It can be frustrating as a parent to watch your child or teen, who is amazing, smart and strong, feel inadequate and discouraged. In a world filled with Instagram pictures of “perfect” people and overwhelming social media comparisons, it’s all too easy to become discouraged. At MissionFit, our Coaches also aim to help our youth build resilience and other life skills that are just as important outside of the gym. And just as the skills learned by youth are transferable to outside the gym, maybe, some of the strategies that help our Coaches to encourage struggling kids could be useful in your family or community. Here are some of the most important strategies we use at MissionFit:
Every child is different, and the differences that make us beautiful can also make us feel alone. We strive to be empathetic and make an effort to connect with every teen or kid however they prefer. While some kids are fine to speak about their feelings directly, others might need a more indirect approach. If you struggled with your self-image or confidence as a child, share that with your child to make them feel less alone.
Just like unplugging something and plugging it back in can reset it, have your teen hit the “reset” button and take three slow breaths when they are feeling particularly discouraged or upset. Then, encourage them to pursue an activity that they are good at like helping make dinner, shooting some hoops outside or something else. By putting some distance between themselves and the thing upsetting them and focusing on something that they enjoy, many kids and teens can reset.
When we find youth in the gym thinking negatively, like how they are “weak” or “worthless” or that they can’t do something, we practice finding ways to reframe them in a positive light. Instead of saying they are weak, we focus on how much progress they’ve made. You can also work on setting related goals to continue on the path of improvement. Channel their need for progress and results into showing up for workouts at MissionFit on time, with a good attitude and ready to succeed.
Get Moving with MissionFit
MissionFit is dedicated to strengthening Baltimore youth through classes and an open gym. It’s our goal to encourage positive traits, like respect and teamwork, and provide children with a place to gain self-confidence and enjoy some exercise. To learn more about our classes or donate to support our mission, visit our website. Want to Support? We’re making health a possibility and a priority for Baltimore’s youth. If you want to support, here are three easy ways:
- You can put your online shopping to good use by donating a percentage of your purchase with AmazonSmile! To get started, sign in here, search for “MissionFit” and select us as your charity of choice.
- Amazon Wishlist– buy something specific that will make it easier for youth to achieve their health goals.
- Donate here!