Self-confidence is a superpower. Once you start to believe in yourself, magic starts happening.
Let’s get some housekeeping out of the way, this is a sponsored blog post by Sylvan Learning. However, while it may be sponsored, the tips I put here are the complete truth and what I believe can help you raise a confident child.
Self-confidence is something many people lack until a certain point in their life when it all clicks, and they see their value. I am thankful my parents instilled that into me early on in life. While sometimes it took work to focus on my confidence, I always went back to, “I am not for everyone, but I believe in myself and my abilities.” Somehow magic always happened.
Arthur Ash wrote, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
So here are five ways in which I try to instill self-confidence and preparation into my girls. I believe these tips can make a difference in the lives of your children as well.
I remember a quote from Harry Houdini saying, “What the ears hear, and the eyes see, the mind will believe.” This one stuck with me. If your ears hear you say it, and your eyes see it happening, then the mind believes it to be true. So, every night myself and the girls stand tall in the mirror and say things that are true and will be true (of course McKenna just stares at herself and giggles). “We are strong, brave, successful, smart, beautiful, focused, problem solvers…” and the list goes on. Kennedy thinks it’s just fun and games. However, what she doesn’t realize is over the past months of her saying these things, she is slowly starting to believe them. It is reflected through her attitude, her approach to things, and her outlook on life.
2. Struggle builds character.
I remember in school I was taking an AP Physics class. While I highly enjoyed the class, I always struggled with the formulas I had to use to prove my hypothesis, or whatever problem was ahead. My teacher used to always say, “Struggle builds character.” I would always think, “Oh my gosh, if this guy says this again, I’m going to scream. What does that even mean?” It wasn’t until I got to college that it made sense. Struggle gives you the fortitude to make adjustments, see things differently, and have the gumption to tackle those problems until you succeed. So, whether we are building something, or playing a game, I try to make Kennedy understand that struggling through it allows her to become stronger mentally and physically. And it reminds her that just because it is hard, it does not mean she cannot do the task. So, for little things, like her game on her iPad, she no longer says, “Do it for me.” She now says, “Help me please so I can figure it out.” A little struggle gives kids the confidence to say, “I can do it and I will figure it out.”
3. Celebrate the small victories.
Why wait for the big accomplishments to celebrate when the small ones are just as important? Children look to their parents for approval and praise, so why not celebrate the smallest of victories, like trying out something new (even if they fail)? Kennedy is a math wizard, but when it comes to reading it is something she has been struggling with all year. I praised her for her efforts along the way and then sought help from Sylvan Learning to build her confidence in reading. They gave her the tools to try, and as she started to succeed her confidence grew. So much so that she tries to read everything she sees, and if she fails, she just keeps on trying with a smile on her face.
4. Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
This is imperative to raising responsible citizens who can critically think to solve problems and attack the obstacles that arise in their lives. One way I have worked on doing this is with chores. I have given Kennedy the ability to earn quite a bit of money every week by doing certain tasks, such as cleaning her room, getting her homework done, and working on regulating how she reacts to problems that arise. While it has been a rocky start, it has allowed her to be more cognizant of taking pride in what she does, completing her tasks, and controlling her emotions in a positive way to where she can be productive.
5. Set them up for success.
Start with small tasks you feel your children can achieve, and as they build confidence in those tasks, they can then start taking on bigger, more challenging tasks. This starts early on, as babies can understand praise. As parents, we clap for excitement for all our children’s first successes, like rolling over, taking their first steps, saying their first words. These are small accomplishments that lead to bigger ones. This is the same mentality we must continue as they get older. The tasks change, but the road to tackle them is the same.
“Do not give them a candle to light the way, teach them how to make fire instead. That is the meaning of enlightenment.”
― Kamand Kojouri
I hope you find these tools helpful when it comes to building confidence in your children. They are the future of tomorrow and it is our job to give them the tools to be the leaders of the next generation. Much like the old adage, teach a man to fish verses giving him a fish, utilizing Sylvan Learning gives your kids the resources to be successful in many facets of life. Getting ahead to become a better reader or mathematician, or understanding certain things about computer literacy provides kids the tools to let their imaginations run wild, cultivating innovation and confidence. Having a support system that assists your struggle so you can build character and get ahead is priceless. I hope your children take these tools to every path their life may bring!