“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
It is easy to avoid things that we haven't done before or feel we might not be good at.. let's face it, we do it as adults. How many times have I put off going to a gym class by myself for fear that I won't be able to keep up? Doubt creeps in for all of us but some children & adults find it much harder to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. However, the optimal area between outside our comfort zone but within a safe space, is where the magic happens- where we face our fears, learn new skills, develop a sense of self and build the coping skills necessary for life. But it is all in the approach- make sure your child will feel success in those starting steps so they can fly the rest.
Being brave- something that is important for every boy and girl. Moving outside of our comfort zone is vital for progression. When we move into this space; we learn new things about ourselves and the world, we make new friendships, we develop hobbies and we learn how to cope in new and challenging situations. And this isn’t just for kids- this also applies to adults.
As we move into an era where there seems to be an increase in anxiety amongst kids; we must start to address both the environmental triggers but also children’s coping and resilience skills.
So how do we create brave and confident kids?
Firstly, let them learn how to problem solve and make decisions. Start with the small things-give then choice in clothes, let them figure out solutions to social problems with guidance, encourage them to ask for help in class, let them attempt parts of their homework before you help, encourage them to self regulate with questions like “ I can see you are frustrated with your homework- what should we do?”- pause and come up with a few solutions together. The more problems they solve independently and the more skills they can do- will create confident kids who trust in their instinct and ability to self- regulate in situations. Talk about emotions at home and ways of feeling calm. Use “you can” phrases rather than “I’ll do” - “ you can calm your body- have a think what will work”.
Being confident, brave and resilient are the characteristics of a superhero and every child can be a superhero!