- : a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
- : a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
- : the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true
There's some truth to that. But do kids care about that? Should they? If you ask me, I'd say no. Confidence comes from succeeding, but only after a struggle. Confidence is built from persevering and knowing you can handle what is thrown at you in life— but only after tested. If a kid has "false confidence" or cockiness might seem confident as in they present themselves with certainty but in reality will not be open to new ideas or approaches. A person who is truly confident can handle being tested, welcomes other people's opinions and is open to challenge. They are more open because they have true confidence and aren't afraid of being wrong as they are more interested in getting the best and most accurate answer. They aren't afraid to try new things because they don't feel destroyed if they fail–they will try again. By they way, who would you most like to work for? Be in a relationship with? Or even have as your child!
What can we do to help our kids be confident? As a community we can support our children by easing back on the judgement and the expectations. We can let kids be kids! If kids can't test their boundaries how can they learn?
They need to fail, fall, and get back up. How can they develop the confidence that they can survive and can handle situations if not given the chance? Try not to look at your kids or other kids like this:
At least not ALL THE TIME.
Let your kids get out a try something that is a struggle. See how they do it. Do they problem solve or just come right back? Encourage the effort. Let them know they can do it and that even the smallest step is still a step. There is nothing that they can do wrong because every bit of that wrong is a learning opportunity.
Kids with low self esteem may not try at all or may try only once and if not successful, give up.
Some people live their entire lives and never water ski, never do a hand stand or cartwheel and never learn to dance. Some never had the chance, but many were just not confident enough to try. Whatever your child's dream or even your inner child dream, just go for it and ease back on the expectations and the judgement. Even if they fail, it is worth the effort every time as every single step toward the new goal is a step in the right direction. You should see me on the trampoline celebrating my basic sit bounce....
Every child needs encouragement and to be proud of when they try and take chances. Even learning something new is a big challenge. The more successful a child is in one area can make it even harder to try a new thing. And for kids who aren't having a ton of success anywhere then they really need that support. As a community we can cut the kids some slack. Let them climb and be kids. Let them be without shoes or a jacket so they can determine if/when they are uncomfortable. Let them take risks that they are confident in. No matter what it is (assuming its safe of-course, and that means they aren't going to die or break something!). If they are maybe in risk of a sprain, or a good ole does of embarrassment let them go for it and then congratulate the heck out of them for their bravery and effort. That will help them become more independant, happy and confident. Go and be wild! And by wild I mean run in the park without shoes, or climb something that isn't a play structure kind of wild! They will be building more then muscle, they will be building confidence in themselves and that is good for all of us.
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