Saturday, 22 October 2011

Kicking butt and its benefits for a healthy self-esteem

Sadly, it seems as if my three older kids have inherited my worst quality- i.e. low self esteem. Okay, I suppose its not so much inherited as it is learned. Although I try to hide it from them and to project an image of confidence,  it's really not that easy to hide your true self from those closest to you.

So in our attempt to address this, we enrolled them in karate classes. They've been doing it for about three months now and although each lesson is preceded by one of them experiencing an attack of nerves, they seem to enjoy it once they get there. This morning Nuhaa (6) was particularly nervous, which is really strange since she ended her last lesson bubbling over with excitement. Argh, once again it's a case of like mother, like daughter. Which is why I am not giving them the option of quitting this (the way I was allowed to do as a child). Or at least, we'll give it a bit more time, since the benefits of martial arts are said to address precisely this problem of self-doubt and lack of confidence.

To make me feel like less of an ogre, I googled the benefits of karate to give me some assurance that I was doing the right thing by exercising my parental right of veto over their freedom of choice. I was sufficiently comforted.

I learned that martial arts can help one to overcome mental obstacles  (like self-doubt and lack of confidence). This is done by building a mental awareness of your mind/body connection, i.o.w, how to use one's mental ability to achieve physical goals.

Martial arts also builds self-esteem, as one's physical abilities and strength are enhanced. It provides a sense of accomplishment. One develops the confidence that one would be able to defend oneself if necessary. General physical coordination is also enhanced, which carries over into other sporting activities as well.

Children with good self esteem are said to do well in school and to be less likely to get involved in self-destructive behaviour, like taking drugs.

It makes sense that the physical benefits would affect self-esteem, as one's body image very often affects one's self-image. (Yes, I confess-  I watch Dr Phil... religiously).
Thus, it has been decided- I shall henceforth ignore the tears, the begging and the promises of "just this one time, Mommy- I'll go next week"- in order to save them from becoming me.

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