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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What are you passing on to your kids?

Sometimes we inherit something from our parents, like the same colour of eyes or hair or maybe the same shaped nose.  But were you aware that we can also inherit their character traits and tendencies?

Children are born with their own personalities but these can be influenced greatly by the behaviour and actions of their parents.

  • If we are angry, bitter or negative people, our children can also become angry, bitter or negative.
  • If we are self-centered and focus on ourselves more than others, our children will become selfish and lack generosity.
  • If we have an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, our children are more likely to develop an addiction.
  • If we don’t have solid moral values, our children will not learn to respect themselves and others.

As parents, we have a profound affect on our children and we should ensure that we are influencing them in a positive way.  This isn’t an easy task and we will make mistakes.  However, we should carefully look at our own lives and try to make any necessary changes so we can become  to be the best possible role model.

What are you passing on to your kids?

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Where does happiness come from?

Have you ever wondered why some people who seem to have everything in life are unhappy, yet other people who have little or nothing seem to be bursting with joy?

People who have lots of money and possessions feel that something is missing.  People who have good looks have trouble making good relationships.  People who have power feel powerless.   People who are surrounded by friends feel alone.  There are so many people in the world who appear to have great lives but they are extremely unhappy and unfulfilled.  On the other hand, people who live in poverty and struggle each day with hunger and sickness are often the happiest people you will meet.

Why does this happen?  Because things of this world are temporary and can only give temporary satisfaction.  Reaching for material things to bring happiness will never give you what you are looking for.  You can have the perfect life, the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect family and you still won’t be happy.  Of course, it really isn’t possible to have perfection in a world that is far from perfect.  When you look for happiness in objects, they will never be enough.  You have to look inside you and around you.

Happiness comes from being confident in who you are, not who you want to be or what you have.  It is:

  • knowing that you have great abilities and qualities that make you different from anyone else
  • being thankful for what you have and not desiring things you don’t need
  • understanding that you were created to be special and unique
  • wanting to help other people and guide them towards a better way of life
  • being a positive role model
  • having faith in someone bigger than yourself

We all can choose everyday to be happy or not to be happy.  It is all how we look at the world around us and what we do with the gifts we have been given.  When you get up tomorrow, choose to be happy and have a wonderful day!

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What is a friend?

Everyone wants to have friends.  Friendships are important.  Good friends help us learn and grow, they help us build confidence, they help us enjoy life.  When we are surrounded by people who care about us, we are able to navigate through life’s ups and downs and feel their love and support.

Children especially need friends to help them grow emotionally, socially and morally.  They need mainly people their own age, although children can become friends with those who are older or younger.  Many parents try to be a friend to their child, thinking they are being loving, but this will only stop a child from becoming independent and responsible.  Parents should be a parent, a mentor, a teacher, someone who is there to guide them, support them, discipline them and mostly love them.  Parents should be a good example to their children, helping them learn how to become a good friend to others and encouraging them to find positive friendships.  Without friendships, children may easily become depressed, lonely and lack ambition which can result in poor health, poor performance in school or work, failed marriages and difficulty coping as an adult.

What does it take to be a good friend?  It comes from a combination of teaching and experience.  Good friends are able to :

  • communicate their feelings in a positive way
  • understand the feelings of others
  • show empathy
  • be trustworthy
  • not gossip or spread false rumours
  • take responsibility for their own actions
  • solve problems and resolve conflicts
  • forgive easily and not hold grudges
  • distinguish right from wrong
  • make good choices
  • stand up for what they believe
  • withstand bullying and understand that bullies have their own issues to deal with
  • be loyal even when a friend is hurting physically or emotionally
  • get along with others even during difficult times
  • accept differences in people
  • own up to their mistakes and not blame others
  • have fun and enjoy life

 

If you want to have good friends, you have to be a good friend.  Be a good example to your children and teach them to be a good example to others.   Discourage them from having friends who continually hurt them through gossiping, excluding them, ignoring them or trying to get them to do things they know is wrong.  Even having 1 good friend is better than having 20 bad friends.  You are the biggest influence in your child’s life so make sure you are influencing them in a positive way.

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Are you teaching your children to worry?

Let’s face it – life IS difficult and there are so many things that we can worry about – our families, our jobs, our friends, our finances, our future.  However, what value does worrying have?   The answer is – absolutely none! Worry doesn’t make anything better and it won’t resolve any problems.  Worry is just a major cause of stress and we know that stress can kill us.

So if we are worrying about everything in our lives, then we are impacting everyone around us, especially our children.  Think about it – our children are watching everything we say and do and will likely pick up any bad habits we have, like worrying!  We are giving them a terrible gift, one that will harm their health and possibly destroy any close parent/child relationship.

Are you teaching your children to worry?  If you are a worrier, take some steps to change this bad habit.  Write down your worries and try to change your perspective on them.  Ask yourself why you are worrying so much.  Try to focus on a positive solution and have faith that things will usually turn out okay.  The fact is, about 95% of the things we worry about never happen!

 

 

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What kind of example are you?

Unless we are completely alone, everything we say and do has an effect on other people.  We can be a good example or we can be a bad example depending on what kind of words and actions we are using.  The best thing we can do is to lead by example and have a positive impact on everyone around us, especially our children.

  • If you want your children to show respect to others, you can’t call people names and run them down.
  • If you want your children to tell the truth, you can’t call in sick to work and then go and play golf
  • If you want your children to be kind to others, you can’t ignore that homeless person lying on the ground
  • If you want your children to be healthy, you can’t eat unhealthy foods or abuse substances yourself

If you want your children to grow up to become responsible adults, you have to show them what a responsible adult looks like.  You can’t just tell them or try to force them into a mold.   They will learn best from your positive example.

This doesn’t mean that you should try to be a perfect parent.  There is no such thing!  Do the best you can and aim for excellence not perfection.  You will make mistakes.  Don’t try to cover them up and pretend you are perfect.  Show your child that you do fail but that you learn from your mistakes and keep trying to do better.

What kind of example are you?

 

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12 ways to teach your kids to be thankful

Teaching our children to have manners is important but teaching them to be thankful can benefit them in more ways than just saying ‘please and thank-you’.   Being thankful helps us live a better life because we are looking for the positives in life instead of the negatives.

Studies have shown that people who are thankful tend to be happier and more confident.  They are able to deal with difficult situations in a positive way and make better decisions.  They have better relationships and treat others with respect.  They are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

When children are taught to appreciate what they have and are able to understand that everything in life doesn’t come easily, they are less apt to be selfish, self-centered individuals.

So how can we teach our kids to be thankful?  Here are 10 suggestions:

  1. Be a thankful role model.  Children learn best from our example.  They are always watching us and will often imitate what they see.  Show them that you are thankful for all the wonderful things in your life.  Be polite to others people and show courtesy and respect.  “Thank-you for listening to me.”  “I’m so thankful for my nice warm bed.”  “Thanks for cleaning up your room.”
  2. Expect your children to show good manners.  Children should say please and thank-you.  They should sit at the table until everyone has finished their meal.  They should be quiet when an elderly family member is sleeping.   They should write thank-you letters when they receive a gift.  Gently remind your children when they forget to be polite.
  3. Have a special ‘thankful’ meal every week.  Start the meal with a simple grace and then ask everyone to share something that they are thankful for.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal.  Encourage your children to write down things they are thankful for and then  have a gratitude day where everyone can share their thoughts.
  5. Make a gratitude jar.  Write down things you are thankful for on slips of paper and put them in the jar.  Pick a special time to pull them out and read them.
  6. Play gratitude charades.  Have everyone think of something they are thankful for and act it out.  If you are thankful for having a puppy, walk on all fours.  If you are thankful for having good food to eat, pretend you are cooking.  Be creative.
  7. Tell your children how thankful you are that they are in your family.  Tell them how thankful you are for their smile, their hugs, their special way of doing (something).
  8. Refrain from giving your children too many material things and encourage them to save their allowance or get a job to pay for any special items they may want.  This teaches them to appreciate the value of money and hard work.
  9. Encourage them to donate their time or money to help a worthy cause.   Help them understand that many people are struggling and need someone to help them.  Allow them to feel the positive energy of helping others.
  10. Catch them complaining and try to help them find something to be grateful for.  If they are complaining about not getting a new toy or the latest technology, have them make a list about the great things they already have.
  11. Read stories and watch movies about gratitude.  This will reinforce what you are teaching them and help them see things from a different perspective.
  12. Bake cookies for your neighbours, your school or place of work and attach a note telling them how thankful you are for knowing them.

 

It doesn’t matter if your children are 2 years old or 42 years old, you can still help them become more thankful by being a positive role model.

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What kind of example do you present to your children?

Happy Family Laughing in BedDid you realize that your children are watching everything you do and listening to everything you say?   Whenever they are within hearing range, they hear our words and they watch our actions.  Children look up to their parents and want to be just like them.  They look up to their parents for instruction and believe that they are the example they should follow.   Their young minds are trying to digest tons of information while discovering what is going on in the world around them.

It is really important that parents are presenting a good example to their children.  If parents have bad habits, children will often pick them up.  If parents use negative self-talk, children will learn how to speak negatively about themselves and others.  If parents are easily angered, children will have little patience.   If parents obsess about their looks, children will become very self-conscious about their self-image and have little esteem.

When children have positive role models they will become responsible, caring adults.  This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect parents because there are no perfect parents.  We all make mistakes and we need to show our kids that it is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and keep growing.  The key is to try our best to be the kind of parent that we want our kids to become.

  • If we want our kids to be responsible, we have to be an example of responsibility.
  • If we want our kids to be loving, we have to be an example of love.
  • If we want our kids to be kind, we have to be an example of kindness.
  • If we want our kids to be patient, we have to be an example of patience.
  • If we want our kids to be a person of integrity, we have to be an example of integrity.

What kind of example are you presenting to your children?

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How to help your teen build esteem

We should never measure ourselves against other people because we are all unique individuals.  We can’t possibly be the same as somebody else and we are not supposed to be.  Many of the people we are comparing ourselves to, are often very insecure about themselves.

Teens need to develop confidence and increase their self-esteem so they will be able to stand up to negative peer pressures and make good choices in life.  As parents, we can help our own children and any teens we are connected to.  Here are some ways that we can help them build esteem:

  1. Show love – Take very opportunity to show how much you love your children.  No, they don’t just know!!! You have to tell them and show them.  A child who feels loved at home won’t go looking for love in all the wrong places.
  2. Be encouraging – Life will always have problems and teens are very sensitive when they fail or do something wrong.  They need to be encouraged to keep going and know that you will support them.
  3. Have an open mind – Teens need to know that you that you are listening to them and that you are not going to judge everything they say.   You may not always agree with what they are saying, but they aren’t you and they will think differently.  Be honest and open.  Teens will talk to whoever with listen, so make sure that person is you.
  4. Be a positive role model – Teens always watch the people around them to see how they speak and act, so we need to make sure we are presenting a positive example for them to follow.  Be the person you want your teen to be.
  5. Choose your words carefully – Your words have the power to impact your teen in a positive or negative way.  Once your words are spoken, they can’t be taken back, so be very careful you don’t say something that is damaging.  Say things that remind them of their great abilities and strengths.
  6. Spend time with them – Teens do like to spend time with their parents as it makes them feel valued.  Plan some special times as a family and also one-on-one, to build a closer relationship.  Make sure you aren’t spending time criticizing them or they will prefer to spend time with someone else.

The teen years are very difficult and your teen really needs your love and support.  Be there for them and help them navigate through all the challenges they face.  You will face obstacles and often feel like nothing is working, but if you keep the lines of communication open and keep trying to maintain a good relationship, your teen will feel your support and know how much you care.

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More is NOT always better!

Society tries to make us believe that having more of everything is a good thing.  If we have more money, more possessions and more power then we will have a better life.   If we have more friends, more intimate relationships, eat more and fill our lives with more activity, we will find happiness.  Really?

What is the result of having MORE of everything?  It leads to more depression, more sickness, more loneliness, more stress, more debt, more broken marriages and families, more unwanted pregnancies, more sexual diseases, more addictions and more teens having serious problems that carry on into their adult years.

Money, possessions and power can’t bring us happiness and it can’t mend all the brokenness in the world.  What we need is MORE love, MORE compassion, MORE kindness.  These are things that money can’t buy yet they have a much higher value.

More CAN be better if we put our priorities in the right place and stop listening to the voice of the world telling us how we should live.  We don’t have to follow the crowd and go in the wrong direction.  We need to learn how to listen to our own inner voice and always do what we know is right.   It isn’t easy being a person of integrity in this fallen world, but we can start being a positive example to other people.

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