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Kids getting self-esteem boost

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Kids' empowerment coach Tanya Marinelli is shown with Drake Nelson, a student in her class.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

Kids' empowerment coach Tanya Marinelli is shown with Drake Nelson, a student in her class. Photo Store

Local kids are getting a boost in self-esteem thanks to a new set of classes.

Oakbank resident Tanya Marinelli is running an Empowering Kids Day Camp at Glenwood Community Centre at 27 Overton Ave. in Old St. Vital.

The six-week camp for kids aged six to 12 began Oct. 21 and runs through Nov. 25. For more information, visit www.livewell-ness.com.

Marinelli, a life coach, explained the classes grew out of a cooking class she held for women that helped them make changes in their lives with better nutrition and empowerment. After redesigning the cooking classes for kids, she found she enjoyed seeing kids’ self-esteem rise, and she started the classes.

The classes go over tactics such as affirmation — saying positive things about yourself to yourself to create new beliefs about yourself —  which she said kids need to be able to do.

"Many times, kids don’t hear this until adulthood," Marinelli said. "We talk about an energy, and emotions, and I assist them in recognizing what they’re feeling.

"I assist them in maybe changing a negative feeling into a positive feeling."

Marinelli explained the kids grow each week as they start to understand the affirmations more and more.

"When they come in and I introduce affirmations, they’re very puzzled," she said. "They have a difficult time expressing positive thoughts about themselves and then by the end of the sessions, they’re shouting out ‘I am powerful! I am beautiful! I am love!’ and they’re believing it."

Among the beneficiaries is Transcona resident Drake Nelson, a seven-year-old whose parents recently separated.

"The biggest thing that I learned with him is a form of communication of how he felt," said his mother, Lynne, who runs Lion’s Den Fitness in Transcona. "He never really talked about how he felt. This summer, I split from my husband, and he kept that inside."

Drake said the affirmations have helped him — while he also enjoys the other parts of the class, such as physical and artistic activities.

"I have a lot of fun with my friends," he said.

Lynne Nelson is also an empowerment coach, and she will host a Women’s Only Self Worth Workshop at Oxford Heights Community Centre (359 Dowling Ave. E.) on Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The workshop is open to women 13 and over, and costs $20.

For more information, visit http://lionsdenfitness.ca/self-worth-workshop.

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