Tuesday's Child: Teaching self-esteem through taekwondo

Instructors at U.S. Taekwondo in Pawtucket are teaching confidence to foster children. (WJAR)

Building mental and physical strength and confidence is what taekwondo instructors strive to do.

At U.S. Taekwondo in Pawtucket, they're opening the studio to foster families.

Lydia Link has foster and adoptive siblings and says this class has taught her self-control.

"My sister can sometimes be a little annoying, and it's helped me not blow up," Lydia said.

The class is especially beneficial to children who have been hurt in the past.

Master Lee teaches.

"I know that they had a not good experience, most of them. So first time, they're really dark energy," Master Lee said.

He gets right to work and positive energy is unmasked.

This is about more than building strength and confidence. It's about letting children know that they're loved.

Master Lee said he found it troubling that children, maybe even their parents, sometimes don't feel like anyone cares about them. His instruction includes expressing emotions.

Joaquim gets it.

"There's more than one person who loves you and cares about you," Joaquim said.

Christine Link is raising her children and other people's children, and sees the value.

"Master Lee was right. By the end, the kids were glowing. They did sit up straight. I wanted to take him home with me," Link said.

With results like this, it's no surprise that she wants to make sure all of her children hear the message.

"I love you mom. Thanks for supporting me," Lydia said.

"I left here in tears sometimes," Link said.

The good kind of tears.

To learn more about children available for adoption, contact Adoption Rhode Island at 401-865-6000.

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