Contrary to what many industry experts, courses, programs, workshops, and training sessions would have you believe, I firmly believe that everyone is born with the level of confidence they require to live out their life, their purpose, and their journey.
Let me ask you – Have you ever really noticed a child? When a baby is born he’s free and full of confidence. The baby is confident, when he/she cries for milk, it appears, when he poops, someone appears to clean it up. Have you noticed a toddler, how confident a child is about what he wants, and how he clearly communicates without prejudice or hesitation? Almost till the age of 6-10 years, there is an abundance of self-confidence and effectiveness in communication.
Post that age, we start gathering the baggage of life – every time someone says – “Are you sure?”, “Work hard so you don’t fail”, “You should not fail!”, “A lot depends upon you!”. We feel the fear of failing and slowly start to resist taking on big challenges so as not to face that fear. Over time (years) even though people outside may stop saying it, our mind remembers all the times we failed in something & slowly the self-doubt starts to add layers over and over. Now a confident, outspoken and fully self-expressed child slowly starts to doubt & second guess himself.
We are filled with experiences of failures, rejections and belief in our incompetency. And as there is a need for confidence in the market, and different industries, we are always looking to collect news, and education, we put up a facade of false self-confidence & project it to the world, hoping no one would find out.
However, inside there is a huge conflict between what we are really feeling and what we are pretending to be so that we may be accepted, acknowledged & appreciated. Over time this gap continues to eat us inside, like a termite, and increase the experience of something lacking.
Let's face it, parenting can be tough, especially in this day and age. So how can we help our daughter's maneuver the challenges of life while also building their self-confidence?
#1 STAY READY
The timing of when your kids are ready to connect may not always match yours. So, make it a habit to be ready and available when they are. It may not always be convenient but being available will always pay off.
#2. STAY HUMBLE
Take the pressure off of yourself to know it all. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. Believe me, your daughter knows things you don’t know, and that is okay. Always approach your children with humility recognizing your own mistakes and shortcomings so that they feel free and safe to recognize their own.
#3. ACTIVATE YOUR ACTIVE LISTENING
It is very normal to be focused on getting across the things that are important to us when communicating to with our kids. However, practice letting them talk first and then make it a point to lean in and listen fully including with your facial expressions and body language. Frequently say “tell me more” or repeat what you heard them say.
#4. GET INTO THEIR WORLD
Investing in their interest can yield a big return when it comes to connecting with your kids. Don’t try to engage in deep conversation without first investing the time into the things that matter most to them. Consider spending 10 minutes with your child a few times a week doing something they enjoy. When it comes time to engage at a deeper level, they will be more likely go with you.
#5. PRACTICE WHAT YOUR PREACH
Kids are very observant and at the end of the day, what we say doesn’t matters as much as what we do. Make it a habit to lead by example and practice what you preach. For example, if you say no phones at the dinner table, all phones, including yours, should be in the other room.
#6. BE EMPATHETIC
Take note to how your kids feel and acknowledge it. Don’t always try to fix the problem but be vulnerable and teach your kids to do the same, even it means sharing areas of vulnerability in your own life.
#7. ALLOW KIDS TO FAIL FORWARD
Allow a safe space for your kids to fail. The reality is we all learn from our mistakes, so allow your kid to make mistakes (within the bounds that they do not harm them or anyone else mentally, physically or emotionally). Remember, failure can build reliance and grit and help our kids gain skills that will be helpful as they progress through life.
#8. GIVE THEM RESPONSIBILITY
Dish out age-appropriate responsibilities while they are young. It is better to give your kid responsibility now and teach them how to handle that responsibility while they are under your supervision, guidance and leadership. When they are adults, they will have had practice making good decisions and creating better habits.
#9. ASSUME THE BEST
Your child is developing opinions, philosophies, and ideas. Support them in their quest and don’t assume they are being “smart” or rude. Use their remarks as conversation starters.
#10. PRAY FOR YOUR KIDS
This may seem to be a given, but you’d be surprised how many parents easily overlook this important tip. The most important thing we can do in this crazy world we live in, is to pray for and cover our kids in prayer. God loves your kids even more than you do but has entrusted them to you. As a parent, you don’t have to raise them alone. God is with you.
Which five can you focus on this week?