Manitoba

Confidence workbook gives parents starting point for teaching self-esteem

Workbook aims to start conversations early 'so we don't have to wait until our 20s to love ourselves'

Andrea Katz

Andrea Katz runs Girls Empowerment events in Winnipeg, a type of confidence seminar where girls five to 17 can try new sports and discuss how to build long-term self-esteem. (Kelly Malone/CBC)

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Two Winnipeg women are hoping their passion project will boost self-esteem across Canada.

"This is something that could be a starting point for parents to start those conversations about why kids should love themselves," Katz said, "and maybe if they do have doubts about themselves, talk about how we can start to fix them."

The Confidence Workbook for Kids came out Katz's and Allison Gervais'  Girls Empowerment events in Winnipeg. The confidence seminars give girls five to 17 a chance to try new sports and discuss how to build long-term self-esteem.

Parents at these events wanted tangible tools to help their daughters — and sons — build confidence as they grow up, Katz said. After researching online for material, Katz said she and Gervais were inspired to create their own, based on their work.

Congratulations letter, positivity challenge

Confidence Workbook for Kids

The Confidence Workbook for Kids includes 10 exercises for kids from kindergarten to high school. (Kelly Malone/CBC)

The online workbook includes 10 exercises for kids from kindergarten to high school. Readers can test their positivity for 30 days or write themselves a "Congratulations Letter."

The letter exercise asks readers to write down accomplishments they're proud of and why. It shows kids they can build self-esteem based on their own thoughts and not external validation, Katz said.

When talking to younger kids about confidence, Katz suggested adjusting your language and building on concepts they understand.

"They understand the idea of love, so we talk about why do you love yourself, what are you really good at? What do you always hear from your mom that she loves the most about you?" Katz said.

"Those kinds of questions get their ideas about confidence moving forward."

Katz said she's hoping to catch the eye of teachers and like-minded community groups after releasing the online book on Monday.

"[Low confidence] is a big thing that we, as adults, see happening amongst other adults. You have to wonder where this is starting," she said.

"Let's start these conversations at a younger age, so we don't have to wait until our 20s to start learning that we should love ourselves."

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