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Building Kids’ Confidence
Confidence allows us to try new things. It also allows us to fail, learn from that experience, and try again. Building kids’ confidence from a young age helps them to overcome academic and social challenges. Teaching kids strategies such as deep breathing, visualization, self-affirmations, practice, and reflection are some of the ways that we can help them build confidence.
Let’s look at how each of these helps with building kids’ confidence:
Taking deep breaths before and after a challenging situation—such as talking to a new friend, speaking up in front of the class, or taking a quiz— helps the body and mind to remain calm and lowers stress levels. In turn, this allows kids to focus their attention on the activity or experience.
Imagining ourselves doing something well and being successful helps bring us into a positive mindset. Kids can visualize themselves using the skills they know they are good at, overcoming fear, and being okay at the end of it.
Positive self-talk goes a long way when we are trying to increase our confidence to try new things. Encourage kids to make a list of their skills and attributes. This will help ground them in all the ways that they are already successful and help set them up for success.
The more we practice in low-risk situations, the more prepared we are for higher-risk situations. Teaching others what we know helps to build confidence, so give kids opportunities to practice sharing knowledge they are confident in already before moving to more difficult topics. Another idea is to have kids practice presenting information to a partner before they share it with the whole class.
After kids do something that requires lots of confidence, give them time to reflect on the experience: what went well, what they might do differently next time, how their body felt, and what help they may need from a friend or adult. Reflecting gives kids the opportunity to notice the positives in what may have been a challenging situation.
During the Moshi Moment CocoLoco’s Confidence Booster, CocoLoco uses a few of these strategies to build his confidence. It gives kids the chance to practice and visualize what these may look like in social situations. Listen to this track and use our Moshi activity to reinforce confidence-building strategies.
As CocoLoco says, “It’s easy to say no to new stuff but our brains are great at learning new things. And the more you do it, the better you get”.