Personal trainer and FytKids founder Ambyr Chatzopoulos noticed her daughter’s behavior started to change a few years ago. She said that she could tell her confidence was taking some hits, and she wanted to help her realize her full potential.
“I wanted my daughter to realize her full potential, and I wanted her to understand that there were no limits for her, and that she is perfect the way she is and doesn’t ever have to change for anyone. But I also knew that I wasn’t the only one out there that feels that way about their daughter,” Chatzopoulos said.
So she created an eight-week series of strength building classes to help young girls build confidence and body positivity. Each class starts with affirmations followed by a series of workouts.
Chatzopoulos drew inspiration from a book called “The Confidence Code for Girls,” that references a study showing a 30% drop in self confidence for girls ages 8 to 14. Boys don’t have the same drop off, and once this gap opens up, it usually fails to close.
“Prepubescently, some girls are going to struggle with body positivity, you know, as I’ll call it sometimes. And that can happen with boys too, but it happens more so with girls. And they develop quicker, and they mature quicker, so you tend to see some of these issues a little bit earlier,” said child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Adam Cohen.
But as young girls gain independence, they can turn that into something positive.
“It’s really gratifying for me when the moms come in, and they see this, and they’re like ‘Oh my God, that’s my daughter?’ because they just never thought that’s what they’re daughter would be able to do,” Chatzopolous said.