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Going to school – be it for the first time, or returning after the holidays – can be tough for kids, especially if they suffer from low self-esteem. Luckily Matt Purcell, founder of Mentored Media and confidence training program Social Kung Fu, has five tips to help.

“When going back to school, it can be hard for kids to return feeling confident in themselves as a person,” says Matt. “But here are my top five ways to help kids get a confidence boost.”

Surround themselves with good friends

The people your kids choose to hang out with can have a big impact on how they feel about themselves. They need to choose friends who want the best for them and have positive values. A mentor of mine once said to me “If you hang around fish, you’ll smell like fish.”

Right now, after reading that statement, you might be asking, what does that even mean?

I once mentored a student whose friend group was involved in some negative actions, the principal at their school brought them all in for questioning. My mentee was brought in not because he had done it, but because he was associated with that group. Kids need to be wise with who they hang around. 

In a nutshell it means, if you hang around with the wrong crowd, you’ll end up a part of that crowd, but if you hang around with people who want the best for you, who encourage you and care for you, you’ll be in a much better position.

Remind them not to believe everything they hear!

Gossip and rumours are common at school, but it’s important to remember that the people being talked about are human and have feelings too. They have a family, and they have dreams. No matter what age or position, we all have the power to question and ask for the truth. We could ask questions of the accusers like “Where did you hear that?”, “How do you know it’s true?” to get to the source of the actual truth.

Remember, don’t just follow what’s popular

Kids need to think for themselves! Reflect on this saying, “Doing what’s popular isn’t always right, doing what’s right isn’t always popular.” Choose.

Remind kids that they are unique!

Every person alive today is pretty much a miracle. The chances of any of us being alive right now is one in 10^2,685,000 (10 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes) so, remind your kids they are unique and should be proud of who they are and what they can accomplish!

Teach them not to compare themselves to other people, but rather to compare to the person they were yesterday

It’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel like you’re not good enough, but what really matters is how much you’ve grown and improved compared to who you were in the past. Remind your kids not to compare themselves to others, but compare themselves to the person they were yesterday, focusing on how they have improved, grown, and learned from that version of themselves. And always remind them to keep pushing forward.

To hear more from Matt Purcell and Social Kung Fu, head to www.socialkungfu.com.au.

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.