Motivational Monday – #1 Raising Confident Kids
Do you worry about your children growing up to be confident? Do you take the time to teach them specifically about confidence? After seeing this video below I started to ask myself these questions.
What am I doing to help my kids grow up to be strong, confident people?
What am I doing to help them face their own decisions when the time comes?
What can I possibly do to teach my kids that they are strong, smart, beautiful, and worthwhile human beings?
You should know that my oldest is only three. So I’m still very new at mothering and teaching. But this is what I’ve come up with so far, learning from my own parents, my husband’s parents and my own experience.
1. Take the time to tell your children what you want them to believe about themselves.
I love how this dad is teaching his little girl that she is amazing and can do anything by simply taking the time to teach her and tell her that she is amazing! And I LOVE that it’s coming from the dad. I know that I learned a lot from my dad as a little kid, and I just love it when I see other dads stepping up to the plate and taking care of their own. Of course mothers must express this too. If you, who know this child better than anyone in the whole world, you, who has or can have the most influence in this little one’s life, don’t tell them they are beautiful, smart, important, worthwhile, amazing, powerful, creative, and loved, then who will?
Having confidence in themselves begins with them having confidence in your love.
2. Show them how to be confident by being confident in your own life
This doesn’t mean you have to be the president of the PTA, or a community leader, or even be super outgoing in general. My idea of being confident is knowing what you believe in and standing up for it if need be. For example, if you believe in a certain level of modesty (for us it’s always been covered shoulders and mid drift, and no short shorts or skirts), then be an example of that yourself. Teach your kids why you believe in modesty (Your body is sacred. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is). And then be an example of it yourself.
Another example: If you want your kids to be confident around new people, create opportunities for them to be in groups of new people and be an example of a strong hand shake, speaking up, and good conversational topics ( try the F.O.R.D. method of conversation: family, occupation, recreation, and dreams as good topics of discussion with new people).
YOU are an amazing person. YOU are smart, beautiful, talented, and able to do so many things! YOU should practice being confident too, and talk to your kids about it. If you have to speak in church on Sunday and are really nervous, talk about it and show your kids that even though you are nervous you will be confident and do the best you can do.
3. Make your kids do hard things
This might sound bad but seriously, kids these days! Think about it. What opportunities do kids have that are actually hard? If you let them, they could easily sail through life without breaking a sweat. I just put my little 3-year-old in swim lessons and he’s usually telling me the whole drive there that he doesn’t want to go and that he wants to stay home, but I make him do it anyway. He’s always super happy by the end and he’s learning so much from going.
That is a very small example of what I’m trying to get at. but I hope I’m making sense.
Take a look at what your kids are involved in and make sure there’s something in their lives that’s hard, maybe even something that they really don’t want to do, but you make them do anyway because you know it’ll make them better. Of course we always have to evaluate what levels of hard will actually help our children (I’m not going to make my toddler mow the lawn!). Making kids do hard things will help them be more confident in their own abilities and skills. And sometimes it’s just good to know that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS! They will be more confident during difficult real life situations when they have had experiences that you, as their parent, provided for them.
Examples of hard things kids can do (this obviously will change according to ages):
- Make their beds
- Wash windows
- Play outside
- Feed their little siblings
- Put their clothes away
- Clean up their toys
- Make their own meals
- Join a sports team
- Play with new friends
- Go on long walks or hikes
- Learn to ride a bike or scooter
- Join a sports team and stick with it for the whole season – I always look at football and just think that it would be a really challenging sport to be a part of, especially in the hot Arizona sun.
- Learn an instrument and practice it regularly
- Mow the lawn
- Get a job
- Wake up early for something
- Join a school club
- Make goals for self-improvement
- Volunteer at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, justserve.org, or senior center
- Pull weeds – my dad made me do this and I hated it so much but as a new home owner I actually kind of like pulling my weeds now and I’m happy that I know how.
- Cook dinner
- Do their homework and do it well!
- Go on a hard hike with them
- Go camping
I recently interviewed my Grandma about her life growing up on a farm in Queen Creek, Arizona. She said that during potato season she and all the teenagers in the town would go work in the potato shed for a couple of weeks to earn a little extra cash. She explains how hard this work was and that they all kind of dreaded potato season. But now they all look back on those weeks in the shed with fondness, thinking about all of the good times they had and knowing that they accomplished something really hard.
I get kind of sad sometimes, thinking that since I don’t live on a farm, my kids will most likely never have those experiences of waking up at five a.m. to milk the cows or feed the sheep or whatever they do on farms. But as I was relating this sadness to my husband one day he said that even though they don’t wake up early to do those things, when he was young he had to wake up at five to get his piano practice in for the day. And waking up early like that for so long did him a lot of good.
There are so many things we can get out kids involved in that will teach them how to work hard. Figure out what works for your kids and encourage them to do it!
Who knows! Maybe someday your child will be as confident and motivational as this little guy.
There are so many things we need to be doing as parents. Don’t stress out too much about giving your kids everything they’ll need to face the real world because there will undoubtedly be holes here and there.
What I’m hoping is that this little post will remind you to keep an eye on their confidence. No matter how well we teach our kids right and wrong while we have them under our wing, if they don’t have the confidence to act on what they’ve learned then there’s a problem.
Just remember that you are, or will be, an amazing parent! You can do hard things, you can be confident in yourself, and you can help a child feel loved just by being yourself.
YOU CAN DO IT! YOU ARE AMAZING!
Please remember that I am NOT a parenting expert. If you want to, leave a comment (up by the title) with how you were raised to be confident or how you try to teach your own kids how to be confident.
For more ideas of how to teach your kids confidence, check out this list from a fellow blogger.
Happy Monday everyone!
Don’t leave without watching this video. It’s one of my favs!