Girl Power and Confidence for Girls
“While large pockets of the world hold onto misogyny and glass ceilings, this is my view tonight.
My daughter is testing for her senior red belt. Her mom, a black belt, is sparring some of the adults who are testing. And pictured in this post is their all female panel of judges.
Strong women and inspiring role models for the girls and boys testing tonight.
Girls kick butt!” – a parent’s view from testing
Something we all want for our girls (and boys for that matter) is to have the confidence to go out in the world and do what they want. Have the confidence to stand up to that bully at school, at work, on the street. Have the confidence to say no, the confidence to say yes, the confidence to ask the question!
This is a picture of our judging panel from our testing about a year ago. (Thank you Facebook for the reminder!) It just hit me how much these girls mean to me. As a parent myself, I want my children to grow up like these girls. They are strong role models that a lot of people could learn from. They all started as a nervous white belt stepping on the floor the first time. They are no where near the end of their journey. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the world.
To have the courage and confidence to put themselves out there over and over again. Let’s start at the beginning. I don’t remember how they felt at their first class. I do know how a lot of students feel: nervous and excited all in one. They came through the door, took off their shoes and socks, and stepped on to the mat.
Accomplishing that built their confidence just a little bit. They lined up with the other students. They learned how to form their hand into a fist. They learned to twist that fist at the very end of a punch to get just a little bit more power. They learned how to bend their front knee so they can’t see their big toe in a front stance. They learned how strong they were when asked to do sit ups and push ups. They learned how fast they are when doing races against their peers.
What they didn’t know is how much more they were learning. The behind the scenes of what was going on. Eventually, they got to their first testing where they tested for their yellow (next) belt. They worked through that and eventually earned their black belt, and on to their instructor testing. They were teaching THEMSELVES what they can accomplish. It’s very cool to watch.
In the beginning, they need some nudges from their parents. As they go along, they love to know you’re still there, but it’s very empowering for them to learn how capable they are on their own as well. It turns out, it’s pretty hard for us parents to let this process happen naturally. Here are some ways to facilitate it without getting too much in the way:
- Come to watch class every now and then! It shows them you love them. (I’m not saying the opposite, so please don’t read into that)
- Give them praise and positive feedback, don’t worry about pointing out what they can be better at – we will handle that when it’s appropriate.
- If they don’t get a skill or a stripe that they’re going for, tell them you’re proud of them for getting out there and keep working, they’ll get it eventually. Keep in mind what helps when you’re disappointed. (HINT: It’s not, “Cheer up!” or, “You shouldn’t feel bad.”
- Help them learn discipline by setting a schedule to get to class regularly and showing up on time with the appropriate uniform. “80% of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen
If you’d like more information, please refer to this article: https://www.workingmother.com/content/10-tips-helping-your-child-build-self-confidence