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Three Tips for Raising Self-Confident and Spiritually Aware Kids

August 2, 2012
By Guest Blogger
|7Comments|


Just yesterday, I worked with an eight-year-old client named Ava. She is highly creative and intelligent, yet also struggles with her self-confidence. So I asked her, “Would you like to paint today?” and she replied, “I am not sure if I can do it.” Of course, this is a clear sign that she continues to need help building her sense of outer to inner confidence. Since I also know her family as a spiritual but not religious one, I took the approach of cultivating confidence from a spiritual perspective.

Instilling Self-Confidence Spiritually
So how do I spark self-confidence at a deeper level in children? I must be honest this isn’t a simple question or answer. Any adult can foster a stronger type of confidence in their children, but here I want to emphasize that children begin looking outside of themselves for validation (grades, acknowledgment from parents and trophies) and the process of spiritual self-confidence is helping them go inward.

In other words, adults who nurture in children, on a consistent basis, that within them is a power, capability and greatness able to overcome any obstacles are teaching inner confidence. It is this power within that from a spiritual perspective is your divinity. You may call it God, Spirit, Christ-consciousness, Shiva, the Buddha Seed or Jehovah – the name doesn’t matter, but the idea that there is an infinite intelligence that is in and around our lives that can help us is a powerful teaching for kids.

So I explained this idea to Ava and she immediately brightened up. She said, “You mean I have God within me?” And I said, “Yes. There is a power in you that can help you succeed no matter what is happening in the outer world.” Interestingly enough, she was also then willing and more optimistic about painting.

Inner Confidence: Three Tips for Today
Nurturing in your children that sense of healthy self-confidence from a spiritual perspective and awareness of their divine nature is conscious child rearing. Some ideas to help you on your way are:

1. Daily Dose of Spiritual Confidence (Take one everyday like a vitamin!) Just like a gummy vitamin that we give our children daily, we need to nurture in them the belief that they have power, greatness and capability in them every day. This may be an affirmation, song, prayer, meditation or something unique to your family or culture – the point is it needs to be done consistently and not sporadically for best results.

2.  Get Inspired Together. By becoming genuinely inspired by life and seeing that the creative force that made the daffodils come up early and butterflies emerge from their cocoons is the same powerful force inside of us – this sparks self-confidence in kids. So enjoy getting inspired together whether it is musically, going into nature or something else, but remember to reinforce the idea that that same greatness is in you, me and all of us.

3. Give More. Once children “see” how powerful they are – the path to inner confidence becomes easier and more possible. Lizzie, my neighbor, set up a lemonade stand on a hot day this week and used all of her earnings ($55) to give to the local humane society that has 19 bunny rabbits in their care and needs help with them. She was so happy to drop the money off, see the bunnies and know they’ll be taken care of until they are adopted.

Maureen Healy is an emotional health expert with more than 20 years of global experience fostering children’s happiness. Her new book, “Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success and Happiness,” presents a model called The Five Building Blocks of Confidence that explains in everyday language how any adult can foster a stronger type of confidence in their children.

Photo credit: Mike Baird



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7 responses to Three Tips for Raising Self-Confident and Spiritually Aware Kids
  1. A very interesting (and so great) idea of spiritual self-confidence and looking inward for validation. Your idea of getting inspired together is wonderful. Even for adults – practically as we connect with our children – it’s so important to remember what it is to feel ‘awe’ and internalize that experience.

  2. I think kids automatically look outward for approval, and the first people they look to is their parents. My kids are 11 months and 4 years old and I love the idea of helping them give more. I am inspired to help my little guy with running a lemonade stand this weekend. Thank you xoxo

  3. Love the insights above:) I also love empathizing with my kids. I’ll try to get under the feeling. “Why do you feel that way, honey?” Once I have an understanding of the ‘why’ I can typically approach the feeling with empathy. I have told many stories from my childhood that conveyed the fact that I went through something similar…and everything turned out okay. Of course, this is done in a very conversational way where I listen without judgement. I have found that (just like all of us) kids like to be understood. There is a sense of safety (and bravery) in feeling understood and accepted no matter what.

  4. Great article/blog! I will definitely read this book! The only way we make the world a better place is to make sure our children grow up well loved so they love themselves.

    • 100% agree. To make the world a better place it surely start with family. It’s a shame how nowadays our culture in general, and in my own surrounding, they see ‘motherhood’ as something that is totally ‘uncool’. They prefer to pursue career for their own, even though their husband provide enough money for the family. Just for the sake of being seen as ‘career woman’ by the society. In the mean time, their sons/daughters are being raised by babysitters or left alone at home with no ne to come home to afterschool. let alone someone to talk to. i am so angry just to think about this. With our current state of dysfunctional families, how ‘normal’ people take divorce, it’s no wonder the Connecticut shooting by Adam Lanza, and previously Mr.Cho (Virginia Tech), etc. is happening. They are just lonely kids who seek attention, hugs and love they never get from their own parents.

  5. I completely agree that aspects of spirituality are extremely important in developing self-confidence. I have also found that using simple challenges can be extremely helpful in developing confidence in myself and others. Keep encouraging.

  6. As a dance instructor working with children and their parents for more than 25 years, I have developed a philosophy where every interaction with a child acknowledges and celebrates them.

    I like the fact that you are appealing to the child’s higher or spiritual self. If we tap into our own better nature and approach children with respect, we will be living role models for our children. Each encounter will bolster their confidence and sense of value in the world. My approach has always been to calm myself first, get curious and ask the right questions, speak in a soft voice and really listen. I’ve witnessed the positive results of this approach time and again.