Probably the greatest sports upset of all time is the Miracle on Ice when the college-aged United States Olympic hockey team beat the dominant Soviet team in Lake Placid in 1980. The U.S. team wasn’t even expected to do that well. After scoring in the final minute to tie Sweden in the first game, they went on to win the rest. Many of those games would be come from behind wins. With every game, they gained more and more confidence. Sometimes the biggest difference between success and failure is a person’s level of belief.Sometimes the biggest difference between success and failure is a person’s level of belief.
Confidence is a learned trait and must be nurtured. It can be fragile at times. Some of the greatest achievers on the planet go through bouts of insecurity. That is not such a bad thing. It usually leads to even greater achievements. Nonetheless, the overall goal is for our kids to feel secure about who they were created to be. The following is how to build self-confidence in your kids.
A simple task it would seem. Amazing how difficult it can be to just simply listen. Not solve, not direct and not lecture. Listen. All children will tell you what is on their mind. They only want someone to hear them. Give your child the patience and time they need from you. It will do a world of good.
2. Pep Squad
We all need a cheering section. A fan of who we are and what we do. Do that for your kids. Encouragement is vital in the growth of children. Go to the games, the recitals, and the plays. Reward good grades. Tap your feet to the instrument they are playing. Let them know how proud you are of their effort.
3. The Big Picture
Some children have outward abilities that are obvious and easy to recognize. Your son might be an outstanding soccer player for instance. However, that is not all there is to him. Make sure you affirm his other lesser seen qualities as well. Maybe he’s very kind and considerate. Generous. See the entire picture of what your child is and acknowledge it. You do not want to raise a one-trick pony.
4. Time is of the Essence
Your kids need you to be involved in their lives. That requires adjustments in your schedule. Two hours per night seeing you sit on the couch does not qualify as being involved. Teacher meetings. The occasional visit to the school for lunch. One-on-one time doing whatever. Make time for each of your children individually as best as you can. It shows them that they matter to you.
5. Security Breeds Confidence
Papa Bear. That’s you. Cuddly and furry, but ferocious if need be when danger lurks. Children desperately need to feel secure. Home should be a loving and safe place. It’s your job to make it so. That seems like common sense, but so many children lack this security in their life. Parents fighting. Destructive habits. Drug abuse. A great many things can ruin the security of your child’s emotions and thusly their confidence. Stay alert and stay on duty, Papa Bear. Remember your kids are watching everything you do.
6. Greater Purpose
There is a major difference between confidence and self-centeredness. Arrogance can also enter the picture. You do not want to raise little monsters to unleash on the world. There are enough of those as it is. We have a greater purpose in life by God’s design. We should be humble yet strong. Confident yet gracious. Intelligent yet compassionate. Teach them to see beyond their own desires and needs.
7. Catch Them When They Fall
Life isn’t always sunshine and lollipops. Downpours and hard times are always sure to come. They are the moments that test our character and define us as human beings. When disappointment or sadness come knocking for your child, be there to help them understand. Not necessarily to solve, but for support. They need those times like flowers need rain. Teach them the perspective needed to absorb these times and move forward.
8. Spokes in The Wheel
As adults, we are aware that we all have different talents and gifts to offer the world. We are all just spokes in the big wheel. For children, they may not see things so clearly. Your daughter might not understand why she isn’t a cheerleader and her best friend is. Your son might have a buddy who excels in math and he struggles. As Mom says, “Variety is the spice of life.” It would be awfully boring if we were all made the same. Help your children find their own gifts and to appreciate those of others.
9. The Power of Positive Thinking
“Just what makes that little ole’ ant think he’ll move that rubber tree plant?” He had high hopes so the song goes. When our minds are focused and our spirits high, we can accomplish miracles. Positive thinking moves mountains as well as rubber tree plants. Allow your children to dream big and to never give up. Give them a pat on the rump and tell them to go get ‘em!
10. The Right Crowd
You are not always with your child. In fact, most of the time you aren’t. They are at school and you are at work. You are mowing the grass and they are over playing with a friend. So, obviously, other people have a great deal of influence on your child. Who these other people are matters very much. Get to know the important friends in your child’s life. Get to know their parents. Our circle of friends should be diverse and inspiring. Friends that help lift us up to greater heights. Friends that push us to be better. The right crowd.
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Is there anything you think you can’t do? Why?”