Boosting Your Kid’s Self-Confidence – Janet Lansbury



All of us aspire for our youngsters to develop up with a optimistic self-image and an abundance of self-confidence. When life throws our baby a dilemma, it’s our pure intuition to wish to repair it, or no less than work them by way of the uncomfortable emotions with a pep discuss. On this episode, Janet solutions questions from three listeners and affords a extra useful – albeit counterintuitive – perspective that may assist kids study resilience and discover the type of confidence in themselves that lasts a lifetime.

Transcript of “Boosting Your Little one’s Self-Confidence”

Hello, that is Janet Lansbury, welcome to Unruffled. Immediately, I’m going to be speaking a few subject that’s very intriguing to me as a result of it’s so counterintuitive for many of us. And people sorts of challenges actually curiosity me. This subject helps kids really feel extra self-confident and extra optimistic. How can we try this? The recommendation I give on this podcast could also be a little bit bit shocking.

Dad and mom typically attain out to me on a subject that was actually necessary to me in addition to a dad or mum, it’s about encouraging our youngsters’s self-confidence. How can we try this? Effectively, simplifying this, we are able to take a look at the Oxford Dictionary definition of self-confidence, which is “a sense of belief in a single’s talents, qualities, and judgment.”

So how can we encourage kids to belief themselves and their talents? Effectively, we belief them and their talents as a result of we’re these highly effective influencers in our baby’s life. It’s similar to if we would like our youngsters to really feel that they deserve respect, then we’ve to respect them to point out them that. It’s the identical with self-confidence. And for this reason Magda Gerber’s first precept of her method is “fundamental belief within the toddler as an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner.” Youngsters have the products to be learners, they know what they’re doing on this division. They don’t want us to determine what they need to study when in these early years, or possibly ever.

So we wish to belief in them, which means we’re trusting the best way that they discover, the best way that they course of, and the best way they study from their experiences. To try this, we truly wish to lean into what they’re feeling and what they’re exploring, and what they’re fascinated with, of their time, quite than taking it upon ourselves, or possibly following the conventional urge that many people have, I’ve it, to attempt to work them by way of what they’re studying, their points, work them by way of conditions, work them by way of emotions, to repair them, to attempt to make it higher.

When you would’ve requested me years in the past, earlier than I studied with Magda, learn how to assist a toddler really feel extra self-confident, I might most likely have answered, “You construct them up. You inform them how fantastic they’re and the way nice they’re, and the way succesful they’re and that they’ll do issues.” That’s not likely trusting. And that doesn’t construct self-confidence as a lot as after we truly lean into taking curiosity in and inspiring our baby’s course of.

The simplest method for me to elucidate that is by way of questions that oldsters have shared with me, in order that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve three right here. The primary one is within the feedback part of my web site on a publish for one of many podcasts I did with Australian parenting skilled Maggie Dent, referred to as “Boys Do Cry and They Need To.” So right here’s what the dad or mum requested, she mentioned:

Being a mother of two boys, one rooster, age 4, and one lamb, age 8, that is very useful, however it’s so difficult. Switching from the rooster to the lamb is exhausting. My lamb has just lately began saying issues like, ‘I’m silly,’ ‘I hate myself,’ ‘I don’t deserve something,’ ‘I’m not good at something.’ How do I tackle this? I’ve tried saying it would really feel that method due to the scenario, and it’s okay to be pissed off, disenchanted, et cetera, but it surely doesn’t appear to vary issues. He’s very arduous on himself. And it’s arduous for me to let him really feel all these destructive emotions, particularly when directed in direction of himself. Once I was youthful, I suffered due to a scarcity of self-confidence and a destructive self-image, so it’s a very troublesome factor for me to deal with with him. My intuition is to inform him, ‘You shouldn’t hate your self, you’ll be able to hate the scenario,’ or to attempt to get him to journal in regards to the issues that make him really feel that method. We attempt to talk about issues just like the issues he likes about himself or what he feels good about. It appears hopeless at occasions. He has no downside sharing his destructive, unhappy emotions, however can’t appear to seek out positivity.

So simply to elucidate what this dad or mum was saying in regards to the rooster and the lamb, these are Maggie Dent’s phrases for 2 various kinds of personalities. The rooster is the extra assertive, possibly stronger-willed baby, and the lamb is the possibly extra delicate, quieter baby, much less dominating.

The very first thing that caught out to me on this notice, as simply an apart, is that she mentioned this switching from the rooster to the lamb is exhausting. So proper there, that offers me a clue that possibly this mother has taken issues upon herself, seeing issues as her function that really she might let go of and belief extra. As a result of ideally, it actually shouldn’t really feel exhausting for us, and it shouldn’t drain us to interact with kids which have reverse kinds of temperaments or personalities. The explanation it does normally is that we are attempting to assist raise this one up, we’re attempting to assist put this different one of their place as a result of possibly they arrive very strongly. And actually, it’s our job to present boundaries and be the chief to those kids, however not make up for or, ultimately, fill in for his or her strengths or their weaknesses. In different phrases, I believe this dad or mum could also be taking over an excessive amount of in her function.

Now, then this dad or mum says another issues that, to me, they ring so true as widespread ways in which I might wish to react, and I do know a whole lot of different dad and mom do too, to a toddler saying these sorts of issues, that are alarming. We don’t wish to hear our youngsters saying these issues about themselves.

She says, “I’ve tried saying it would really feel that method due to the scenario, and it’s okay to be pissed off, disenchanted, et cetera.” So proper there, she’s doing a typical factor, which is she’s analyzing for him what’s happening. And what I wish to encourage her and different dad and mom to do is as a substitute of analyzing, to essentially join. And to attach with a toddler, we’ve to fulfill them proper the place they’re and listen to what they’re saying, and permit these emotions to be legitimate and have a life. And I might say straight off too, that all the pieces kids say is not a truth or heartfelt deep mind-set about themselves. It’s a sense. Emotions come and go, they’re like waves passing by way of.

So we’ve to watch out as adults to not take all the pieces that kids say as one thing that our baby believes as a truth. It’s not a truth once they say to us, “I like my different dad or mum higher,” it’s not a truth once they say, on this case, “I’m silly, I hate myself. I don’t deserve something.” These are emotions that he’s having. So it’s actually secure for us to permit these emotions and encourage kids to have these emotions.

Getting again to encouraging self-confidence, what’s that doing after we lean into the place a toddler’s truly feeling, and join with them there? It’s trusting. It’s trusting that baby to really feel what they really feel, be who they’re, know themselves greatest in that second, and be capable to course of conditions.

Then she says one thing splendidly revealing, she says, “I suffered due to a scarcity of self-confidence and destructive self-image, so it’s a really troublesome factor for me to deal with with him.” This can be a widespread theme that comes up for us as effectively, as dad and mom, that the issues that we’re delicate about are locations the place we are able to get caught. And people locations are a lot more durable locations for us to belief, to belief that our baby is completely different than us, a unique particular person, and must be in their course of, no matter they’re feeling must be okay, actually okay.

Once more, I believe it should assist if we understand that emotions aren’t information etched in stone that our baby’s going to imagine ceaselessly, or much more than for a number of moments. These emotions, he can maintain onto them longer if he doesn’t really feel that they’re being actually heard and accepted all the best way. If he feels this type of uncomfortable, pushing again, not likely permitting and accepting, not trusting that it’s secure and okay for him to really feel these issues.

So she brings up such nice examples of human impulses that we’ve, particularly if we’re dad and mom. We don’t wish to see our youngsters struggling and we wish to assist them come out of that. However all of that will get in the best way of our final objective, which is that we would like him to really feel self-confident, which suggests belief in himself and his talents and his course of.

She says, “My intuition is to inform him, ‘You shouldn’t hate your self, you’ll be able to hate the scenario.’” And proper there, that’s one other widespread factor that each nice dad or mum I do know has most likely felt in some unspecified time in the future, which is, we simply wish to say, “You shouldn’t really feel that method, I don’t need you to really feel that method. Don’t really feel the best way you’re feeling.” She says that’s her intuition, so I don’t know that she’s truly telling him these issues. However that’s the message that kids get. “You shouldn’t really feel depressed, take a look at all of the issues you might have in life which are so optimistic.” Have we ever heard that? Or have we ever mentioned that to somebody? “Effectively, sure, this unhappy factor occurred, however take a look at all the nice issues that you’ve got happening in your life. It may very well be worse.”

We’re denying emotions after we try this. We’re denying the opposite particular person’s emotions, we could also be denying our personal emotions, and it doesn’t assist us course of by way of the sentiments, study from them, and transfer by way of them, depart them behind. Someone else can’t try this for us, we’ve to do it for ourselves, and youngsters should do it for themselves, in their very own distinctive method and time.

She says, “We attempt to talk about issues like issues he likes about himself, or what he does be ok with.” So discussing issues that he likes about himself is attempting to insert positivity, attempting to get a toddler to really feel higher and suppose positively, which is comprehensible as a result of this can be a gentle spot for her, this can be a tender place for her, the self-confidence. She doesn’t wish to consider him having a foul self-image. And truthfully, I don’t suppose that he does, however once more, seeing all the pieces as a course of, that is one thing he’s wanting to precise to her, to share along with her. It’s the healthiest factor. How nice that he’s saying these items, as a substitute of simply considering them to himself! And the truth that he’s sharing them implies that she will obtain them.

That’s what I might do, I might lean into, “Wow. You’re saying that makes you’re feeling silly. What makes you’re feeling silly about this? Since you couldn’t do it the primary time. Ugh, that makes you’re feeling like you’ll be able to’t do issues, huh?”

Or, “I hate myself.”

“Ooh, you’re actually getting down on your self, huh? You don’t like your self proper now. What’s happening with that?”

“I don’t deserve something.”

“Wow, it feels such as you don’t deserve something. That’s some ache inside. I wish to find out about that, I wish to hear extra about that.”

So I understand that leaning into the sentiments all the time takes this leap of religion. For me, I believe I’ve mentioned this earlier than right here, I really feel like I’ve truly left the water working within the bathtub and it’s simply going to overflow if I actually permit this. However that is the important thing. That is what helps him to really feel trusted in his course of and belief in himself. We are able to belief in ourselves when it’s okay to go to all these darkish locations in ourselves.

Once we can share these, simply that act of sharing them and being accepted and acknowledged for what we’re sharing, generally that may be all we have to begin to let go of them and transfer by way of them.

However this isn’t our course of, it belongs to our baby. So we’ve to belief him to do it his method, and staying linked is the perfect factor that we are able to do. Present him that assist. Clearly, you’re not agreeing that he can’t do something, or that he doesn’t deserve something, however you’re actually fascinated with what he’s feeling, the place he’s getting these items, and what’s the sensation inside these emotions? It appears like he’s damage, and that’s the half we wish to assist him get to if potential.

This dad or mum did all of those intuitive issues, regular issues, and what I’m suggesting will not be intuitive in any respect, I understand that. And when issues aren’t intuitive, which means, for many of us, we are going to by no means reflexively be capable to do these items. And so we might have to take that pause to reenter ourselves as a result of reflexively, we’re going to do all of those fantastic, loving issues that this dad or mum is doing.

Okay, right here’s one other query. This dad or mum says:

Making use of your ideas of respectful parenting has helped equip us for elevating an exquisite, empathetic, and curious five-year-old woman. However currently, we’ve been fighting a excessive sensitivity to embarrassment. We’ve been touring and visiting family and friends of various ages. It began after we had been spending time with certainly one of my grownup associates and I used to be teasing my pal, and all of us had a very good chuckle. However my daughter thought the laughs had been directed at her and was very unhappy and shut down. She repeatedly mentioned all through the day, ‘I didn’t prefer it whenever you all laughed at me.’ And I assured her that we had been all laughing at my pal and never her. We’ve already talked in regards to the idea along with her associates at preschool, that it’s okay to chuckle with one another, however not at one another.

Whereas this incident occurred a few weeks in the past, she nonetheless struggles with the sensation that everybody is laughing at her. It’s gotten to the purpose the place when she’s attempting to make us chuckle, fooling around, and making jokes, she’ll instantly remorse it and get that self-conscious and defensive response. I hate to suppose that one thing we’re doing or not doing is inflicting my daughter to close down and downplay her superior humorousness, spontaneous enjoyable, and self-confidence. Please provide any expertise, recommendation, or perspective you might have.

Okay, so this occasion occurred the place the daughter received confused, and it introduced up emotions for her that had been actually uncomfortable. This mom is dealing with it in very regular, loving methods. She says, “I assured her that we had been all laughing at my pal and never her.” That was a very good factor to clear up for her. However the reality is, that simply as with the earlier baby’s emotions about, “I’m silly, I hate myself. I don’t deserve something,” this baby felt upset that possibly there was this consideration on her, that she was being laughed at. This can be a feeling that she’s processing.

As I mentioned, it was good that the mom clarified that it wasn’t about her. However then I might nonetheless go from there straight to what my baby is feeling, leaning into that. “Wow, it felt like they had been laughing at you. And the way did that really feel?” Asking your baby, partaking together with your baby round this, with that openness, letting that feeling be — that she felt like she was being laughed at. “And the way did that really feel?” That didn’t really feel good to her.

The explanation that kids get caught the place they appear like they’ll’t get past it’s as a result of they don’t really feel trusted and inspired to course of the scenario the best way kids accomplish that brilliantly. There once more is that self-learning means that kids have. It’s phenomenal. And the best way this woman’s doing it’s she’s feeling the sensation, and the dad or mum says she’s nonetheless fighting the sensation that everybody is laughing at her. So now it appears like she’s imagining this occurring with different folks too.

There’s one thing actually fascinating that this little woman is processing in herself. So clearly, I don’t know precisely what’s happening on this little woman’s thoughts, however she’s clearly in a course of that, ideally, if we would like her to come back out of this, as quickly as potential, and with it encouraging her confidence, then we’ve received to belief her.

Youngsters course of conditions so splendidly — issues that disturb them, issues that trouble them, conditions that contact issues off in them, issues which are possibly scary that occurred, or somebody talked a sure method on the streets, and it may very well be somebody they don’t know, or possibly it’s an trade that they’ve had with the dad or mum, or a sibling, or one other caregiver. What they do is they carry it up and so they deliver it up and so they deliver it up. It’s like they’re turning it in each path, they’re imagining it, experiencing it, letting it occur to them time and again.

It’s actually this thorough, very therapeutic studying course of that they’ve to creating peace with it. And this course of can’t be rushed, can’t be taken on as ours to handle. It actually needs to be trusted in our youngsters to present them this self-confidence that kids are born with, these seeds of self-confidence. It’s not like we’ve to construct it for them, they have already got the seeds there, they simply must be nurtured. And nurturing it’s, again to that phrase once more, belief. Trusting them in order that they’ve increasingly more belief for themselves.

The actually cool factor that this little woman is doing is definitely recreating the scenario time and again, for herself to discover it extra absolutely and deeply, and likewise discover her dad and mom’ response to it. She’s, clearly as a result of kids do, she’s getting the sensation that her dad or mum will not be snug with this, and needs to resolve it for her. And what that does is trigger a toddler to have extra curiosity in: Wow, why is that this so disturbing for my dad or mum too? So she’s received that to discover, in order that’s why our responses that aren’t as trusting can truly make the difficulty go on longer, which is clearly the alternative of what we hope for. That’s the half that we are able to play on this with out which means to, with all of our greatest intentions.

So I believe which may be occurring right here, and within the earlier notice as effectively. On this case, the dad or mum says, “I hate to suppose that one thing we’re doing or not doing is inflicting my daughter to close down and downplay her superior humorousness, her spontaneous enjoyable, and self-confidence.”

Yeah, in order that’s a disturbing fear that this dad or mum has. And that is such regular grownup considering that we consider issues as type of carried out. And for youngsters, we see issues because of this, that: oh no, that is carried out, and she or he feels this fashion now, and what’s occurred right here? As a substitute of realizing that kids, their minds and their imaginations, and their feelings are all in movement, they’re all the time in that course of. We’d be so wholesome to be extra like them.

However in fact, as dad and mom, what can we do first? (I’m elevating my hand.) We fear. So it is smart. However what I might do is, once more, lean into this and belief her course of. “Wow, now you’re fooling around. After which you feel that feeling of what it’s prefer to be laughed at. That felt upsetting to you or disturbing.” Or, “how did it really feel?” is even higher. Not deciding how she ought to really feel, however actually curious.

“How does that really feel when it appears like individuals are laughing at you? And even whenever you’re making us chuckle, that’s uncomfortable. What’s that in you?”

None of those particular phrases matter, what issues is that we’re open to and we’re receiving and permitting the sentiments to dwell and breathe, trusting that these are all in movement, they’re passing by way of, and she or he’s studying from them, she’s studying in regards to the scenario. She’ll be a grasp at this concept of being laughed at versus laughing with by the top of this if we are able to belief her.

All proper, right here’s yet another:

Just lately, my four-year-old daughter has been experiencing anxiousness with me on the scene however does effectively once I’m away. She was taken out of her gymnastics class due to obligatory masking, and eight months later, we rejoined, however she cried once I left her aspect and saved working to me. I attempted rewards and empathy, however she finally didn’t wish to keep within the class.

If I’m serving to her in school, she needs to be close to me. She cries once I drop her off in an unfamiliar setting, however then does tremendous after a few minutes. How can I educate her to be assured instantly? I admit I’m not this fashion, however I would like her to be.

I really like this dad or mum admitting her gentle spot. Oftentimes, once more, it’s about us and that we struggled with one thing, and so we’re additional uncomfortable with our baby fighting it.

And once more, with one of these strategy of getting snug… The woman was away from the category for eight months, and possibly the opposite kids had been all nonetheless in it so now she has to start out over again. And it’s even a bit more difficult than that as a result of the opposite kids might have been persevering with. Now she has to come back into this example the place different kids are extra snug and within the groove of it, and she or he’s not. In order that’s difficult. She has anxiousness and she or he’s doing issues that I might anticipate.

So what I might do is perceive that this can be a actually typical course of for a kid. Even with a separation to a category — the opposite factor that she brings up in school — that she has a tough time with that. Yeah, these are occasions that deliver up feelings, however that’s okay. We are able to belief that that’s a part of the method of claiming goodbye to somebody or to stepping as much as be again on this class once more. It’s going to take some push-pull on her half.

So I might, primary, as in all these instances, belief her course of. Possibly you may make a call that this isn’t the fitting class for her now, that’s a tremendous resolution to make. However I might first belief her course of. And what I might do as a substitute of me leaving her aspect is that I might sit in a single place, and let her stick with me and department out as she’s prepared. That is assuming that the academics will let me keep within the class, however I don’t know why they wouldn’t with a four-year-old baby taking gymnastics. She’s very younger to be in a structured class.

So I might be there, so calm and so anticipating her to take her time to get snug and never be assured instantly. No baby is all the time assured instantly. That wouldn’t be a considerate, engaged human baby, particularly in any case this absence. Eight months is a extremely very long time for a four-year-old.

I believe the expectation is possibly a little bit bit unreasonable, that she’s going to be assured instantly. There’s no weak point, there’s no downside with taking your time, and having some anxiousness round it. That is acceptable anxiousness. But when the kid feels her dad or mum not trusting her on this course of and that the dad or mum is uncomfortable as a result of the dad or mum needs her to have the ability to do these items a bit extra readily, then that’s going to breed a little bit extra doubt and a little bit extra anxiousness. Oh, I ought to be doing one thing that I don’t really feel I can do but. However I really feel this expectation. Nothing will get by kids, and that’s why they’re such unimaginable learners.

So on this case, as I mentioned, I might sit in a single place, let her stick with me so long as she wanted to, let her run out and are available again, and take it in her time. So long as she’s not disrupting the category, I might be tremendous with that. I might attempt to completely belief that this woman is aware of what she’s doing and she or he’s doing it her method, as all of those kids, it appears like, are.

They’re fairly inspiring. They’re accepting of being in these discomforts. It’s simply more durable for us to allow them to.

Then if she cries when the dad or mum drops her off in an unfamiliar setting… In order the dad or mum, I might attempt to take your time with that. If it’s unfamiliar, possibly she wants a little bit extra time with the dad or mum there to get acquainted.

I additionally was struck that the dad or mum mentioned it proper at first, “The kid has anxiousness with me on the scene, however does effectively once I’m away.” So it actually appears like this could be one thing in regards to the relationship, and the daughter wanting extra belief from her dad or mum and needing to possibly discover her dad and mom’ impatience along with her course of.

These are all fantastic examples of youngsters having the ability to immerse themselves in studying. And I completely perceive, boy do I perceive, how arduous it’s as a dad or mum to belief these processes. But when we take these leaps of religion, we are going to get the outcomes that we’re hoping for, which is a assured baby, a toddler who trusts themselves and their talents, their emotions, and their instincts.

So I hope that perspective helps a little bit bit.

And by the best way, if my podcasts are useful to you, you’ll be able to assist the podcast proceed by giving it a optimistic assessment on iTunes. So grateful to all of you for listening. Additionally, please try a few of the different podcasts on my web site, They’re all listed by topic and class, so it is best to be capable to discover no matter subject you could be fascinated with. And each of my books can be found on audio, No Bad Kids, Toddler Discipline Without Shameand Elevating Child Care, A Guide To Respectful Parenting.  You may get them at no cost from Audible by following the hyperlink within the liner notes of this podcast. It’s also possible to get them in paperback at Amazon and in eBook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and

Thanks for listening. We are able to do that.



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