How yoga can boost self-esteem in children
It’s self esteem month this February! Did you know that yoga can support self-esteem in children?
To help support the growth of confident kids, here are 5 tips you can do to affect their developing sense of self-worth, we’ve linked them into how our classes at Children inspired by yoga use these strategies, to support confidence in our children’s yoga classes
1. Be interested—rather than interesting
Don’t try to be your child’s best friend by telling them everything about yourself and what you’ve been doing; children want to know the details of your life simply because they are important to you, not because they think it’ll be fun for them. Instead show children that you value being interested in them by finding out what they are doing, how they are feeling & what is important to them at the moment.
All our teachers at Children inspired by yoga, love working with children. They have a passion for motivating & inspiring them to move and explore their creativity. Its our job to make children feel heard – that’s why we say our classes are ‘child-led’.
2. Let children make mistakes—without rescuing or fixing things for them
Mistakes are opportunities to learn & gain new skills.
Children who are allowed to make their own mistakes gain a sense of competence, power and control over themselves. They are also more likely to develop self-confidence & self-esteem if they are not protected from the natural consequences of their positive actions.
Yoga is the perfect way for children to explore their bodies & improve self-confidence because its non-competitive. If it feels good, it is good.
3. Find the balance between being children’s fan and being children ‘s coach
Children need to know you are on their side. But children also benefit from an adult who respectfully guides them through challenges, rather than just being someone children can run to for help or rescuing whenever they feel anxious or overwhelmed.
Favour an attitude of coaching as opposed to being a fan when following children’s lead in activities, allow children to solve difficulties on their own.
Although our classes are fun, creative & engaging, we use the Tatty Bumpkin doll as context within the stories to allow for problem solving. Again there is no wrong or right, everyones voice can be heard, within a culture of respect & agreed upon boundaries that foster this respect.
4. Listen—really listen–to what children have to say
It’s the golden rule of parenting: children know more than you do about themselves!
Children tend to feel cared for and validated when they are taken seriously & listened to by adults, which is why children scramble for our attention when they are small. Children need to know that their perspective matters, even if adults may see things differently. Even children under age five have amazing insights, abilities & ideas—they just don’t always have the language skills yet to share them.
Children who are listened to are better able to regulate their emotional responses because they feel understood, accepted & supported. children who are listened to through their words and actions are more likely to feel confident about themselves because they know that their perspective has value.
Childrens yoga classes are a safe space to be heard – respect is really important, & Tatty Bumpkin is the best listener. In addition feelings & thoughts can be expressed through the multi-sensory stories. Individual opinions are welcomed alongside problem-solving.
5. Respect children’s ideas & thoughts—even when children make mistakes
Children who are allowed to make mistakes without being chastised or humiliated are children who are naturally more confident in their abilities.
Children need to know that they are respected , even when there is disagreement, & they need to learn how to give respectful feedback & communicate their ideas effectively when they feel safe enough to.
There is no right or wrong in our children’s yoga classes – & definitely no mistakes! At children inspired by yoga we teach respect, & how important it is to listen to everyone’s views.
Yoga is inclusive, available to everyone, non- verbal & supports self-esteem in children. Using a multi-sensory approach & the Tatty Bumpkin doll, our early years classes give even more opportunity for everyone to succeed & grow – this is how yoga can boost self-esteem in children!