Confidence: Speaking Up
One thing we all want for our children is the ability for them to speak up for themselves. Whether it’s standing up to a bully, telling adults when something is wrong, or asking the teacher when they need help, speaking up is an important, yet often an overlooked task. Underdeveloped confidence skills in children can lead to being apprehensive about speaking up
At MPAMA, we want to make sure that we give our students the ability to speak up for themselves. We do this by practicing the Three Rules, with an emphasis on Voice Projection, in our classes. Confidence training is a huge part of our curriculum, and even more so right now with it being our class focus for the week.
With the start of the new school year, it is especially important to help our children learn how to speak up for themselves. The material in classes gets more difficult as the year goes on, so it’s essential for kids to be able to ask the teacher for the help they need. If you notice your child is struggling with schoolwork, talk to them to find out what’s wrong. There could be many different reasons, but one of the biggest ones is that they are not comfortable with the new material yet. If that is the case, be sure to encourage them to ask their teacher about extra help. As parents, we may be inclined to reach out to the teachers ourselves, but to encourage our children to Speak Up, it’s imperative that we allow them the opportunity to ask the teacher themselves!
Another situation that requires the ability to speak up is bullying. Our instructors’ goal is to provide students with the framework for dealing with bullies. We teach our students to first try to vocalize their feelings, using their words to tell the bully that they are doing something that bothers. However, bullies usually have a hard time listening, so the next step we teach our students is to involve the teacher. Whether the bullying is happening in or out of school, teachers are a valuable asset when it comes to stopping bullies. If a bully ever tries to get physical and start our fight, we tell our students not to fight back right away. Instead, our students learn how to block incoming attacks, and shout “STOP!,” in order to intimidate the bully. If the bully still attempts to fight, that’s when we tell our students to defend themselves using martial arts. Only when all other options have been exhausted but the bully still persists physically, is when we tell our students that it is ok to defend themselves.
Another setting where it is important for children to learn how to speak up is right in their own homes. If you notice your child is acting out, or behaving in a way that is uncharacteristic of their usual self, make sure to sort out some time to have a genuine, open conversation with them to find out the root of the problem. Kids may not know how to express what’s bothering them, but that’s why it is important to keep track of the things going on in their lives. It’s also important to practice these open conversations with our children, that way they can learn how to vocalize their thoughts. Having discussions like these can also help you, the parents, learn how to express yourself better as well. It’s not always going to be easy or fun, but this practice will benefit both you and your children in the long run.
Confidence is important when speaking up, because without it, kids would not feel comfortable asking for help in the first place. In fact, low self-esteem is a big reason why kids may choose to keep quiet. Furthermore, speaking loud and clear is important to make sure the person being asked for help understands exactly what they need to do.