Developing Strong, Resilient and Confident Kids
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
One of the best gifts you can give your child is to teach them how to be confident in themselves. Confidence is not something you are born with, in fact, it's the resulting feeling you get by learning and mastering new skills. Strength, resiliency and confidence are all qualities children can achieve for themselves, and with guidance from loving parents, they will be so much better prepared to tackle any problems that come their way in life.
By following some of these simple steps below, you will be empowering your child and building up their self-esteem which will provide the best foundation for them to flourish as they grow.
Encourage Chill Time
What is chill time? It's blocked out time with no distractions from everything digital. There is so many wonderful benefits from living in a digital age, however, too much entertainment and moving from one screen to another does little to develop the imagination. Allowing your child the freedom to be bored for an hour a day, and encouraging them instead to daydream, enjoy nature, read books, draw or create their own imaginative adventures, you'll be giving them the gift of daily practice connecting with themselves which is where true empowerment comes from.
Teach Them About Mindset
Adopting a positive mindset is as simple as practicing positive thinking more than negative thinking. Children are born positive and are naturally drawn towards positive thinking. It takes lots of practice thinking negative thoughts to build up a negative mindset on life. Even if you consider yourself to be more of a realist than a dreamer, you can still help foster a positive mindset in your children by starting to discuss these truths:
The world is full of beauty and abundance and the more we look for these things, the more we will see. On the other hand, if we focus on the problems and the terrible things in life, the more of those things we will see.
Solutions to problems often come into your mind when you are feeling good. Spiderman wouldn't have his "spidey senses" when he's complaining, angry or blaming. He gets them when he's clear headed and calm.
Things will eventually work out. Imagine how empowered you would feel if you truly felt that things will eventually work out for you? You may not be able to predict every twist and turn in life, but you will enjoy the ride so much better if you know that learning and growing help you and that around every corner is a new possibility.
Let Them Know Mistakes Are How We Learn
Imagine how stifling life would seem if you felt like you could never make a mistake without being punished or criticized. It would make just about anyone decide to stay put and not try anything new for fear of making a mistake. The unfortunate truth is that for so many children, this is the reality they face every day. Fear of making a mistake that can "ruin their life" is what leads to anxiety, lack of confidence, or low self-esteem.
Alternatively, we can teach our children that mistakes are a necessary component to achieving success! Without mistakes, we wouldn't be able to know what doesn't work and how to adapt and make adjustments in life. There is always something to learn from any mistake and focusing on that, instead of the consequence or the negative result, is often the very thing that catapults someone to finding a better solution for themselves. Imagine all the things you might try if you truly felt that mistakes are ok and that things will always work out for the best.
Be an Example
I heard the phrase that "words don't teach, life experience does" and at first I thought, how can that be true? But then realized that children (and adults) can't "hear" our lectures and teachings if they aren't ready to hear what we are saying. And the only way they will be "ready" is if they have had some experience in life that has happened to them that allows them to recognize the truth in what you are saying. This is why examples are so powerful. If Johnny is being told to share everyday by his mother, and know's he should but doesn't often feel like it, he may decide only to share when mother is watching. The conflict Johnny then has in preschool with other children, give teachers and his parents the opportunity to teach Johnny that there is better way to gain friends. Because he experienced the negative consequences at school, he is more open and ready to hear the solution. If Johnny went through life never having any conflict on that subject, he may not ever learn to share his things.
As parents we are living proof of our beliefs, so that is why it is important to be the example. If you want your child to have "chill time", it's a good idea to let them know what you are doing during your "chill time". When you make a mistake but learned something from it, use that as a teaching moment to reinforce what you are wanting your children to learn: that mistakes are ok and we are always learning and growing.
Strength, resiliency and confidence are achieved through baby steps. As loving parents, we can offer guidance and support so they are encouraged for the effort and tenacity they show rather than simply the results they achieve in any given situation.