Inspiring Kids to ‘Make Waves’ in Life

Inspiring Kids to ‘Make Waves’ in Life

13 August 2022 • Words by Nanette Botha 3 mins

When we think about the ocean, we might think of picture-perfect beaches, white sand, and turquoise water. It’s a picture of calmness, peace, and serenity. While those calm images are beautiful and necessary at times, we know that the sea is more than that. It has waves, little ones that create a few small splashes and may leave a ripple effect. It has bigger ones that could feel scary and overwhelming when you’re caught in it, but at the same time, it can cleanse, refresh and energize.

Waves have an effect.

Waves do not hold anything back. Regardless of their size, they are convincing and influential. Inspiring kids to ‘make waves’ means encouraging them to not be afraid of being influential and creating an impression. 

For a child to really make an impression on others, they don’t necessarily have to be the smartest in their class or the best on the team. However, for a child to ‘make waves’ they would need to have enough confidence to know that they don’t need to hold back. They need good self-esteem. Krauss, et al. (2020) write that the family environment plays a very significant role in the development of a child’s self-esteem.

Ways to build a child’s self-esteem:

Teach them to recognize their strengths

While it may seem obvious that focusing on your strengths would be a good way to increase self-confidence and build self-esteem, it should not be assumed that our kids know what their strengths are. We can help them by pointing out various things they do that make them reliable individuals, good friends, or valued classmates.

Sincere praise

If we want our children to feel supported and loved when they succeed, but also when they make mistakes, we need to give them sincere praise and encouragement. A general “good job” for everything they do is not good enough and won’t have a lasting impression. When we praise our children for something done well, we need to mean every word we say. Children can be quite alert and they tend to see right through us if our praise is not sincere and the last thing we want to do is break down our child’s self-esteem.

Teach and model intrinsic motivation

Having good self-esteem does not mean being a show-off. Some children thrive with social reinforcement. We want our kids to learn to be intrinsically motivated, though, as this is more sustainable for building good self-esteem than social praise. When children become aware of their strengths, we should encourage them to build on them, practice them and celebrate them. Help them to see the difference that they are making and show them how to love and embrace that. These are not skills that can be taught through completing worksheets and doing drills, but rather through modeling and experience. If our kids see these traits in our lives, they would be more likely to follow the example themselves.

Teach our kids that they can make a difference and have a lasting impact

Children sometimes tend to think that they are too young, too small, or too inexperienced to make a difference. However, we can start at home by teaching our kids how they can make a difference. Simple things could involve teaching them about charities. Try selecting toys that they don’t need anymore to donate to children in need, making sandwiches to deliver at a shelter for the homeless, or helping out at an animal shelter. Not only will these activities inevitably build a child’s self-esteem, but they will also have a real, valuable impact on the community and the environment.

Making Waves with Fluttercup

The Moshi Story, Making Waves with Fluttercup, takes children through the journey of having a desire to make waves, finding ways of making that happen, and then realizing the effect! Fluttercup, the unicorn, loves the sound of waves. While the waves can be superior and majestic, they also have a soothing effect. Fluttercup wants everyone to experience it for themselves. Let your child listen to Making Waves with Fluttercup to find out how they made waves, what made them stop the waves, and why the waves could still be heard years later…

Waves can not only be seen. Waves can also be heard and felt. Let’s keep that in mind when we think of what we want to encourage in our children.

Krauss, S., Orth, U., & Robins, R. W. (2020). Family environment and self-esteem development: A longitudinal study from age 10 to 16. Journal of personality and social psychology, 119(2), 457–478.

Nanette Botha

Educational specialist & mother of 3 young children Co-founder: AIMS Global & Leadership at: Augmental