggling kids. Being able to work on skills and be a part of a supportive team can be a natural cure, for some. Thankfully, mainstream sports are not the only answer. Kids without strong motor skills and sharp attention spans can quickly become left behind in high-energy sports. Those with anxiety disorders, attention deficit or a level of autism or Asperger's may have the opposite effect when subjected to typical sports.
Martial arts classes are worth a try. The focused attention and attention to details can be very helpful for those who struggle with motor skills. Concentrating on small tasks until perfected can also be a powerful confidence booster for those with attention deficit disorder. Martial arts instruction varies, so find a center that suits your child. Asking for a trial class, or the opportunity to observe a class in session, can help you decide.
Yoga for kids
Yoga is a holistic exercise that can be introduced to children as a way of building confidence. The mind/body approach of yoga demands attention to what their body is doing throughout the session, allowing them to be free of damaging inner chatter for an extended period of time. Yoga increases motor skills and the deep breathing exercises can calm children with anxiety.
Along the same lines, dance classes offer a holistic approach to building self-esteem. Awareness and control of their body involves strong focus. Whether they try hip hop, ballet, jazz or other forms of dance, the effect is the same.
Dance has transformed my anxious daughter into a powerful little girl. She is still quiet, but displays a whole new attitude around peers. My story may help those of you with children who are simply too shy to start out in a class-like setting. After attending two dance classes, my 8-year-old could not be forced to going back, not without tears. She thought everyone was better than her and she was painfully embarrassed.
Alternative to classes
So, instead of making the drive, I let her practice moves at home to instructional dance DVDs. Although she is anxious around peers, she loves to dance and practiced until she perfected the moves. Her confidence level soared to the point that she practices in the front yard and lets me video tape her routines.
The next step is to put her back in a dance class to help her progress to the next level, but even if all we did was DVD's, it has made a world of difference. If you are starting out where I did, consider renting, purchasing or looking up instructional videos on YouTube to see what interests your child enough to break them out of low self-esteem or anxiety issues, attention deficit disorder challenges, or can help with motor skills issues.
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