Raising self-esteem is magic

Filed under: Tweens, Teens, Activities: Babies

Learning magic tricks is more than just good fun and manual dexterity; it turns out it raises kids' self-esteem as well. Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK assessed the sociability and confidence of fifty ten- to twelve-year-olds both before and after they were taught to do some magic tricks. The illusions included such seemingly impossible tasks as restoring a rope that had been cut in half and reading another person's mind.

"Learning magic requires self-discipline, an understanding of how other people think, and an ability to entertain," said Professor Richard Wiseman, one of the three scientists who worked on the study. "Also, unlike playing computer games, it encourages children to interact with their friends and family. Because of this, we thought it might be a unique and effective way of developing an important set of psychological skills."

Of course, you can't just rely on what happens in the lab; real-world results are often more valuable. There are reports from the field that support the study findings: "These results confirm the many letters and emails that we receive," says Marvin Berglas of Marvin's Magic, "from children saying how their new found talents have elevated their playground status. Also, magic encourages children to interact with their friends and family, and is also both fun and cool."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.