How confident are your children? Does their confidence vary in different situations? Building our children’s awareness of their confidence and a conscious effort to develop it daily will determine their potential.
There is a lot, we as parents can do to influence this, our day to day interactions count.
Here are some practical ways to develop your child’s confidence:
Things to say
OUR words and how WE feel influence the way our children think.
The way they think and interpret their environment determines their level of confidence
Where in your day to day conversations can you use these words?
- Anything is possible – you can have what you want
- How could YOU do/get that? (Never dismiss their wants – encourage them to take responsibility for their wants) Believe in them
- You are awesome even when you don’t get it right – detach the result from who they are
- Failing is necessary; it is part of learning how to get what you want.
- Trying new things is fun and exciting
- Keep going – try different ways UNTIL you get what you want
- That is their opinion, what do you think?
While we are developing their confidence, it is important for us to not be attached to the result! The moment we are measuring or getting frustrated when they aren’t acting confidently we create the opposite effect – the belief ”I am not good enough”. Our role is to provide the opportunity or space for them, it is THEIR responsibility to take action. They decide when. When we let go of the outcome we provide the safe space for them to try (we reduce the possibility of fear of judgement)
What we can do
- We can notice how they respond in different situations and ask them what the situation means to them. When children are young, they do not have a broad perspective of what situations could mean and sometimes interpret them in ways that do not serve them.
- If they have chosen a meaning that does not serve them, ask them if there are other possible meanings to the situation and help by giving them other possible options. For example. My maths teacher is always shouting at me. This could mean the teacher does not like me, it could mean I am no good at maths. Neither of these meanings serves them. Ask questions without judgement on what is happening in the class and what action they can take to find a solution. Encourage them to choose a meaning that gets them into the action of problem-solving. In this example, it could mean I need to practise more in one area of my maths or even though I don’t get on with my teacher how can I get what I want in the maths class.
- Always use clear words about what you want and how you want it, rather than what they are doing wrong. Use as few words as possible.
- Encourage them to try new activities all the time. Teach them that the uncomfortable feeling of trying something new is the key to the best life ever.
- When circumstances don’t turn out the way they want, be there for them without judgement or expectation and encourage them. Ask them what they could do differently next time and encourage them to try their new ideas.
- Encourage them to express their opinions and teach them that people can have different opinions.
- Teach them to become aware of what they are saying to themselves. Encourage them to change their thought from what they are not happy with to what they want instead.
The Ingredients to a Confident Mind-Set
What behaviour patterns/mind-set creates confidence?
- Lack of limitation – avoid words like you can’t and no, replace with:
- A question: How could you do/get that?
- A statement of what you want them to understand instead (the lesson)
- Open to possibilities in their daily perceptions. What else could this mean?
- Willingness to try new things
- Willingness to be uncomfortable
- Acceptance of failure – I am ok even when I fail. What can I do next time?
- Questioning mind-set – teach them how to challenge effectively
- Awareness of what they can and can’t control and acceptance of that
BE the model – do you believe and is your behaviour consistent with these words? – Practice developing this within yourself too with an awareness of each day to day decision
TRUE CONFIDENCE – I am okay regardless of what is happening around me or other people’s opinions
If you have enjoyed this blog, click here to read more blogs