Building Self-Esteem

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Courtesy of Just For Kix “Coaches CD” ©2000
Compiled by Cindy Clough

When children dance, they have a “golden opportunity” to develop a positive self-image. But, this won’t happen if parents don’t do their part. Here are some ideas to help build your child’s self-esteem on and off the dance floor:

  • Keep it positive. When you find something to criticize, find four other things to praise.
  • Instill humor. Help kids laugh at their mistakes.
  • Develop team spirit. Help your child think “we” not “me.”
  • Step into your child’s shoes. See the sport through her eyes. Listen and understand her feelings and wants.
  • Involve yourself. Volunteer. Ask your child questions. Help her practice at home.
  • Notice any and all progress, in both skill and effort.
  • Praise specifics. Don’t say: “Mary you are a good sport.” Say “I liked the way you greeted the other team after the competition.”
  • Offer a good example. Be a good sport yourself.
  • Remember to have fun. Fun, not winning, is what’s most important to children.
  • Set reasonable expectations. Don’t under estimate what your child can do, or pressure her to do what she can’t.
  • Adapted and reprinted from Parents Make The Difference.

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