Tag Archives: self-esteem

September, 2014 Powerful Word… CONFIDENCE

9-3-2014 10-11-47 AM

This month we will focus on the character concept, “confidence.”

Confidence is a combination of trust, conviction and assuredness. Confident people embody a feeling of inner certainty that problems and challenges will work out as envisioned. They believe in themselves, their abilities, and in those they trust.

When speaking to children, t’s important to delineate the difference between confidence and cockiness or conceit. Confident people are aware of their strengths but don’t feel they need to brag about them for validation. They already have that certainty inside. They can admit their weaknesses–but not in a way that heaps on shame. Rather, they talk about weakness in a productive way that helps them to reach out for help, strengthen their skills and connect with others.

When it comes to goals and goal-setting, confident people follow their passion and try new activities. They are open to meeting new people and are comfortable embracing their own identity even if they’re different from others. They have faith in themselves and their ability to succeed.

A recent study published in the journal of Child Development shows the importance of giving children praise for their efforts (such as “you worked hard on that”) rather than for their personal qualities (such as “you are such a big girl/boy”). The longitudinal research design demonstrated that those children who receive praise for their efforts are more likely to be confident in their ability to improve their intelligence and personality through hard work on challenging tasks. These children also used  strategies for overcoming failure.

Society can, at times, provide messages that tell children they are not valuable as they are, which can become barriers to confidence. It’s important for our children to be around others who help to build them up rather than tear them down. We are happy to be part of their support system!

We thank you for your support. You are  pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

Best Regards,
—Your Motivated and
Dedicated Instructors

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Filed under Child Class Issues, What's Happening at N.S.M.A.C.

The Effects of Bullying

With bullying being such a hot topic these days, I think it is important for people to examine the effects that it has on its victims.  Most people are aware of the immediate effects; anger, anxiety, low self-esteem, isolation, depression…  However, I think it is important to examine the long-term effects that victims must deal with.

In a July 24, 2007 article written by Mark Dombeck, PH.D., Dr. Dombeck discusses the short term and long term effects of bullying.  He basically states that bullying results in “two ugly outcomes”.  The first is that you are more likely to become depressed and/or angry and/or bitter.  The increased repetition of being bullied continually shows victims that they are undesirable and unsafe in the world and are powerless to defend themselves.  The victims are being set up for Learned Helplessness, which in turn sets them up for hopelessness and depression.

The second ugly outcome is more of a long term effect.  With a damaged self-concept, victims have a hard time believing in themselves, which makes it more difficult for them to persevere through difficult and challenging situations.  As a result, these victims can lose out on opportunities for advancement and ultimately employment as adults.  Also, while it is usually the sensitive kids that get teased a lot, these kids learn to think of their sensitivity as a bad thing and to avoid it or channel it into revenge fantasy and anger.  Later in life, these children turn into angry or cynical adults and find it difficult to enter into or maintain loving and warm intimate relationships.

Dr. Dombeck lists some short term effects below:

In the short term:

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxious avoidance of settings in which bullying may occur
  • Greater incidence of illness
  • Lower grades than non-bullied peers
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings

In the long term:

  • Reduced occupational opportunities
  • Lingering feelings of anger and bitterness, desire for revenge
  • Difficulty trusting people
  • Interpersonal difficulties, including fear and avoidance of new social situations
  • Increased tendency to be a loner
  • Perception of self as easy to victimize, overly sensitive and thin-skinned
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Increased incidence of continued bullying and victimization

Click here to read Dr. Dombeck’s entire article.

Keep up the good fight!


Filed under Child Class Issues

When Bullying Leads to Suicide

Those of you who know me probably know that I take the issue of bullying very seriously.  Repeated bullying whether verbal or physical can just erode a child’s fragile self-esteem.  Bullying has been linked to isolation, drug use, violence, and suicide!  I have posted about it in the past and I recently offered a “Bully-Proof Your Child” course at North Shore Martial Arts Center at no charge to participants.  My good friend Tom Curcio assisted me in running the seminar, which I’m sure is what prompted him to bring a recent article on bullying to my attention – Thanks Tom.  This article, as sad as it is,  really illustrates the very serious and powerful effects that bullying can have on a person. 

You can click here to read the article.

If someone you care about is a victim of bullying, please feel free to email me at bill@northshoremartialarts.com  and I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Until next time, keep up the good fight!


Filed under General Martial Arts Topics

What Do You Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied?

bullying82It happens every so often… I am approached by one or both parents of a young student, usually with the student, requesting that they speak with me in private.  We enter my office and close the door, and the parents proceed to inform me that their child is having a problem with another child at school.  In most cases, there have been several incidents in which their child has been bullied by the other child and they are calling me aside to  request my advice.  The parents usually do not need my advice regarding what their child should do.  They have already given their child the advice that any normal parent would give his or her child.  They just need me to reinforce it to their child.  They know what I am going to say, because it is based on common sense, which is what they used to reach the same conclusion.

Prior to their having to deal with this situation, many parents would have advised that their child ignore or just walk a way from the bully.  Others may have advised their child to tell his or her teacher of the problem and it would be taken care of.  They may even give this advice to their child at the outset and will quickly learn that the bully will not allow their child to just ignore or walk away from him.  Even if the child can avoid the bully, there is no way that he or she can live without fear of confronting the bully, which will completely dismantle his or her self-esteem.  Parents will also learn that if their child “tells the teacher”, the child pays for this with even more bullying.  Many of the parents have already gotten involved in the situation by speaking with the child’s teacher and school administrators, but this has the same effect as the prior scenario.  You see, there is only one sensible answer to a bullying situation and all parents, no matter what they had always professed before they ever had to face this issue, come to this common sense conclusion.

You really can not blame the parents for giving their children this initial bogus advice or getting themselves involved when you consider the culture of political correctness that has evolved in society.  According to this culture, any form of physical confrontation is considered violence, and violence must be avoided at all costs.  However, when everything else has failed, parents always seem to finally reach the realization that this is the child’s problem and the child must stand up to the bully and deal with any physical altercation that may arise.  If the child does not stand up to bully32the bully, he or she is doomed to live each day in fear of the bully and the child’s self-esteem will be greatly affected in a negative way.  Of course the bullying will not last forever, but if the child does not face the bully, the psychological damage that is caused will.  A good friend of mine stated it best: an injury to your body will heal and go away, but an injury to your pride will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Having said that, is it really worth conforming to political correctness and advise your child to avoid “violence” at all costs?  Are you really doing right by your child?  In my opinion, you will be doing your child a disservice if you take this position.  Don’t get me wrong… I agree that violence is not good for anybody.  However, sometimes it is necessary to make things right.  In mostly all situations when a victim stands up to a bully, one of two things happen; 1) the bully backs down and no physical confrontation results, or 2) a confrontation ensues and the vicitim walks away with some bruises, but gains the bully’s respect.  In either situation, the result is that the bullying stops and the child walks away with his pride and a positive self-esteem.  In addition to this, the bully just may receive a lesson in humility.

It is my belief that all parents know this from the beginning, because as I said above, it is all based on common sense.  It is a shame that society has made it so difficult to do the right thing by polluting our minds with all this politically correct BS.  When I was a child, standing up to a bully was the only solution to the problem and parents, including my own, never had any hesitation to say, “if he hits you, you hit him right back!”  Life was so much simpler back then and people were so much more normal and well adjusted.  Again, this is because they handled these types of problems with common sense.  As I stated above, I believe that all parents today eventually come to the sensible conclusion.  It is just too bad that they have to spend so much time and effort to come to it, and need so much reinforcement once they reach it.

I welcome your comments.

As always, keep up the good fight!


Filed under Child Class Issues