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Swim lessons or confidence lessons: How activities influence self-esteem

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Make a splash, reach a goal

From swimming classes to piano lessons, the activities that your child takes part in can help develop their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Swimming class

Oftentimes when parents sign their children up for athletics, performing arts, visual arts and other extracurricular activities, clubs and lessons, it's merely to give the kids something to do — to keep them busy. However, these types of activities offer numerous other benefits to children. One very important benefit is that they can influence a child's self-esteem in a number of ways.

Overcoming fears

Children are often hesitant to try new things because they are fearful. Fearful that they'll get hurt. Fearful that they won't succeed. Fearful that they won't make friends. By providing your child with opportunities to try new activities and explore new things, you'll help them overcome their fears. And as we all know, overcoming fears can be very empowering.

Developing social skills

Extracurricular activities can also help develop your child's social skills. From toddler playgroups to summer swimming lessons, kids can interact with peers, learn to deal with and resolve conflicts on their own and be exposed to people from different cultures and backgrounds. Developing more confidence in their social skills also gives a boost to children's self-esteem.

Setting goals and achieving them

In sports and other activities, children can learn how to set goals, experience failure and learn to succeed. By setting goals and achieving them, children's confidence and self-worth will be raised to new heights.

Receiving praise and accolades

Scholastic, athletic, artistic and other pursuits provide children with opportunities to receive praise and accolades from parents, teachers, coaches and peers. Praise is one of the biggest confidence boosters you can find.

Fostering their creativity

These types of activities can help foster a child's creativity and help her find her passion. Before signing up your child for lessons, teams or other activities, talk to her about the things she likes to do, the things in which she excels and maybe, most importantly, her dreams. By working together, you can present your child with as many opportunities as possible to identify and pursue her passions.

Mastering something

There's nothing quite like the feeling of mastering something — whether it's perfecting a ballet move, throwing the perfect spiral with a football or winning a math competition. By allowing your child to participate in extracurricular activities, you provide him with the chance to find something he loves and then to master it.

Fostering your kids' self-esteem is very important from the time they are young. Children with positive self-esteem are confident they can meet challenges and possess a strong belief in their abilities to achieve goals. These feelings can stay with them and continue to grow as they grow. Confident kids have a strong sense of self-worth, and as they get older, they can become strong contributors to society. They can have the confidence to pursue their dreams, and also to surround themselves with supportive people who will make a positive influence in their lives.

More about children and self-esteem

Top 5 ways to boost your child's self-esteem
Teaching kids how to make friends at school
6 Reasons healthy kids are happy kids

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