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New workbook aims to help Winnipeg kids build self-esteem

The Confidence Workbook is an online collection of activities for youth.

Andrea Katz [left]  and her sister Allison Gervais created the Confidence Workbook to help kids grow their self-esteem.

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Andrea Katz [left] and her sister Allison Gervais created the Confidence Workbook to help kids grow their self-esteem.

Imagine a five-year-old kid who doesn't like what he sees in the mirror.

Kids that young can struggle with their self-esteem – and it gets worse as they get older – say two women trying to buck that trend in Winnipeg.

Sisters Andrea Katz and Allison Gervais are behind Girls Empowerment Events in Winnipeg, which aims to help girls build up their confidence, self-esteem and overall strength through fitness and yoga classes.

Part of that meant the organizers asked kids what they like about themselves.

“To be honest it was bringing a tear to my eye half the time… some kids couldn’t think of anything,” Katz said.

“It’s just heartbreaking to hear any 10-year-old kid say that they’re ugly or that they have no friends.”

And that’s the premise behind their new workbook, which was released last week.

The Confidence Workbook is an online collection of activities that that parents can print off and work through with their children, or give to kids to do on their own, or with a friend.

“This [low self-esteem] is really starting as early as age five, and as they got older it was a more of an issue, with bullying, images that they’re seeing in the media,” Katz said.

The exercises include things like "the compliment game" and a positivity journal.  

“It sort of teaches kids how to give compliments, and why it’s good not only to receive compliments but also give them. It makes you feel good to sort of give that to somebody else as well,” Katz said.

Katz said the workbook helps children address things they like about themselves beyond physical appearances, having them look at their personality, and their abilities as a person.

“It’s not just about ‘I love myself’ and that’s the end of the statement, but why, what about you do you love?”

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