We all want our children to be confident, some kids seem to have it,some have a little to much of it
and others well they don't seem to have any.
For those with little or no confidence life can be difficult, Shy introverted timid children are often the first to be bullied and so the escalation of lack of confidence to lack of self esteem begins.
So how can we give confidence to those who lack it?
I thought it might be helpful to give you my definition of confidence
As I see it, confidence is a feeling of certainty that an individual holds over the ability to cope with any given situation. So a child can feel confident (and so have peace of mind) with the family cat but be terrified in the park near dogs. I get a child being wary of other dogs may be a desirable thing, but not terror.
Well if confidence is just a feeling of certainty, how can you get your child to feel it?
Step 1 Use their BODY
Have you ever noticed how people with a head ache stand or sit? They position their head in a downwards position with it slightly tilted to one side with their palm across there fore head and let the muscles in their face go slack, You don't need to ask them what's wrong, you know.
If you want to get a head ache that's a great way to get one you just sit in the head ache position for a while, your body will give your brain the message and hey presto, you feel dreadful.
Well confidence has its body position too. When you stand with your shoulders back, with your head slightly elevated eyes forward and open wide, your feet shoulder width apart arms folder across your chest or even hands on hips, you know the superman position. (there's a reason he stands like that - he's portraying someone with ultimate confidence). You can't help but start to feel confident.
Play the Superman game!
Step 2 Use their BREATH
How a child breathes at any given time determines how they feel, in fact not breathing for a while can have serious consequences for you, like being dead, so your body and brain react extremely quickly to poor breathing patterns, how to you breathe when you are upset or crying, most people sob and take shallow weak breathes your body starts to understand there is less oxygen coming in and starts to shut things down, no wonder they feel lousy.
Teach you child to breathe properly, partially when they feel uncertain, it helps their physiology and that helps with confidence, You hear coaches say just take a deep breathe and go for it!
Step 3 Use their BRAIN
What stories are you telling yourself, what pictures are you putting into your head? What do you expect to happen in any given situation, what is your inner voice telling you? Do you talk to yourself in a disgraceful manner, you would never talk to anyone else that way.
You say things like "you can't do that, it could all go wrong, you're a loser". Your child may well be doing the same thing. So how you and your child control your thoughts and what you focus on is essential, and its essential for your child as well.
Now its this focus that children can struggle with, for their expectations come from their previous experience and if they have little or no previous experience in dealing with a given situation their brain may refer back to the last time they were faced with a similar unknown challenge.
If they previously met the last challenge and were positively rewarded, a new challenging situation will hold much less uncertainty than for a child whose last challenge ended in disaster, humiliation or punishment.
So can you really give your child confidence?
Yes of course in the opposite way to which you could destroy it.
Introducing your child to incrementally increasing challenges, teaching them and showing them how to achieve those challenges and rewarding each small successes along the way.
Introducing your child into in a positive "Can Do Atmosphere" where development through challenge is the norm.
Keeping them physically active and getting the required levels of oxygen is going to help.
Can you inspire confidence in children, Yes and its great fun.
Have a go.