Its hard to see our kids struggle or give up to easily, its hard to see them full of emotion or upset and knowing that there is nothing we can do that they need to find a way through it and a way to overcome the obstacles in front of them.
Now I am no expert on kids, I do not have a diploma or degree in children, all I am is a mother of a 9-year-old boy who has for his entire life struggled with anxiety and confidence issues.
I do believe he inherited these issues from his mother as I was always that way growing up to, I have tried so many different things including medication (which he was on for a short time not anymore) and I have come up with the top 5 things that have helped him build up his resilience and confidence.
Are we there yet? Not it is an ongoing thing, change doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen.
I guess the turning point for me in realizing he has shown great improvement was the other Saturday, you see my son does Muay Thai and had his first sparring session, the boys he was sparring against had been doing it for years and had a few professional fights under their belts. It took a lot of courage for my son to attend the sparring in the first place, but he did. Then he undertook his first sparring session with a boy a lot more experienced than he was. As a result, he took a few knocks to his body which understandably upset him we had a few tears and mum had to hold them back also (again understandable he is my baby) but what showed me what we have been doing was working was the fact he never once threw in the towel never once told me he wanted to quit. Despite being upset and disheartened he never once gave up.
Had he of gone through that experience a year ago he would have easily walked away, given up because it was way to hard. So, I must believe we are doing something right in building up resilience in our child.
Here are my top 5 things wev'e done to help build resilience in our child.
#1 SELF TALK
I am a huge believer in positive self-talk, Whenever I hear my son say “I can’t” my response is always “You mean I can not do it right now” because changing those two words can have a HUGE impact on self-belief. Encouraging kids to be kind on themselves, saying if they would not say that to someone else why do they feel its ok to say that to themselves. This is especially true when they say things like “I’m to dumb” or “I’m not smart enough”. Getting them to acknowledge this type of negativity is the first step then you can work on changing the way they talk to themselves or about themselves to be more positive.
#2 LEAD BY EXAMPLE
This was probably the toughest for me to do because I am so much like my son, things frighten me I am not overly comfortable stepping outside my own comfort zone. But I wanted my son to have a positive role model so that If he saw his mother or anyone close to him being afraid of something but doing it anyway, he would see that even though you may fail that the world does not come crashing down. So, if you want them to try new things then let them see you trying new things, If you want them to practice their sports then take up a sport with them, If you want them to try harder with their homework let them see you study or reading or writing whatever it may be. Lead by example step outside your comfort zone to allow them the knowledge that its ok to do so.
#3 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
We are big on using positive affirmation cards in our household, Boxbe has 2 great positive affirmation card sets for kids. We would open one every morning on night depending on time and discuss what the card said if it said “I think you’re the best I really do” we would discuss why he was the best, what could he do that he felt he was good at. Sometimes it took some encouragement but the more we did it the more he could list that he felt he was good at. Another example was “your wonderful exactly as you are” So the question was Why do you think you are wonderful and getting them to explore their own thoughts because there was no right or wrong answers.
These Cards are our Favorite
You’re Amazing You Can Do It
We are big on reading in our home, all sorts of books but I especially am drawn to books which encourage trying, which encourage self-belief, and which encourage getting out there, out of your comfort zone. Utilize your public library to find some books which are age appropriate which encourages resilience in kids. We have a fantastic book TRYING which we also stock which we read a lot and its all about showing kids its ok to not be particularly good right at the start but if you keep trying and do not give up you can succeed.
We love this book
The way we talk has a HUGE impact on our children, not only the way we talk to them but also the way we talk to our partners, our friends and ourselves. Yes, I along with everyone else get frustrated I get upset and I get angry. But and it does not occur all the time I am only human, and everything is not always roses, but I do try to maintain a positive outlook around my son be a glass half full kind of person. I do praise our child a lot we always tell him we are proud of him, but we do not just say we are proud of you we explain why we are proud of him. We give reasons as to why we feel he did good, and we also ask him why he thinks he did good, and I feel this is especially important because you want kids to recognize when they feel good, or when they feel proud of themselves without the need for outside recognition.
You can use this information as you see fit, like I stated I am not an expert in parenting by any means I am a mum who most of the time is whinging it, but I have had some success with these steps and what we have done, and I hope by seeing that we have installed change in our child that you can to.