Kids improve Self-esteem with Yoga

Self esteem is important for children.  It can affect how they do in school, the types of friendships that they have, even their overall health.  Low self esteem can cause devastating effects on how a child does in school and how well they make friends.  While it is normal for self esteem to fluctuate, parents should be on the look out for low self esteem.

A child with low self esteem may be hesitant to try new things.  He or she may say negative things like “I am stupid”, “I’ll never learn how to do this”, or “Nobody cares about me”.  He or she may give up easily when frustrated, be overly critical of things that they do, or see setbacks as insurmountable problems.

On the other hand, a child with a healthy self esteem enjoys playing with other children and is often comfortable in group settings and doing things on his or her own.  If something becomes challenging, he or she will work to find a way to solve the problem.  Instead of saying things like “I am stupid”, he or she may say “I do not understand”.  The child will also be comfortable with his or her weaknesses and strengths.

There are a variety of different things that may influence a child’s self esteem.  Many children are sensitive to the things that the parents say.  Calling a child stupid or ugly for long enough will cause him or her to believe it.  Older children can pick up pretty easily when you are lying to them or stretching the truth.  Instead of saying “well next time you will try harder and do it”, try saying “I’m proud of you for trying hard this time.”  This includes things you say about yourself.  If you are excessively negative about your own self, your child will mirror that behavior.

Watch out for inaccurate beliefs in your child.  For instance, if your child is having a hard time in school, he or she may say “I am stupid.”  Instead, explain to your child that he or she is just having a hard time understanding the subject, and work together to figure out the problem.

Children need to know how you feel.  Giving praise when praise is due helps a child know when he or she is doing the right thing and identify his or her strengths.  Never be false, and be as specific as possible.  False and indirect comments can confuse your child.

Children that come from unsafe environments often will suffer from low self-esteem.  Keep arguments between parents for times when the child is not around, and make sure that your home is safe from abuse.

Yoga can be a great way to foster self esteem in your child.  With many of the beginning moves being simple, he or she can gain a sense of accomplishment as new poses are learned.  The stress-relieving affects of yoga can help a child deal with difficult situations or problems that can lead to low self esteem.  The different moves and postures leave room for imagination and laughter, which can also bolster self esteem.