Building Self-Esteem in Kids

A child’s self-esteem can be very fragile

Depending on the age, a child’s self-esteem can be very fragile. We all go through life stages. Kids tend to be feel invincible in the beginning. Although we may not see it, self-esteem issues start early. Bullying starts in the toddler stage. Many kids bully each other at this age. Some school age children start to separate from this behavior, but some increase bullying behavior.

In order to correct bullying behavior, we must first understand it.

Bullies are looking for significance. They want to control others. They use the power of fear to victimize. They feel significant when they are bullying someone. The bullies’ friends may even be cheering the bully on. This only increases the feeling of significance.

The Victim feels fear and worthlessness. If they do not fight back, it increases the feeling of helplessness. As the bullying continues other long-term periods of time, the victim becomes desperate and depressed. The child might have a stomach ache and not “feel” well enough to go to school.

The child might have a stomach ache and not “feel” well enough to go to school.

I am the owner of Victory Martial Arts, and I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of kids over the last 15 years. One thing always stays the same, kids will bully other kids.

I remember one child. He was in six grade; this was middle school, which can be a difficult transition for many kids. His mom was looking for martial arts classes in Moore, OK. She brought him to Victory Martial Arts. She wanted him to learn how to fight. While I understand her thought process, it was not the right approach. It is not learning how to fight that stops the bullying; it building CONFIDENCE in your ability to defend yourself that stops the bullying. Victory Martial Arts has a unique curriculum that trains the both mental and physical skills, making Victory one of the best activities for children. 

You see, if you are confident, bullies won’t pick you. We build Self-Esteem by making the child feel important. This works with the bully and victim alike.

This child started in my classes and was making progress. Building confidence does not happen overnight. It takes time.


Two weeks after starting, his mom called angry. She said, “HE TOOK A KNIFE TO SCHOOL”!!! She was not mad at me. She was mad at her son. She said, she could no longer reward her son with martial arts classes and would not be bringing him back. “HE IS GROUNDED FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE”.

I was able to visit with her for a few minutes. During our discussion, I learned the child took the knife to school and told several students. He did NOT threaten to use it.

I explained to the mom that her son took the knife to school so he would get suspended. It was a desperate move to get away from the bullying. I do NOT condone this behavior, but that is why he did it.

I explained to her, “Marital Arts, although loads of fun, is not a reward for your son, it is a solution to a problem”.

She stopped bringing him to class. We must understand why kids get bullied in order to help them. Taking a knife to school was his solution to the problem. If he gets suspended, he won’t get bullied.

You see, if you are confident, bullies won’t pick you.

I remember another student that was being bullied daily. The child was on the autism spectrum and had some sensory challenges.Mom enrolled him my kids martial art classes. I watched this child’s confidence and self-esteem grow quickly. I was at the school one day, when his mom came running in excited.  Daniel (not his real name) GOT INTO A FIGHT!!! I asked her what happened. She said it was all on video at school.

“The bully approached Danny and pushed him.  You can see Danny put his hands ups and he yelled ‘BACK OFF’ (one of the methods we teach)!!! The bully pushed Danny again”. Mom said, “Danny hit the bully with several well-placed punches knocking the bully down. Danny stood over the bully and said ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN’”.

This happened several years ago, and I am happy to tell you that Danny has never been bullied again.


Don’t miss understand, I don’t want any of my students to get into a fight, but sometimes it is the difference between a life of depression and being happy and confident.

Ask someone who was bullied as a child and they will tell you they wished they would have fought back.


What are your thoughts? Please comment below.


I hope this article helped you in some way. If you think it would help someone else, please share with friends.


Grandmaster Steven Swinford is a certified life coach and sports psychology coach at Success Crusader


By |2018-05-09T12:35:24+00:00April 28th, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments


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