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Raising Confident Kids



 

I was just at an event where little kids were singing in a choir. When they began to assemble on the stage to start the performance all of the adults in the audience were on full alert. There were lots of “oohs” and “aahs” throughout the performance. The kids were adorable, knew the songs and all of them sang with boisterous enthusiasm. There was loud clapping and yells of encouragement could be heard the entire time. I totally loved it and it really made my day; others in attendance said they felt the same way.

 

 While I enjoyed all the singers there were a few kids s who stood out. They didn’t seem afraid of the moment at all. They were smiling while moving in rhythm and sang to the top of their lungs! I saw no signs of nervousness or fear as they performed. In fact it looked like some of the other kids were looking to them for leadership and they seemed to become steadier as they performed simply by watching them.

 

After the performance I thought much about what I witnessed and how it is important that kids are raised in supportive environments which make them believe they are capable of navigating well through life. This is even more important for little girls or minority kids who may be told in various ways that they aren’t capable or good enough. The following information found at www.childmind.org offers tips to build confidence in kids:

 

“Model confidence yourself:

Seeing you tackle new tasks with optimism and lots of preparation sets a good example for kids.

 

Don’t get upset about mistakes:

Help kids see that everyone makes mistakes and the important thing is to learn from them, not dwell on them.

 

Encourage them to try new things:

Instead of focusing all their energy on what they already excel at, it’s good for kids to diversify. 

 

Allow kids to fail:

It’s natural to want to protect your child from failure, but trial and error is how kids learn, and falling short on a goal helps kids find out that it’s not fatal.

 

Praise perseverance:

Learning not to give up at the first frustration or bail after one setback is an important life skill.

 

Help kids find their passion:

Exploring their own interests can help kids develop a sense of identity, which is essential to building confidence. 

 

Set goals:

Articulating goals, large and small, and achieving them makes kids feel strong.

 

 Celebrate effort:

Praising kids for their accomplishments is great, but it’s also important to let them know you’re proud of their efforts regardless of the outcome. 

 

 Expect them to pitch in:

They might complain, but kids feel more connected and valued when they’re counted on to do age-appropriate jobs, from picking up toys to doing dishes to picking up younger siblings from a play date.

 

Embrace imperfection:

Help kids see that whether it’s on TV, in a magazine, or on a friend’s social media feed, the idea that others are always happy, successful, and perfectly dressed is a fantasy, and a destructive one. Instead, remind them that being less than perfect is human and totally okay.

 

Set them up for success:

Help your children get involved with activities that make them feel comfortable and confident enough to tackle a bigger challenge.

 

Show your love:

Let your children know you love them no matter what. Win or lose the big game, good grades or bad. Even when you’re mad at them.” 

 

Seeing the kids sing brought back memories when I would sing in choirs as a young girl or when I entered some type of essay or debate contest. My mom and family would encourage me and cheer loudly when I was called to the stage. One of my fondest memories is of me participating in an essay contest when I was in sixth or seventh grade. The field was narrowed down to me and one other girl. The judges announced there was a tie and the winner would be decided by the applause received for each finalist. The supporters of the girl that I tied with were large in number but a bit too dignified for the setting. The number of my supporters were far less in number but I come from a background that was, shall we say, noticeably less dignified. My supporters went nuts when it was their turn to clap for me. I think they may have frightened the judges. Needless to say I won. The judges couldn’t declare me the winner and get us out of there fast enough!



Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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