5 ways to help children feel confident

Nowadays, there are many activities available for children to help them build their self-confidence. In fact, trust is one of the more common demands we have from parents who bring their children to SKILLZ of Patchogue.

Parents want us to help pull children out of their shells, help them with strangers, help them try new things, and be more confident overall.

The unique thing about SKILLZ is that trust is not just a by-product of the things we do, something that just happens. Trust development designed with our programs in mind.

There are five main ways to influence your child’s sense of self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is a really great phrase for a child’s ability to believe in himself or herself, believing that he or she can accomplish the task or that he or she can obtain the tools necessary to accomplish those tasks.

In all our classes, including Fun Week, we work on five main areas of focus that help children feel that they can overcome challenges, and the great thing is that we, as coaches, teachers and parents, can be very proactive in influencing our children in each of them. . These areas help them to be more confident.

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The first one we are working on is:

Performance experience

That is, we help them think about things they have done before, about activities they did in class or school, such as a similar game, exercise, or activity, such as the task they have in front of them.

When it’s time to go into the game and play a new game or try a new activity and they’ll be a little hesitant, we can remind them when they faced a similar challenge they somehow managed. It has both intellectual and emotional components that both help them use what they have learned and how they felt to boost their self-confidence.

The second factor for building trust is:

Substitute experience

“Representative” is a big word that basically means “through someone else,” such as “live in surplus through our children.” The Vicarious Experience is really powerful, especially for younger children, because they have so many mirror neurons in their brains that react and react to what the child observes from their peers and mentors.

This means that a child can look at a situation where perhaps an instructor is going through something we asked the child to do, and then he or she can say, “Well, if the instructor can face this challenge, then I can face it. a challenge too! “

That’s one of the reasons Fun Week is so strong: because students get a chance to communicate with their instructors, see them fail when they lose games, and then learn how to overcome failure and see it as an opportunity to learn. They learn to model the behavior they observe

The third factor for building trust is:

Social persuasion

Social persuasion includes everything from the comforting embrace of a parent who provides a safe space, through the encouragement of an instructor to an encouraging conversation, to the peers of the child who is forcing them.

We want to provide an environment in which the child knows that not only should he believe in himself, but we believe in them.

Children trust and trust their peers and role models, so if we can gather behind them and give them positive social persuasion, they are more likely to take risks that can result in success.

On the sidelines, this is why when new children, especially younger children, come to our facility, they very often hide behind mom or dad’s leg and sometimes mom or dad pushes them out to encourage them. to the training area and say, “Stop being ashamed. Stop hiding behind me. Go there and be brave! “

Although well-meaning, it is also often counterproductive, because a child is more likely to go out and be brave if we give him time behind us, where he can observe and absorb everything, absorb what is happening, and make that decision. get out.

Premature pressure on them creates a more stressful situation that children sometimes associate with the fear of abandonment, thus reducing their level of self-efficacy.

The fourth factor influencing trust is:

Physical and emotional state

Psychologist Abraham Maslow states that the most basic needs of the child must be met before he can get out and try to learn or do any of the higher processes that are part of healthy risk-taking or success.

The environment we create during Fun Week is fun, full of positive emotions and stimulates a lot of oxytocin and endorphins (positive mood neurotransmitters). These great experiential learning processes are taking place and the child is more likely to be able to receive and absorb all this information.

On the other hand, if a child is tired, he may have just woken up before going to class, if he is hungry and annoyed, or is simply not feeling well that day, he will have less faith in his abilities. .

As adults, we realize that we can wake up on the wrong side of the bed and just have a bad day during which we do not feel like exercising. Children also have such days, and we must allow them to do so; it is part of the human being.

It is important to learn to adapt to and overcome these physical and emotional challenges. So we also recognize that if people can have good and bad days, it means you can have days when you are more confident and days when you are less confident.

We don’t want to define our own effectiveness with just one occurrence of “my child wouldn’t try” or “my child had a problem.” Before we start worrying or labeling, we want to look at the child’s overall development and follow trends in a wide range of activities.

Finally, the fifth way we work to influence the child’s sense of self-efficacy is

Imaginary experience

The word “imaginary” sounds like “imaginary” and that’s a big part of what it means. It’s about taking all these other factors – how they feel what they’ve been told, what they’ve done in the past, what they’ve seen their peers do – and now they’re putting it all together by imagining what happens when they try something. new.

We want children’s imagination to be very positive, because we know from research in psychology and neuroscience that if we firmly believe an idea, it is more likely to come true.

It is the result of a reticular activation system in your brain. Among other features, RAS is looking for ways to make your ideas come true. That’s why things like positive affirmations work so well.

Children’s imaginary experience is very strong for them; in some cases it is so powerful that it seems almost real. When it feels real, it can affect a child’s perception of the real world.

Put it all together

Taking all these factors into account, we can encourage children to be more confident by helping them with the visualizations they have, for example by helping them remember the time they overcame the challenge or by watching their best friend do it, and by reminding them that we are always there for them, and that even if it doesn’t work, we will still be their friends or we will love them altogether.

By helping children use certain emotional clues to memorize moments when they feel empowered, we allow them to translate all of these things into a very realistic mental visualization that includes their desired outcome: success.

When we have all five of these factors in place, grunt and growl, the child will have a very strong feeling that he is effective, that he has his own effectiveness and that he should trust him.

When they believe that, they can be, and that’s really what we want to give them through our courses and through our experience of parenting and coaching.

To learn more about Skillz’s powerful children’s development program, which uses martial arts training as a means of growth, or you want your child to start at our Patchogue, click on the button below:


380 East Main St

Patchogue, NY 11772



Author: Michael A Evans

Michael is a 6th grade black sherpa under the guidance of his teacher Moises Aroch and has been practicing martial arts since 1985. Michael holds a degree in massage therapy from the NY College of Health Professions. He is a co-owner of 4GK Martial Arts in Patchogue, NY, and Skillz of Patchogue, a childhood development facility using martial arts and other movement modalities as a means of children’s growth and success. Michael is also a senior consultant at Skillz Worldwide

David Berry

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