Feeling loved has greatest impact on youth confidence: survey

Jim Day
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Alex Laybolt, a Grade 4 student at Parkdale Elementary School in Charlottetown, says improving his marks in school boosts his confidence. The Boys and Girls Club of Canada released survey results recently where Canadian youth like Alex were asked the question "What makes you feel confident?''

To 10-year-old Alex Laybolt, confidence means “being strong’’.

He likes math, so doing well in this subject boosts his confidence, thus making him feel stronger.

Wait, now that he thinks about it, doing well in everything he tackles can offer a nice lift to that good old self-esteem.

“Just improving all around at every subject,’’ said Alex, a Grade 4 student at Parkdale Elementary School in Charlottetown.

Alex has also been a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown for the past four years. The club is dedicated to supporting and encouraging children and youth as they grow and develop.

Staff at the club push Alex to try new things - and taking on something new, like lacing up for ice hockey two years ago, makes him feel good.

“We work really hard here to help children develop their skills and that increases their confidence,’’ said Jessica MacKenzie, interim director of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown.

The Boys and Girls Club of Canada recently released a unique survey where Canadian youth answered the question “What makes you feel confident?’’

For youth in Atlantic Canada, feeling loved, being good in technology and gaming, and knowing they are doing their best are the main reasons they feel confident and good about themselves.

For the 83 percent of Canadian youth who feel they can make a difference in the world and their communities, the survey revealed that the key driver of their confidence is the support and love of family, friends and adult mentors.

The survey, conducted by international research consultancy GlobeScan and shaped by young people themselves, found that adults - be they parents, family, teachers, mentors or role models - play a key role in helping youth feel confident and good about themselves through encouragement, support, guidance, and love.

The survey is seen as one of the most comprehensive of its kind ever conducted in Canada and one of the first to listen to kids aged eight to 12. Overall, more than 3,000 Canadian youth, aged eight to 24, completed a 10-minute survey.

When youth respondents were asked to pick from a list of items the top three factors that boost their self-confidence, the survey showed that across all age groups, 42 percent of Canadian youth say that feeling loved builds their confidence.


“This survey is a great way to begin a conversation with youth across Canada about what is important to us,’’ said Corey Johnson, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, National Youth Council.

“Kids of all ages feel strongly about making a difference. I know from my experience as both a younger club member and a youth leader, that providing support and encouragement is important and it definitely helps kids feel confident in this sometimes challenging world.’’

Organizations: Grade 4, Parkdale Elementary School, Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown Girls Club of Canada National Youth Council

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Charlottetown.Alex

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