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September 10, 2012

Building Confidence in Kids

Blog-confidence-in-kidsWhat do you want your kids to know as they head to school each morning?

They're smart? They're loved? They matter in this world?

In some parts of the country, school is already back in session. In others, it's just about to begin. And along with the anxiety of what to wear, the frenzy of school supply shopping and the stress of reintegrating a morning routine, comes the worry of getting good grades and bullies causing emotional or physical harm to our children.

I know this fear. My son, Adam is about to enter his teen years. He is growing so quickly and of course, I worry. See, Adam is sweet and a little shy. He sings opera and plays nose tackle on his football team. He plays gently with little kids and even holds the door open for his grandparents. But when I praise him, he will merely respond with a smile and a quiet "thanks, Mom." So, what keeps me up at night? The idea that he might not believe how amazing he is.

This sentiment hit a nerve when the Editors at Care.com asked moms from all over the country what they want their kids to know when they leave the house each morning. Moms and mom bloggers jumped at the chance to help us with a project we call, You Count. The idea is to build the confidence of kids, so they can hold their heads high – and tackle whatever problems they face, whether it’s public speaking, getting lost in the hallways, or standing up to a bully.

The more confidence they have (and the more they know they count), the easier school can be.

What do you want your kids to know about themselves? What do you hope they hear you say when they face their biggest problems? Or, what message might boost their confidence? We’d love for you to share your personal message to your kids as part of our You Count campaign.

Good luck to all the students out there starting another year – and to their parents who stay up all night worrying about them!

Cheers,
Sheila

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Comments

F. Zach

I love the scene from the movie The Help where every morning she tells the child... "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." I think it is a simplified version of what every child wants to hear.

Natalia

This is a great blog , now dealing with my son in 2nd grade it's a worry of my own. Last year we had difficulties with bullies. He is a big strong kid with a great heart. He is confident but also was tonight violence isn't the answer. At times I feel I have tought him wrong since he hesitates to protect himself off that one remark. Now going to a new grade, I let him know how amazing, smart and impowering he is. Encourage him to me new people, continue being himself, and most of all pertect yourself when times are needed. As much as we have to encourage kindness, we also need to help them defend themselves in the real world as us parents thinking it not a worry since they are in the play yard. Bit scary to say the school is where the innocence of our children disappear. And this is where they are learning what to face in life. Good luck to all parents, and to all students have fun enjoy school, and keep your spirits up! God bless!

Jessica

Every morning and every night, I say a special little intention with each child -- wishing them peace, love, joy and laughter in a long life. You wouldn't believe how my two wiggle-worms soften and quiet in my arms when I say these words. I think they want to know this as much as I want it for them.

MLannan

I try to tell my children everyday that 'Life the sum of your choices.'' I tell them they first that they are smart, second that they are handsome, and to make good choices. And lastly never fear mistakes, those are how we learn.

Chasity Jarry

I'm starting a fishbowl of confidence. I'm writing down on small pieces of paper amazing things my son has said or done as well as his positive personality traits and physical attributes. this will be able to serve as a memory bank and hopefully remind me what an amazing little guy he is even when the going gets rough.

Grace Cornett

I am the mother of a 4 1/2 year old boy. He goes to a Catholic preschool. They do "behavior cards" every day, "Green" being excellent behavior, "Yellow" means there was a small behavior issue and "Red" means they are calling mom/dad to discuss the egregious behavior. It is the parents' responsibility to raise children who listen to authority figures. My son was on "Yellow" today, and I could tell that upset him a lot. I asked him why he was on "Yellow" and he said, rather sheepishly, "I threw rocks down the slide at recess." I told him that I am NOT angry with him for what he did, but that he knows better than to do that.I said, "Luke, I love you so much, but you know you have to listen to Mrs. Richardson. She tells you not to do these things for a reason." I then asked him how the rest of school was and he clammed up. I love speaking honestly with my son. I think that instilling in him "The Golden Rule" is very important. When he is too rough with our mini-poodle, I say, "Luke, you have to be gentle with DeeDee or else she'll be scared if you. I know that you don't like it when you are held down...Do you think DeeDee likes that? She is nipping at you and growling. Think about how you are treating her and treat her like you want to be treated." I try to parent with kindness, compassion and logical discipline. Sometimes I wish kids came with an owners manual!!! But, alas, they don't so our job as parents is to do the best we can from moment to moment, let our kids know how precious they are to us, how intelligent they are and how KIND they are!!! That is all any parent can really do. We want to hold their hands forever, but sometimes you just have to let go and let them explore on their own (a little bit!) if they are raised with good hearts, kindness, compassion, empathy and to use the brains the good Lord gave them, then they will naturally be strong, confident young men/ladies. Sorry for the novel!!!

Karen

Hi Sheila and all,
It's great for us to share what kinds of positive messages we'd like to instill in our kids. I am learning so much from Carol Dweck's book Mindset. She shows numerous examples of how and why just giving overly general praise such as "You're smart/brilliant/perfect/amazing" actually backfires as this reinforces "fixed mindset," which instills a pressure on kids to be afraid to take risks, and to not handle constructive criticism well because they're supposed to be already perfect. Instead, it's much more productive to show that we support them in their endeavors and encourage learning and passion and compassion, and praise qualities that encourage "growth mindset," and reinforce that our successes are the result of thoughtfulness and hard work and that failures/setbacks are learning opportunities from which to grow, rather than moments to be ashamed of or to blame someone else/something else for since the kid is pressured to be "perfect" and "smart" as s/he has been told s/he is.

Hypnobirthing Bristol

It is truly a great and helpful piece of information.
I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us.
Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

Jason Faughnan

Building self confidence at a young age is key to becoming a confident adult. I believe you should praise children for their accomplishments,however small, and also encourage them to pursue new things. If we dont encourage our kids they will be afraid to try out new things,which may also hinder their confidence building. Remember you only fail if you do not try

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