Building Confident Children!
It’s back to school time!!! All around the world parents are shopping for school supplies, clothes and lunches. Kids are excited about their new teacher, new grade, and new friends. Sometimes, going back to school is like a reunion for parents and kids. They enjoy seeing their old friends and teachers.
Starting school can be exhilarating yet stressful. My daughter started Kindergarten this fall. It triggered so many feelings for her. The night before the first day of school, she was moody. I thought she would be excited but she was cranky and whining. Instead of getting annoyed by her mood and actions, I was empathic. I put myself in her shoes and tried to understand how she was really feeling. Could she be nervous or shy? Acknowledging my daughter’s negative feelings and behavior was an invitation for her to grow expressively and emotionally. According John Gottman, “When parents offer their children empathy and help them to cope with negative feelings like anger, sadness, and fear, parents build bridges of loyalty and affection.” ― John M. Gottman, Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child
Like adults, children and adolescence get nervous, shy, scared, and thrilled when starting something new. They need to be encouraged of their abilities and effort to make it through the day. Offering recognition, praise, and rewards boosts children confidence. For instance, praising your child of their efforts of confronting the unknowns of a new school year, results in your child confronting other “new or scary” situations.
As parents, you are your children’s biggest cheerleader. Below are a few tips to cultivate confident children and a productive school year:
Coach your children to express their feelings and thoughts
Listen to your children empathically
Pray with your children daily
Affirm (speak highly) of your children and their efforts
Your children are Worth it!
Rachel L. Logan, LCSW
Empowerment Coach and Counselor