Stepping onto the court after months of preparation, TOT kids feel a rush of excitement, and probably some nerves, as they perform their skills learned over the past few months. No matter the emotion – it’s a great confidence builder for them.
It’s a huge moment for a young child, and that can culminate into a lifetime of confidence and positive effects on these children based on recent research.
In 2016, a study released by the University of Washington found that by age five children have a sense of self-esteem comparable to that of adults.
The study’s results were surprising to many. There has been little research on young children and confidence, but it proved something invaluable – a child’s self-esteem seems to be critically correlated to how they build their social identities.
Dario Cvencek, lead author of the study, said, “Our findings underscore the importance of the first five years as a foundation for life.”
With all of this taking shape before kindergarten, it is a great reminder of the job everyone has to help build confidence in future generations, starting at an early age.
What are ways in which we can help build confidence? There are simple ideas like mirroring back a child’s positive qualities and offering encouragement. But children can also gain confidence out of competence. Young children are building new skills almost daily, whether it’s learning to dribble a basketball or learning to ride a bike, getting praise for an achievement can help catapult a child’s confidence.
For TOT teachers, just by stepping into the gym and helping children master new skills through physical activity is a huge confidence builder.
According to Psychology Today, Margaret Talbot, former president of the International Council for Sport Science and Physical Education, said that “sports, dance and other challenging physical activities are distinctively powerful ways of helping young people learn to ‘be themselves.’”
By building confidence in themselves, whether it be through social interaction, physical capabilities, or simple praise, children are able to learn healthy behaviors and how to deal with challenges that may arise throughout their life by having confidence.