Posts Tagged ‘building confidence in children’
For every hundred failures one successful idea will prevail. About a year ago I had one of those successes. It is a great parenting tip and I want to share.
Contained within a dryly PhD written child development book which I can’t remember the title, I found an interesting factoid that stood out; three out of every four teenage girls has an unsatisfactory self image. When I read this I could see truth in that. Of course the professional child psychiatrist who recorded that fact had no solution to combat the ugly trend, pointing to external cultural influences as the cause.
That gloomy stat slowly began to creep up on my girls, In photographs Olivia would mimic cover model’s expressions that she’d seen from Glamour mags while waiting in line at the supermarket, Hailey started using words like “fat” or “ugly” to describe other people and Olivia desired to wear clothing emulating teenyboppers. Pop culture was stealing my children’s innocence. It was only a matter of time before Olivia’s and Hailey’s own inadequacies bound them into a suffocating comma of self doubt and uncertainty. I had to find a solid method to instill confidence in my young princesses and repel the damaging tide of filth spewing from every direction. That method came from another book. A book that I do remember: Get Real Get Rich by Farrah Gray, an inspirational read about a south-side Chicago kid who grew out of poverty to become wealthy in more ways than monetarily. Somewhere in that book I came across a confidence builder that worked for the author; looking in the mirror and reciting self affirmations. Yup, the perfect remedy to instill self-confidence in my girls.
Close to a year ago I got my girls into the habit of saying something nice about themselves or something that they are good at when they stood in front of the mirror while getting ready for preschool. Now, anytime they step in front of a mirror they automatically have something positive to say (or think) about themselves and both Olivia and Hailey appear to be more self assured, upbeat and less hypnotized by our glamified culture.
I can tell them a bazillion times (and I do) that they are beautiful or intelligent or good at something not making a dent in their psyche. However when they have convinced themselves that they are good or pretty or smart, a noticeable internal foundation of confidence is clearly evident. In three or five or ten or twenty years will my girls turn out to be overly confident even conceited? Maybe, but it’s better than the alternative.