Kids and Self-confidence – Part Two


  • Self-confidence can be built at any stage.
  • Since older children have more of an integrated mind-body connection, self-confidence needs to come from both angles. Simply contradicting the belief in the mind from I can’t to I can won’t do the trick.
  • Two steps are needed to shift the mind and body: constraint (of the area to build self-confidence) and the bare minimum (what’s the least amount of time you can give to it).
  • Resistance is natural when it comes to something new and different. Honesty and a parent’s willingness to try the same approach can aid in overcoming the resistance.

It’s never too late.

We tend to believe we need to get it right from an early age. And if something gets missed we’ve already failed. Self-confidence is not one of those things, thankfully.

No matter what stage your child is at, you can guide their self-confidence. Even as an adult you can build your own self-confidence with the information in this article (for younger kids read Part One).

Older children (10 years to roughly 25 years)

Emotionally maturity doesn’t stop at 18 years and it’s something we can develop later on in life, even past 25 years old.

During the older years, the emotion of self-confidence, which stems from the belief “I can do it”, can be built from two angles since there is now more integration in the body-mind connection.

An older child will have thoughts like “I don’t know how” or “This won’t work” creating doubt. Negative perception of themselves prevents older children from taking action – action (from their body) that would ultimately disprove their negative beliefs.

Simply telling a child that “You can” or “Of course it will work” doesn’t do the trick because at this stage they’ve built up enough experience and now believe 100% truly that they can’t. Their memory affords them examples to confirm what they think – neglecting evidence to the contrary.

There are 2 steps, that’s it, to shifting the belief from “I can’t do it” to “It’s possible I could be wrong that I can’t”. Because all they need is 2% self-confidence (not a 100%) to get going.

Step One: Constraint

Constraint is the answer, for older children and for adults. This helps get the brain focused and not stuck in a negative spin. Have the older child pick one area of his/her life that they want to improve in. Kicking the ball, dancing, music, writing, etc. Pick one and forget the rest.

It’s a natural tendency to start with the mindset part and improve overall self-confidence and then they’ll be able to tackle all things. This isn’t how it works, ask any successful person you know. They will have needed to build their self-confidence in stages, for every new challenge they take on.

Self-confidence is built with each new challenge.

Step Two: The Bare Minimum

Ask your child what’s the bare minimum they can do to develop this skill once a week. Kick the ball in the garden once a week for 30 minutes. Write 200 words once a week. Let the child choose the bare minimum that they know that they are 100% guaranteed to do it no matter what.

If they’re not doing the set bare minimum, then change the bare minimum. Write 50 words a week, kick the ball 5 minutes for a week. Keep the bare minimum at something that can be done once a week.

What’s something you know you can do no matter.

The Brain and Body Connection

As your child (or even yourself) consistently complete the bare minimum each week, your brain and body will automatically do something amazing.

They’ll want to up the game. It’s natural. It will shift from writing 50 words to 100 words and on and on. Because the brain is seeing evidence being built (however small, like the bare minimum) it will began to shift the belief from “this won’t work” to “this might be possible”.

You will naturally want to do more of it. The routine is beginning to feel familiar and the skill is starting to get easier. The brain will start to shift to: how about a little bit longer and ultimately building more self-confidence.

Dealing with Resistance

Depending on what stage your child is at, it may seem like getting your child to do the above 2 steps will be met with resistance. And that’s normal – we all resist doing something new and different.

Before anything, let your child know the plan. Coming at this without divulging what it is you’re doing will be seen right through. Kids are good at that, eh? Make the request and listen to their answer.

If it’s still a “no”, try doing this yourself. Tell your kid that you understand that trying something new and different is tricky. And that you’re going to try it and see if it works for you.

Sometimes, our kid’s resistance is our own resistance facing us in the mirror.

Why wouldn’t you try 2 steps in your life if you knew there was a possibility of getting what you wanted?

Exercise for 5 minutes per week, go to 1 social event a week, etc. What’s your bare minimum?

Your kid is observing the world and you’re a part of it. You’ll be able to understand what it’s like to build self-confidence, relate to them so that you can guide them through this. And by doing it yourself, you just might get what you’ve always wanted and more.

One response to “Kids and Self-confidence – Part Two”

  1. […] If this wasn’t the case for your child(ren), there’s no need to worry. Self-confidence can still be built later on – it can even be worked on in adulthood. Read on for the post about instilling self-confidence in the later years and in adults. […]

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