Karate Training Can Create Confident Happy Children
The importance of a healthy dose of confidence in a child cannot be overstated; healthy confidence levels are linked to a variety of positive outcomes, whereas a lack of confidence often has many unpleasant results that any parent would hope to avoid. Building up a child’s confidence is part of a parent’s role in helping their child become well-adjusted and prepared for a successful future.
Confidence and self-esteem can be thought of as the way a child feels about themselves and their abilities. Confident children have a strong sense of self-worth and belief in their ability to successfully attempt different efforts. These qualities help children to succeed in numerous ways, most notably in the way it fosters a growth mindset—a frame of mind that views one’s abilities as changeable and dependent upon effort, as contrasted with a fixed mindset that views one’s talents and intelligence as predetermined and unchangeable through effort.
Fostering the development of confidence in your child will give them one of the strongest tools for happiness and success. Confident children are more willing to take on new challenges which only leads to further growth and subsequent confidence. Confident children are also less likely to become the victim of bullying, as bullies more often choose the children they sense will not challenge them. A confident child is more likely to stand up for themselves and seek help from others, making them less vulnerable to exploitation and mistreatment.
Every parent wants to give their child the confidence that will help set them on a path for success, but what is the best way to build your child’s confidence? It’s not as easy as simply telling your child that they are worthy and able; on the contrary, too much praise that isn’t linked to any particular behavior can end up reinforcing a fixed mindset that believes ability and intelligence are preset qualities as opposed to qualities developed through effort. Remember the definition of confidence—the belief in one’s ability. What’s the best way to teach your child to believe in their ability? Put that ability to work and let them experience their competence and ability to develop competence first hand.
Many activities have long been touted for their confidence-building qualities, like sports and learning musical instruments. Yet some activities stand out for their uncanny ability to foster confidence as well as provide other benefits to practitioners.
One such activity is the ancient physical art of karate. The roots of this martial art go back thousands of years and have only grown in popularity as each generation encounters the amazing benefits of karate again and again. Not only does karate provide an excellent workout and all the physical benefits that stem from exercise, but it is also a proven method for building up confidence.
One of the most apparent ways that karate helps create confident children is through its use of a ranking system. While it might seem at first that placing children in a ranking system could hurt their confidence, it actually does the very opposite.
The belt system used in karate gives children goals they can aspire to and obtain. As a child moves forward in their karate training and succeeds at achieving each new belt, they are building their confidence significantly by very literally watching their abilities come to fruition, thereby teaching them to believe in those abilities. Recalling our definition of confidence from earlier, the way karate gives children a means to improve and test their abilities is exactly what building confidence is all about.
Another aspect of kids karate training that benefits children’s confidence is sparring with other children in class. Sparring is not just about practicing one’s techniques in a live setting, but about making accurate choices about when to use those techniques and how to respond to another’s behavior. While it might seem on the surface like sparring is nothing more than play-fighting, sparring is one of the most powerful aspects of karate for building confident children.
In a sparring session, a child has to overcome the initial apprehension and fear that is innate in the challenge of testing one’s abilities against another person. Just like learning a musical instrument can help build confidence when public performances are given, karate helps build confidence by putting learned skills to work against a sparring partner. Whether your child is successful or not in their sparring session, simply overcoming the apprehension of the activity yields wonderful benefits for confidence building.
The confidence-building benefits of sparring are two-fold. Sparring also helps children develop an integral belief in their ability to succeed by allowing them to make choices and see out their results. In sparring, the student is no longer practicing techniques and doing repetitions, instead, they are actively making decisions about which techniques to use against their sparring partner. The way a child must make decisions about how to act in a sparring match allows them to practice and develop trust in their ability to successfully make such decisions about how to act in the future as well. As such, karate is the perfect recipe for building confident children.
An often overlooked but important aspect of how karate offers confidence building for children is the level of socializing it offers them. Kids get a chance to interact with many other children in a safe and fun but structured environment. Part of building confidence is building a child’s social confidence, which means their belief in how successfully they can interact with others. Karate provides the perfect situation for children who may be shy or socially uncomfortable to practice socializing while still being able to lean on the structure of a karate class.
The value of confidence for children has been well documented by many studies. A healthy sense of self-confidence can predict a child’s academic success even better than factors like age and cognitive ability. As many parents are, if you’re seeking ways to ensure your child has the best chance at a great outcome in life, karate provides both the benefits of physical exercise and the crucial confidence-building aspects necessary to create confident children.
Premier Martial Arts studios across the world are experts at developing confidence in children through the teaching of quality karate and other martial arts. If you are interested in finding a great studio for your child, check out our many convenient locations here.