imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Helping your child become successful

It is the responsibility of every parent to help their children become confident and successful adults.  Unfortunately many parents struggle with little or no confidence and are unable to be a positive role model for their children.

Having confidence and strong self-esteem is important to a child, as it will help them become a successful adult.  Children learn the concept of success very early in life.  Think about when a baby starts to roll over, or walk, or puts those square pegs in the round hole.  Children don’t give up easily. They will try something and fail, then try again and fail and keep trying until they are successful.   Without even being taught, they have already learned how to fail successfully.  When they finally master what they are doing, they feel good about themselves, especially if they receive praise for their efforts.  This is when their confidence and esteem start to grow and develop.

If you are struggling as a parent and feel you are not a good role model for your children, you are not alone.  Most parents feel this way, including myself.   Building my own confidence was the first step in becoming a better parent and this led me to a greater awareness of what is necessary in raising a child.   Following are some of the ideas that I found in various books by leading child specialists.  These ideas are not just for parents but for anyone who is involved in raising a child such as other family members, friends, teachers, peers, etc.  We can ALL influence children in a positive way.  Sadly, there are many children today who do not have any positive role models.

  1. Provide your children with a warm, loving, safe environment.   Children need to know they are safe and loved.  They need hugs and outward signs of affection.  They need to know that they are always welcome in their own home no matter what has happened.
  2. Be a positive role model.  Children learn by what they see and hear.  We need to be careful with our  words and actions and try not to criticize or belittle them.  We need to be the person we want our child to be.   Showing respect for ourselves and the people around us will help them learn to respect themselves and others.
  3. Encourage your children. Encourage your children to try new things and when they have succeeded, give them praise.  Help your children to feel proud of what they have accomplished and be patient if they have problems.
  4. Allow your children to make mistakes.   Parents often try to help their children avoid making mistakes and only praising them when they succeed.  It is important to teach your child that life is not perfect and that they will fail sometimes.  When they make mistakes, discuss what lessons they have learned and encourage them to try again.
  5. Communicate and listen.  Spend time with your child so you can listen to what they are saying and respond in a positive, non-judgmental and non-critical manner.  Acknowledge their feelings and when they are frustrated or upset, don’t dismiss or ignore them or tell them they are being silly.  Be open to discuss whatever they want to talk about as it will keep the lines of communication open.  Give compliments on how they look.  Help them discover their strengths and weaknesses.  Be there when they need you.
  6. Involve children in positive activities.  Being active will help children keep fit, increase their confidence and they will form good relationships.  Get them involved in some type of activity such as sports, music, exercise or an activity group.   This will keep them from becoming overly immersed in the media which can result in serious problems.  However, don’t get them involved in too much activity as this will just create stress for the entire family.  Volunteering is a great positive activity for children.  It teaches children the value of helping others and builds esteem.
  7. Discipline with love.  Children need to have reasonable boundaries that are enforced.  Discuss these with your child and make sure they understand what the consequences of their actions will be.  Always be fair, open-minded and loving.  When discipline is necessary, separate the child from the action and punish the action, not the child.
  8. Help set  realistic goals.  Goals give purpose to life for both children and adults.  Goals will help your child work towards what they want to achieve and keep them focused.
  9. Teach your children about self-image.  Body image often becomes the main focus of a child’s life, which can be harmful and damaging to their esteem.  Discuss how society creates an unrealistic image of beauty and help them understand that real beauty is not just how they look.  Teach your children to be confident about who they are.
  10. Support your child.  Your child is a unique individual and you may not always agree with their choices.  Being supportive will help them build confidence and allow them to become independent.

It is certainly a difficult task to be a parent, but when we become a parent we are responsible for the life of another human being.  We need to take this seriously and be the best role model we can so our children can grow up to be positive parents themselves.  This does NOT mean that we should frustrate ourselves trying to become a perfect person because nobody can be perfect in an imperfect word.  We just need to take a look at our life and see what we can do to become a better role model for our children, our grandchildren and everyone else around us.

Start making some positive changes today!!  Read some books on positive parenting.  If you want something simple and easy to read, I can suggest my book, “Grandma’s Notes on Parenting”.  Visit my website at http://www.imconfident.com for order information.  Following is a review by Reader’s Favourite.

BOOK REVIEW

Reviewed by Nonnie Jules for Readers’ Favorite

Grandma’s Notes on Parenting by Brenda Silveira is about the difficulty of being a parent for the first time and how unprepared all new parents are for the responsibility of another human being’s future. It will appeal to parents-to-be as well as new parents alike. The book contains a few short chapters on the traits and behaviors needed by every adult who wishes to be a positive role model so their children will learn how to become responsible adults. The author beats herself up a bit but I think it’s her way of showing others where she failed so they don’t make the same mistakes she did. I thought it humanized her. 

I really enjoyed reading Grandma’s Notes on Parenting because it was a very well written book about the trials and tribulations this grandma faced while raising her now adult daughters. We all know how loving and wise grandmothers are so, from her point of view, Brenda Silveira details the main traits needed to raise well-rounded, responsible children. She is very candid and honest in pointing out her mistakes as a mother and how, as a grandmother, she is much better equipped to help her daughters parent their children. There was a nice fluid flow to the writing and it made you feel as if you were sitting in Brenda’s living room, while she passed along some much needed advice. This is a good book that I would recommend to all.

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Make volunteering a priority in 2017

There have been many studies done on the benefits of volunteering.  Without a doubt, it has proven to have positive effects on our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.  Volunteering can bring happiness and fulfillment to your life.  It helps you become more confident, connects you to other amazing people, may help advance your career and give you a sense of purpose.

Volunteering not only benefits you, it also benefits the people you are helping.  It brings encouragement and makes them feel more valuable.  By feeling that someone cares, it can change the entire direction of their lives

Families and friends also benefit from your volunteering efforts.  It lets them see love in action and it shows them how volunteering makes a difference.  Anyone who notices your acts of kindness will be affected in a positive way.

However, even if nobody notices what you have done, it still makes a huge difference in your own life.  The real purpose of volunteering is doing something and expecting nothing in return.  We should never volunteer just to get recognition.  Working for an organization that answers calls from people in distress or writing letters to lonely people far away can go unnoticed by others but it will still bring positive benefits to you.

Start the New Year with a resolution that will make an important and valuable difference in your life and the lives of others.  Resolve to volunteer for a local organization and bring in the happiness!  Even 2 hours a month can make a difference to someone.  I have volunteered for years and I know the benefits it brings!

Here is an article on the benefits of volunteering for teenagers.  Being a volunteer and showing a good example to your children will teach them valuable lessons that will enrich their lives.  Get them started young and help them become responsible, caring adults.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320432.php

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Handling stress during the holidays

Christmas is a wonderful season but it can also be a season of tremendous stress.  If you want to really enjoy the holidays, it is important that you take care of yourself and find ways to handle the added pressures that can take away any peace or joy.

  • Consider what Christmas is all about.  Why do we celebrate?  Is it just a holiday or is there something more important?
  • Don’t try to make everything perfect.  Nothing in this world is perfect so stop trying to do the impossible.  If something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, just make the best of things and enjoy yourself anyway.  A burnt pie or a forgotten gift doesn’t have to ruin the day.
  • Don’t spend all your money on unwanted or frivolous gifts and end up in debt.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Those wonderful gifts don’t seem so wonderful when you are paying for them months later.  Spend your time instead investing in the people you love and create some great memories.
  • Take time for yourself and don’t neglect your health.  Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well.  Relax with a good book, take a bath, listen to music and meditate.  If you don’t exhaust yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holidays.
  • Have a good attitude and be forgiving to the people around you.  Try to resolve any differences and work on repairing strained relationships.  Be a positive role model and express thanks for all the great things you have.
  • Plan creative but simple meals.  Get family and friends to help instead of doing everything yourself.  Share the load so you aren’t overburdened.
  • Try to include someone who is lonely in a family experience.  There are many people who don’t have family or friends to share Christmas with.

Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year.  It can be a time of peace and joy.  It can be full of love and warmth.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember what Christmas is all about.  Jesus came into the world to bring us hope.  Hallelujah!!

 

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A Christmas checklist

What is on your Christmas checklist?  Buying presents, preparing for guests, creating a tasty meal plan, attending special events?  These are certainly things that need attention but when we get caught up in all the excitement, we can end up feeling stressed and full of anxiety.

There are a few important things that you should have on your Christmas checklist.  These include:

 

  • HELP  Get family and friends to help.  Think of an aunt, cousin or friend who is bored and would like to help you wrap gifts, clean the house and prepare meals.  Things go faster and are more fun when you have help.
  • FAMILY TIME  Spend time with your family.  In our attempt to create a perfect Christmas, we often neglect our family.  This certainly won’t create a feeling of love and peace in the home.
  • GIFTS  Don’t buy gifts at the last minute.  Watch for special sales all year and pick up the rest early in December so you can get them wrapped and under the tree.
  • SHOPPING TIME  Organize shopping so you aren’t running around in all directions or going out every day for wasting time running out for just one item.  Combine gift shopping with your regular errands and make plans to go several places in one day.
  • DIET  Make sure you eat properly.  When you are rushing around, it is easy to grab fast food or go without meals.  Your family also needs proper meals, so take time to prepare something healthy.
  • RELAX  Book time to relax in your schedule.  Make sure you spend at least an hour each day relaxing.  Read a book, take a bath or just sit and meditate.
  • SHARE LOVE  There are so many lonely, unhappy people, especially at this time of year.  Spread some love around by smiling and saying hello to everyone you see.  You might just get a smile back!

If you want Christmas to be a joyful event, you need to make sure you are not focusing all your attention on gifts and glitter.  Focus on what is important and what the Christmas season is all about.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

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What are you doing to change the world?

There are certain topics that I am very passionate about.  These include confidence-building, relationships, children, faith, poverty, injustice, violence.  It breaks my heart when I read about people hurting other people, especially when it comes to children.  Every day I hear something that brings a tear to my eyes and sends pain through my heart.  People can be so cruel to each other and even to themselves.  Where is all the love and compassion?

  • We need to examine our lives and figure out what we can do to help people instead of hurt them.
  • We need to watch our words carefully and think before we speak.
  • We need to stop ourselves before we do anything that we might regret later.
  • We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others and try to understand who they really are instead of making a quick, incorrect judgment.
  • We need to support, love and pray for each other.

People often think they can’t do much to change the world by themselves but if we can do just one small thing it can have a ripple effect.  We might never see the end result when we show kindness to another person.  Just a few encouraging words spoken to someone who is broken and defeated can lift them up and help them make positive changes in their lives.

The world is so full of anger, hatred, violence and despair.   We need to do what we can to stop this negativity from growing by showing love to everyone around us.  What are you doing to change the world?

 

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It’s the thought that counts! Really?

I’m not sure where this statement originated but I’ve heard it many times and have even used it myself without considering what it really means.  Dictionaries tell us that it refers to gift giving and that it isn’t really important how much a gift costs; the importance is found in the feeling or thought from the giver.

However, I’m not sure I totally agree with this idea.  I do believe that cost is unimportant when it comes to gift-giving and that someone can give me a gift that is right from their heart.  People spend way too much money on stuff they don’t need today and I certainly don’t like when someone spends a lot of money on me.  Yet, when I get a gift from someone, how do I know how much thought is behind it.  Unless someone shows me how they feel through their actions or words, I certainly can’t read their mind, so I obviously have no idea how they feel.  Maybe they did think a lot about the gift or maybe they didn’t.  People can easily pick up items without much thought or effort.

What we truly care about another person we need to express what we are feeling.  Just assuming that they know we love and care for them is not enough.  Our thoughts are just our thoughts and nobody will even know what is going on in our minds unless we express ourselves.  Children especially need to be reminded of our love or they will not build confidence or see their value.

So next time you give someone a gift make sure they know how you feel.  The thought doesn’t count – people do.

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A game plan for happiness

If you could have anything you want in the world, what would that be?  A new car? A better job? An all-expenses paid vacation?  Do you really think any of these will bring happiness and success into your life?  Sadly none of these things can provide you with lasting happiness.  They may temporarily put a smile on your face and some excitement in your life but these will be short-lived.  Nothing in this world can provide you with happiness and success unless you create a game plan for happiness.  What does this involve?

  • Change any negative thinking into positive thinking.  When you have negative thoughts, they will keep you from enjoying your life.  Negative thinking is very destructive and can result in physical illnesses, mental issues, workplace problems and relationship breakdowns.   Thinking positive thoughts will change the way you see other people and help you deal with difficult situations.  Saying positive affirmations or positive statements on a daily basis is a great way to create a habit of positive thinking.
  • Join an activity group or take a course where you can keep your mind and body active.
  • Volunteer for a local organization.  Helping others has been proven to benefit your mind, body and soul.
  • Lower your expectations.  We tend to expect more of others than they can give and then we are disappointed. We also expect more of ourselves than we can do and this leaves us frustrated.  By lowering our expectations to a realistic level will help us feel less stressed.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others and just try to be the best person you can be.  Use your unique abilities and special strengths and be the confident person you were created to be.
  • Love other people.  When we feel anger, bitterness , resentment or hatred towards other people, we cannot be happy.  If we can try to love everyone we know, we will feel happier and have a more successful life.  This can be hard when people are difficult or hurtful but it is possible when we make it a habit to be loving and forgiving.

Happiness is possible when we have the right attitude towards life.  Make a commitment to developing a positive perspective and work at it daily.  You will reap the rewards!!

Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have and that is awesome.  ~Zig Ziglar

 

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What are you giving this Christmas….Presents or Presence?

We all know that Christmas is a time for giving presents and that can be a good thing if the presents are simple and come from the heart.  However, many people believe that they have to spend a lot of money on extravagant gifts so they will be loved and appreciated.  A big screen TV, a new expensive designer outfit, gold jewelry, the latest gadget or gimmick.  Doesn’t it mean you love someone more if you spend more money???  No, this is certainly not true.  It is just a false belief that tricks you into parting with your money, makes you feel bad and often puts you in debt.

It is far more important to give your PRESENCE on Christmas rather than PRESENTS.  Think about it.

  • Is a child happier when they are surrounded with piles of new toys and have nobody to play with OR are they happier when they have one game to play with someone they love?
  • Is a wife happier when her husband gives her a diamond bracelet and then works overtime to pay for it OR is she happier when her husband gives her an inexpensive pair of earrings and then spends time watching TV with her every evening?
  • Is a friend happier when she gets the newest I-phone from her friend and doesn’t see her for 6 months because she is too busy OR is she happier when her friend takes her for coffee once a week and spends time chatting with her?

Spending time with people spreads more happiness than spending money on people.  What are you giving this Christmas…..Presents or Presence?

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Are your words powerful?

Have you ever stopped to consider how powerful our words can be?  Everything that we say can have a huge impact on other people and even ourselves.  Just one little word or phrase can heal a person’s life or it can destroy it.  When we use words that are kind, loving and supportive we can lift people up and make them feel good.  On the other hand, when we say words that are mean, nasty and vindictive we can tear people down and make them feel bad.

Think about words that people say to you:

  • When you felt lonely and a family member said something loving to you, how did it make you feel?
  • When you were feeling down and a friend said something encouraging, did it lift you up?
  • When you were having a bad day at work and your boss told you that you did a good job, did your day go better?

Remember those times when a family member spoke to you in anger or someone at work criticized something you did or a friend told you they were too busy to have coffee with you.  How did those words make you feel?

We should always be careful with our words and choose them carefully.  Don’t let unkind, careless or cruel words come out of your mouth.  Think before you speak especially when you are stressed, tired, angry or upset.  Those are times when even the nicest person can be thoughtless and let words slip out that should never be spoken.

Saying unkind words to ourselves is also a bad thing.  We can be very cruel to ourselves, speaking words we have heard other people say to us or about us.  We need to challenge our self-talk and make sure we are not hurting ourselves with our own words.  What other people say is only a reflection of who they are and not who we are.  We believe a lot of things that are just not true.

We need to understand how powerful our words are and make sure we use them to lift people up, encourage them, support them and show our love.

 

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Simplify your child’s life…and your own

We live in a world that is complicated.   Daily pressures cause us to try to do way more that we should.  We try to pack so many things into 24 hours that we are exhausted at the end of the day.  Work, family, daily chores, meetings, sports, other activities….it is all too much for many of us to handle.  The stress we feel is handed down to our children when we place our own expectations on their little lives.

Children are not allowed to be children anymore.  They are pressured into growing up quickly and filling their time with endless activities.  When I was small, life was simple.  I spent hours playing by myself and using my creativity to do projects like painting, sewing and knitting.  Toys and games did not fill my room and I wasn’t bored.  Instead of spending hours playing on a computer or an i-pad, I was outside riding my bicycle or having adventures in my backyard.

I see children today who are involved in so many things that they don’t have time to enjoy their childhood.  Their schedules are so full of activities like sports, dancing, martial arts, video games, parties and other events that they don’t have time to use their own creativity.  Then when they do have down time, they go to rooms full of toys and games and are bored because they have nothing to do.

Parents often smother their children with too much, thinking it shows love.  We all want our children to have nice things but when it is overdone, it can result in emotional problems.  Kids feel frustrated, stressed, unsatisfied and feeling entitled to having everything they want.   We should give our children less stuff and allow them to have more free time to build their creativity.  We should give our children less activities and more family time.  More is not better.  More is stressful.  We need to simplify the lives of ourselves and our children.

Here is a great article I just read that explains more deeply what happens when we simplify life.http://raisedgood.com/extraordinary-things-happen-when-we-simplify-childhood/

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