Confidence is an amazing thing because so much of life is confidence based. Even our economy has a confidence component to it because we have Consumer Confidence Index. You’ve all heard about the CCI. It measures the level of confidence we have in our economy. If confidence is high then we all spend more but if it is low then we all save more.
Perhaps we need to create a Personal Confidence Index because it is vital for people as well.
Confidence can give you wings, it can make you feel like anything and everything is possible. When your confidence is high you feel like you can leap tall buildings in a single bound. You become the person who wants the ball in the final seconds. You are bulletproof. You know no fear and doubt cannot come near you. You won’t allow it. You are on top of the world. You are the king of the jungle.
But confidence has a dark side too because without confidence you feel inept. Every mountain is too big to climb when you have no confidence. Every room is too dark. You feel like everything you try will fail. You don’t want the ball in the final seconds because you’d rather be on the bench when it counts.
Confidence can make you a king but a lack of confidence can make you run and hide.
So many of our kids come to us with no confidence at all. They feel like they will fail at everything they try, even simple things like eating with a fork. Their mantra is “I can’t.”
There are few things that have illustrated this more at our house than bicycles and training wheels. It seems like our kids have taken longer than most when it comes to riding without training wheels. Not because they can’t ride without them but because they believe that they can’t ride without them. They ride their bikes so fast that the training wheels cause an unsafe condition but still they believe that they will fall if they try to ride without them. They have no confidence…until that day when they are willing to try and they discover that the wheels they thought were helping them were in fact holding them back.
As parents we have to know when to stop being the training wheels for our children. Sometimes we think we are protecting them when in reality all we are doing is holding them back.
Maybe that’s the real art of parenting knowing when to protect and when to let them fly. Getting that right can be amazing in building their confidence.
Showing our kids that we trust them is a huge factor in building that confidence. Many of their lives started with a negative narrative. They believed the lie that they were worthless because they were treated like that was true or they were told that they were worthless. But that is not true. We have to move their story from “No I can’t” to “Yes I can!”
How do we do that? How do we grow that confidence in them? We have to love our kids and pray for them everyday. We must not be impatient or grow weary. We must always keep our eye on the prize. There are no quick fixes in relationships. Healing takes time. They have to know that we will never lose faith in them. Always remind them that Jesus loves them because there can be no real healing without Him. We need to give them opportunities to grow even when we don’t want to because nothing says “I trust you” more than actually trusting them.
We should look for help from those who have already travelled the road we now find ourselves on. There are some great resources on the Empowered to Connect site if you are looking for some help.
How do you build confidence in your kids?