On the Hunt for Confidence and Self Esteem.
7 Simple steps that will enable you to grow your confidence and your children’s.
Of all the commodities available to us as humans, confidence is the elusive treasure that we continue to seek. Many of us are able to tap into short term confidence by applying make-up or having ‘Dutch courage’ but what we really want is that deep rooted confidence, the kind that flows through our veins and that of our children. That is the golden treasure.
Working as a Confidence Coach with adults and children I use simple and effective techniques that enable you to develop your own confidence, as well as nurture and develop it within your children.
1.Have the courage to be IMPERFECT.
Have you ever watched a child taking it’s first few steps? They put a tentative foot forward and …flump, within a moment they are back on their bottoms again.
Does the child think ‘Oh dear I got it wrong, I can’t walk, how rubbish am I! What a mistake to try something new and get it wrong the first time. I’m such a fool for even trying. All the others can do and I can’t, Oh dear, I’m just going to stick with crawling for the rest of my life.’
No! They pick themselves up and have another go and bump down they go again, and again and again. But they keep going and learn from each and every bump until they master the art of walking.
We all have to master this art of learning from our mistakes, nurture it in our children and ourselves. Just because we have become adults and parents does not mean that we can never make mistakes. By making the mistakes and even having a laugh about it, you give your children the permission to try new things and give them the space to get learn from their mistakes. Celebrate the act of trying not the act of failing.
‘You only fail when you give up!’
2. Love Yourself.
This is a difficult one for some people as talking about loving yourself is seen as being arrogant. But arrogance is about lies and mis-truths. When you truly love yourself you are accepting of all of your qualities and talents, even the bits that you want to change. You become able to be honest with how you feel and this is a strength that all children can learn with you.
Take time out to play this with your child, all the family can get involved. Create sheets of paper with each participants name on, drawings and photos of the person can be added too. Once they are made take 2 minutes to write on your own piece of paper as many of your qualities, talents and skills that you can think of, (friendliness, fun, great cook, good reader etc). Once the time is up swap papers with the other participants and again write as many of their qualities as possible. Make sure you keep the qualities positive. Once everyone has had the chance to write on each others paper, hand them back to the original owner and take the time to read them. It is important as the adult in this game that you accept all the qualities written! These papers can then be displayed on bedroom doors or the fridge and read daily. It is also great to add further compliments to the list as the weeks go by. Reading and re- reading of the lists will enforce self esteem for all involved as you realise how many ‘good points’ you do have! You can create a younger child’s list and ask them what qualities they have or even before they can speak start a list telling them all the things you love about them. Have fun with it!
3. Giggle like a Loon
‘Five year olds laugh about 147 times a day. Adults laugh about 5 times a day!’
Laughter is extremely important for many reasons; It alleviates stress and tension, encourages creativity and positive thinking, it tones muscles and acts like ‘internal jogging’,
it releases endorphins giving us the ‘feel good factor’ and it unleashes inhibitions and breaks down barriers. Not only does laughing do all of that but it boosts your immune system and improves respiration and circulation. All that and it’s FREE!!
Laughing with your child will build a strong connection, which in turn will build on their self esteem and confidence, oh and yours too!
To get more laughter into your life have tickle fights, pull funny faces at each other or my favourite just burst out laughing for no reason and before you know it you’ll be giggling like crazy.
4. Feel good Factor!
There are many reasons to exercise everyday, your health being one of them but just like when you laugh magical chemicals start to flow around your body, chemicals that create more of that feel good factor and ones that last for hours. Just 20 minutes of exercise each day will have these endorphins flowing around your body for hours. Many schools have now adopted a small ‘work-out’ each morning to get the children awake and alert ready for the day. The results have been outstanding; attendance has improved, concentration levels have rocketed and self esteem issues (aka Bullying) are diminishing!
So how can you exercise and have fun…?
There are endless exercise games you can play, here are just a few ideas.
- Take your child swimming, splashing and playing in the water is great exercise.
- Take the dog for a walk or go for a walk is a simple and very effect form of exercise. If possible take some bread out with you and feed the ducks too.
- Put the radio or a favourite CD on and dance your socks off.
What others ways can you and your children think of to exercise and have fun together?
5. End of the day praise
It is very easy to go through the day and collapse at the end forgetting all that we have achieved and for a child this morning seems like last week!
The simple but highly effect process of re-capping the day is a great way for both of you to celebrate what you have done and forget about the rest!
Each evening, could be at dinner time, bed or bath time have a think back over your day and all that you achieved;
- You got up
- Got dressed
- Ate breakfast – remind them what they had
- Brushed your teeth
- Read a book
- Helped cook dinner
The list goes on.
There is no need to go through the whole day in this much detail, but it is great to highlight at least 5 things that both of you achieved each day and to praise yourselves for doing them, even if they went ‘wrong’ celebrate the fact that you had a go and talk about how, when and what others ways you can try again!
6. Help Start an Epidemic
We want to protect our children from many dangers of the world, but there is one epidemic that I highly encourage starting…
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too…
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin
And when he smiled – I realized
I passed it on to him…
I thought about that smile
then realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth…
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!
Just like laughing smiling sends the body’s natural ‘happy drug’ around the body, which builds the immune system and makes you feel great for hours.
Smiling when you communicate to yourself and others also builds a strong bond of friendliness, understanding and approachability, which in turn will grow your self confidence and that of those around you.
7. Fake it ’til you make it!
You have in your head the most amazing computer on the planet, your brain. But as amazing as it is it struggles to differentiate between reality and imagination and you can use this to your advantage.
When you and your children are faced with situations where you are less than confident; meeting new people, trying something new, speaking in public. Try the ‘fake it ’til you make it rule’, not only is this highly effective but it can be a great game to play with children of all ages.
When you are faced with said lack in confidence situation ask yourself and your child this question;
‘How would I be if I was full of confidence?’ Then take on all the thoughts, body language, walk etc that you would have if you were full of confidence. If you find this question difficult to answer can you imagine what it would look and feel like to be confident?
If your child still finds this hard then ask them about their favourite character – Mr. Incredible, Superman, Cat woman, Harry Potter and ask them how they think that character would be in this situation. How would they walk, talk and act? What would they do to build their confidence? Then get them to pretend to be the character, have them walk around the room, mimic the voice and if need be wear the costume. The more that you and they pretend and understand confidence the more comfortable you and they will feel with it and the more natural it will become.
This game can be developed into full play as you and your child act out being really confident super heroes/characters, having all the confidence in the world at your finger tips. The more you build on this the better as the brain still has no idea that you are pretending!
These techniques and exercises may seem really simple… they are! But they are also highly effective and with time using some or all of these, not only will you build you own confidence but you be unlocking a golden treasure chest of confidence and self esteem for your children too!
Have fun with these exercises. Let me know how they develop and if you create new ones I would love to hear about them too.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled
but a fire to be kindled”
Post time: 06-20-2017