Be your own per­son

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING -

Once we be­lieve in our­selves, we can risk cu­rios­ity, won­der, spon­ta­neous de­light, or any ex­pe­ri­ence that re­veals the hu­man spirit. – E.E. Cum­mings

WOULD you con­sider your­self a con­fi­dent kid? Re­gard­less if it in­volves ty­ing your own shoe laces, go­ing to school or kinder­garten for the first time, or even brush­ing your teeth, we need con­fi­dence to bravely take on new chal­lenges in life. Hav­ing self-con­fi­dence means be­liev­ing in our­selves, and it gives us a sense of com­pe­tence.

Par­ent­ing web­site kid­ re­ports that a healthy self-es­teem is like a child’s ar­mour against the chal­lenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weak­nesses, and feel good about them­selves seem to have an eas­ier time han­dling con­flicts and re­sist­ing neg­a­tive pres­sures. They tend to smile more read­ily and en­joy life. Th­ese kids are re­al­is­tic and gen­er­ally op­ti­mistic.

How­ever, chil­dren who lack self-con­fi­dence may con­sider chal­lenges to be a source of frus­tra­tion. They are of­ten shy, timid and may be­come pas­sive and with­drawn. It is im­por­tant to have self-con­fi­dence and pos­i­tive self-es­teem as they help us to ap­pre­ci­ate our self-worth, take re­spon­si­bil­ity for our ac­tions, and show re­spect and care for oth­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to car­ing­, pos­i­tive self-es­teem helps chil­dren to have courage to be their own per­son, be­lieve in their own val­ues, make healthier choices and feel con­fi­dent say­ing “no” to dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

Re­cently, we asked Starchild read­ers to share a few point­ers on how to build self-con­fi­dence. Let’s hear what they have to say. Five-year-old Danielle Ling Xi

Yuan writes: “Chil­dren should make many friends and play to­gether. Take part in draw­ing and colour­ing con­tests. Sing and dance for joy in a con­cert. We must look and smile at the per­son to whom we talk to. Join in group ac­tiv­i­ties to be­come brave and less shy.”

“We must keep prac­tis­ing if we want to build con­fi­dence. I over­came my fear of wa­ter by prac­tis­ing swim­ming reg­u­larly,” writes

Vys­nawy Thi­a­gara­jan, 10. “Con­fi­dence is very im­por­tant for

kids. It is gained grad­u­ally through mix­ing with friends and hav­ing a sense of achieve­ment. My mummy al­ways en­cour­ages me to join sto­ry­telling, drama and mu­sic com­pe­ti­tions to help me gain con­fi­dence. Now, I love to per­form and do not have stage fright,” writes Bhu­ven­raj

Ganesh, eight. – Com­piled by Sheela Chan­dran

With con­fi­dence, you have won be­fore you started.

– Mar­cus Gar­vey

ITEM: If you are al­lowed to keep a pet fish, which breed would you chose? A gold fish, fight­ing fish, arowana, carp or stringray? Why would you pick this par­tic­u­lar breed? Share some fas­ci­nat­ing facts about your favourite type of fish. In­clude a draw­ing, too.

All let­ters must carry your full name, age (open to chil­dren aged 12 and be­low only), gen­der, e-mail, phone con­tact and ad­dress. Don’t for­get to write your name be­hind the draw­ing and the topic, My Pet Fish, in a cor­ner of the en­ve­lope.

Please do not cel­lotape or sta­ple pieces of pa­per to your draw­ing. All let­ters must reach us by

Jan 4, 2014. Send your let­ters to: Starchild, c/o Star2 Star Pub­li­ca­tions (M) Bhd Me­nara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11 46350 Pe­tal­ing Jaya, Se­lan­gor

Vys­nawy Thi­a­gara­jan, 10

danielle Ling Xi yuan, 5

bhu­ven­raj Ganesh, 8

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