“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”
– Christian D. Larson
Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” This feeling of self-assurance comes from many sources. Thinking back, have you given your child what he or she needs to feel confident? While positive affirmation is critical, so are other aspects that boost confidence. One is letting them fly. If you’ve clipped your child’s wings by being overprotective, micromanaging, or enabling, then come graduation, when they need to fly, chances are they won’t have the confidence needed to soar. Another piece of this equation is being able to model it yourself. Practicing what you preach may sound cliché, but it is true. Showing assurance and strength in difficult situations shows your child how to behave should they face a similar obstacle. Resilience is also key. When you model courage in the face of adversity, you are showing your children the beauty of bouncing back.
How often do you tell your child I love you? Words have the power to pierce or comfort. Taking the time to tell your kids how amazing they are is a song that will replay in their minds for years to come. Whispering to your child, “I believe in you,” is something that can spark a fire deep inside to accept challenges with courage. So often the little moments covered in comfort are the ones that will shape them for a lifetime. Honesty is also important. Reveal to your children early on that life may serve them lemons, and then teach them how to make that lemonade. Teaching them resilience helps them realize that there will always be storms, but standing firm and having hope will protect them from thunder. When they have the confidence that they can bounce back from anything, they’ll continue to blossom which will give you, as a parent, peace of mind. Remember, as you nurture your child’s self-esteem and self-worth, they will in turn, shower others with the same gift.
With graduation approaching, it is normal to be anxious; your son or daughter sure is. However, while you may still look at them and see your baby, they want to be seen as an adult. When you allow your kids to explore and even make mistakes, you are shaping them to be stronger. When you take a step back and avoid enabling them, you are building self-confidence and giving them the power to fly solo. You will always be there to catch them should they fall, just give them enough space to try.
Sabrina Short, Staff Writer