As parents, guardians and educators you want the children in your life to believe in themselves and their abilities no matter what!
So how do we arm children with the ability to bounce back from those negative, disrespectful judgments and opinions that challenge their belief in themselves?
Since we can’t save them from the all the tough moments they will face – the best use of our energy is to give them tools to boost their confidence.
Although they don’t have control over what other’s choose to say, the GOOD NEWS is… they have the final say in what they choose to believe about their body, their talent, their abilities, their life and their UNIQUENESS!
Below is an exercise I used growing up to help strengthen my confidence and self-worth. I use it with my 10 year-old son and thousands of students. It’s called a UPower Thought. UPower is your personal power to choose your actions, reactions and beliefs regardless of the circumstances.
Creating their own UPower Thought is a way to boost their confidence and to talk back to their self-defeating thoughts. They will hear their voice many more times than they will ever hear anyone else’s.
On a piece of paper have them write the hurtful or disrespectful word(s) they have heard.
Rip up that piece of paper while saying the words ‘I choose to let go.’
Then take a new piece of paper and write the words: ‘I choose to believe I am…’ (they will fill in the rest with what it is they actually want to believe about themselves regardless of the negative comment/judgment).
‘I choose to believe I am enough.’
‘I choose to believe I am amazing just the way I am.’
‘I choose to believe I am someone who makes a difference in the world.’
‘I choose to believe I am courageous and kind.’
Have them take a few minutes each day repeating their UPower Thought to themselves. The more kids hear their own voice saying encouraging words, the more their confidence and self-worth will shine!
When you encourage kids to practice creating their UPower Thought, they will start to see themselves differently. They will learn that what they to say to themselves is in their control and what they choose to tell themselves matters.
Until next time…
18 Jan 2023
Tips to Helping Kids Ride the Waves of Emotions
Kids tell me they don’t like feeling tough emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, frustration and disappointment because – not only is it uncomfortable – they also think, ‘this is it, this is how I’m always going to feel.’
A few weeks ago, my 10-year-old son was so upset. I could see him desperately trying to hold back his tears. I said, ‘It’s OK to cry.’ He gave me a frustrated look and said, ‘I don’t like feeling this feeling.’ which triggered him to cry causing him to get even more upset.
Think back to when you were a kid… didn’t tough emotions and challenging times feel permanent?
Later that night when he was in a calmer state, we had a reflective conversation. I asked, ‘How are you feeling now?’ He replied, ‘I’m feeling happy.’
I asked, ‘How were you feeling this morning?’
‘Upset, frustrated and angry.’
‘Did you think those emotions were going to last forever?’ he responded with a resounding ‘YES!’
‘And how are you feeling now?’
‘So did that feeling of sadness last forever?’
He thought about it and firmly said ‘NO!’
We then had a conversation about other times in his life where he faced a challenge or made a mistake and it triggered emotions. I reminded him that he always got through them including now.
Even though we may not like feeling the emotions brought on by challenging circumstances, they can’t be avoided no matter how hard we try. Sometimes they get really intense and then subside like waves. We need to teach kids to be like a surfer and ride the ‘waves’ of their emotions.
Tips to help kids ride the waves by:
talking about how ‘it’s OK to feel all emotions’
giving them a safe space to feel without criticism or trying to fix how they feel
reminding them they can get through tough emotions
exploring various strategies that will help them work through their emotions when they are in a calm state
Helping kids ride the waves of emotions is not only important for their overall well-being, it will also help them through the challenges they will experience throughout their life.