National Confidence Day hope to encourage a more holistic lifestyle for children

Positivity, empowerment, encouragement and hope will be the focus in schools this Thursday, when children will get to celebrate National Confidence Day in classrooms right across the country. 

A host of Irish celebrities have come together to participate in an inspirational and motivational half hour show, produced by STARCAMP with Gala Retail for the children of Ireland, with contributions from An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Alisha Weir (Matilda in the movie by the same name), Rory’s Stories and Cillian O’ Connor, an Irish favourite in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent. “If children watch only one thing this year, let it be this”, stated Principal Sean Cummins.

Earlier this week, ahead of National Confidence Day on Thursday, STARCAMP with Gala Retail carried out a national survey about confidence and children’s well-being in children. Just under 2,000 parents from all 26 counties across Ireland with primary school aged children took part. The research uncovered that:

  • 66% of parents said that they would like their children to be more confident.
  • 97% believe that it is very important that life skills such as handshakes, resilience and the importance of losing be taught to children.
  • When asked if parents would like the school environment to be changed in any way, (they were allowed to choose up to 2 options), only 6% believe that the it is fine as is. 64% believing more life skills should be taught in school. 52% would like to see more creativity, 32% would like to see more emphasis on their holistic development, 10% would like to see more sport.
  • 75% of those whose children use devices believe that it has a negative effect on their confidence.
  • 42% of parents admit that they problem solve for their children too much.
  • Out of 7 traits that were listed that parents would wish for their child going forward, including academic excellence, sociability, creativity, confidence, resilience, sporting ability and street smartness, 40% chose resilience, 35% chose confidence, 13% chose being sociable, 5% chose street smart, 3% rated creativity as the most important trait, 2% chose academic excellence and 1% chose being sporty.
  • Further analysis from the survey showed a concern that the majority of parents share for their children. When asked about their children’s anxieties and worries, a concerning 13% of parents said that their primary school child suffered from anxiety. A further 38% said that their child worries too much, with less than half, 46%, stating that their child had normal worries in life and a further 2% that don’t seem to worry about anything.
  • 43% would like if their child’s social skills were better.
  • 85% believe that group activities (such as performance and sport) are extremely important in their child’s development, a further 14% find it important. Less than 1% state that it is of no importance.

Commenting on the findings, Aideen O’Grady, Founder of Starcamp says:

“Research clearly shows that parents across all 32 counties of Ireland desire a more holistic lifestyle for their children. An overwhelming 97% would like to see more emphasis on life skills, with a strong desire for more balance in the classroom and not for the main emphasis to be on academia. As always, excessive technology is playing a negative role in our children’s lives and sadly, the majority of parents feel that their child is not confident enough. The fact that the majority are genuinely concerned with their children’s anxiety and stress levels is quite disturbing, particularly with a group of children so young and innocent. I always appreciate these findings, whatever the outcome, because it gives us the opportunity to make changes.”

STARCAMP recently decided to take baby steps towards encouraging positivity, confidence and growth in children outside of their camp environment. This Thursday, for National Confidence Day, they have produced a special half hour show which will be available to watch in all classrooms and homes across Ireland. Over 300,000 are expected to tune in on Thursday. Over 270 STARCAMP with Gala Retail camps will take place this summer across Ireland, with almost 30,000 children attending. The theme is resilience and there is a new section on life skills. “From small acorns grow mighty oaks. If we can start with a positive little seedling like this show in the classroom or home, and build on it little by little, focus on the positive and laugh, dance and rejoice more – just imagine how our children could feel about themselves. And then, just imagine what they could achieve!”

The “I BELIEVE IN ME” Confidence Show  for Children will be available for all to watch and can be streamed on Thursday, May 25th, from the Starcamp website for a limited time.


For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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