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Self-Confidence for Kids By Dave Hanson Sensei

It has been said that a child will hear, "No you can't" 150,000 times and, "Yes you can" only 5,000 times by the time they reach the age of 18.  Just imagine if we flipped that statistic around.  What if we taught kids to believe that dreams are possible to achieve and help them begin to believe in themselves.  The martial arts is one of the tools that we can use to achieve this goal.  When a child learns a new technique, or masters their next belt requirements for testing, their self-esteem rises.  We must believe in them, before they will begin to believe themselves.  Tony Robbins says, "Success leaves tracks." That is referring to the person who follows the tracks of success left by another more successful person.  But this could also be applied to the ability to look behind us and see the tracks of success as we remind ourselves how far we have come.  When a child looks back over their past victories, which they must be taught to do, they can see the tracks of success and remember how hard they worked to develop their skills, in the martial arts or other areas of life, and how it has led them to their past promotions.  

   Leadership expert John Maxwell says, that we all need to get a few wins under our belt.  This is another way to build the self-confidence of a child.  This can be accomplished in many ways.  I think won of the best ways is to set up small goals that can be easily achieved.  In the dojo we achieve this not by telling the child they must make a plan to earn their black belt in four years, but they must work the next four weeks to earn their next stripe on their white belt and this will lead them to achieving their bigger goal of black belt.  Little successes add up and they also promote and encourage the self-discipline of the child to grow as well.  Psychologist say that there is a direct correlation between a child's self-discipline improving and raising their self-esteem.  When a child works hard to achieve a particular goal and then they see that goal come to fruition it naturally builds their self-confidence.  When their self-confidence goes up they are naturally more inclined to use more self-discipline to achieve the next goal and then even bigger goals and the reward is in the good feeling that the child, or the adult, has by achieving their goal.  They feel they are making progress.  And progress always helps improve self-confidence.  I've heard it said, stuck stinks.  Nobody likes to to be stuck and when you are stuck, your self-esteem and confidence can take a nose dive.    

    So whats the solution to help your child improve their self-confidence.  Start believing in them before they may even believe in themselves.  Tell them, "Yes you can" to goals that are realistic for them to achieve and avoid saying, "No you can't" as much as possible.  Help them to see the big goal and find the motivation in accomplishing the short term goal on the path to achieving the bigger goal.  Don't forget to help them look back and see their tracks of success and remind them that they are making progress.  See your child for who they could become and not for their faults.  They will tend to want to live up to your expectations and if your expectations are high for them they will begin to grow and blossom with self-confidence believing that they can become the person who God designed them to be and fully use their gifts that they have been given to bless our world with.  Self-confidence is empowering others to believe, "Yes I can".  Give the gift of self-confidence to your child today.  



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