As adults, having self- esteem in our everyday lives helps us in the workplace, our social lives, and with raising our families, so what can we do to make sure our children grow up with a healthy dose of self-confidence?

We all aim to be positive role-models by supporting our children’s dreams and aspirations. Enrolling children in extracurricular activities that they will really enjoy can significantly increase their confidence. The benefits to having our children enrolled in extracurricular activities are endless.  Depending on where our child’s interests lie, we may engage their interests in physical activities, creative abilities, or both – or we might encourage team work or setting personal goals to help them build a higher level of confidence.

Learning is tough for some kids, but so is “fitting” in

While learning is different for every child, gaining essential skills while trying to fit in, and participate in something they don’t find fun or comfortable is even more difficult. Extracurricular activities can give our children an opportunity to express themselves in an environment where they feel comfortable and in a way that comes naturally. According to KidsHealth, “Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.”

These points alone are enough to make any parent want to enroll their children in a sport or activity but thanks to Understood here are other ways that after school activities build confidence. Visit Understood for the complete list and description.

 

1.      They meet kids with the same interests

Extracurricular activities can be a great way to make new friends and interact with other kids outside of their classroom, which could also lead them to discovering other fun, social activities. For example, if your child enjoys guitar class, there have been known to be a few famous bands who started out just like that. Ever heard of the Beatles?

 

2.      They feel just like the other kids
Kids who sometimes feel frustrated in school, often try to play catch up with some of the smarter kids, but in an extracurricular activity they enjoy they feel more like the other kids. It’s a “safe” place to be themselves, and yes “mess up” without being judged.  For example, a cooking class could show your child that even the book-smart kid in his or her class can make a mess of a casserole. Famous chef Julia Child had her moments.

 

3.      They learn new skills  
Extracurricular activities are generally fun. Kids may not even realize they’re learning valuable skills while participating in them. And because they don’t realize they’re learning, they may not feel the kind of pressure they experience in school. That can clear the path for learning skills in a low-stress way achat viagra ligne. Activities like yoga and dance can help develop coordination and motor control. Drama classes can help kids with reading comprehension. Chess or robotics club can build problem-solving skills.

Other ways extracurricular activities build confidence are children develop a sense of belonging and they realize that there’s more to life than school. Read more on Understood’s website.

As our children learn and grow while engaging in their favorite after-school activity, it is important as parents or as guardians to continue to be positive role models for them once they get home. Our child will likely be excited to share with us what they experienced. We need to engage in active listening and discussions as to not discourage their hard work or positive outlook. For example, if our child participates in sports, ask how the game went, as opposed to saying “Did you win?” If children participate in music or arts, ask them to show you what they’ve learnt this week or what they think they would like to improve on next time. This encourages our children to impress us with their new skill, and gives us the chance as a parent/guardian to encourage them to be confident about it. For other tips on setting children up for success when participating in extracurricular activities, check out The Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s article on the Dos and Don’ts for Parents of Young Athletes.

 

Deciding on an activity

What if our children don’t know what they like? The fun part about exploring their interests is testing different activities. Enrolling them in multiple activities can be expensive not to mention overwhelming for their after-school schedule. To save time and money, don’t be afraid to test activities out at home. Try building a bird house together, or baking cookies. Who knows, you may uncover a hidden talent and discover that your child is actually awesome at art, when all they’ve been playing is baseball during the spring. Not only would this be a great bonding experience, but it could also show them that even adults aren’t good at everything.

Need more inspiration? Check out BuzzFeed’s  20 After-School Activities That Are Actually Fun.  March was Confidence month at I Can! Kids. Click the link for other useful information to help build your child’s confidence.

Much like a smile, kids with a healthy amount of self-esteem have the ability to light up a room and inspire others. At I Can! Kids, we envision a world where all children have the confidence and strength to dream big. Our book, “I Can! Do Anything!” is an excellent personalized tool that encourages children to find the confidence to achieve anything that they set their mind to. Kids with confidence grow up and continue to achieve remarkable things in society. They can, in fact, change the world – especially if it starts with a smile.

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