Thursday, September 25, 2014

How Can I Get My Kid to Be More Respectful? of the questions all parents ask at one time or another. I believe it's hard to raise respectful kids these days, and we parents need all the help we can get.

Take for instance 24-hour kid's cable shows. When I was young, there were only certain times that kids shows were aired; right before school started, right after school ended, and on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday) mornings. can watch a show at any time either via cable, Netflix, Hulu, On Demand, directly from the TV websites, etc. It's daunting!

And what are writers writing about on some of these kids shows? Many of the adult characters are shown as complete idiots and the show is pretty much governed by the kids. I cringe each time my teenagers watch a show where the adult (usually a principal or a teacher) says a line that no adult would ever say. Why do writers do this? Why do they feel the need to give kids a false sense of empowerment at the expense of another character (either an adult or a peer)?

When kids watch TV with adults saying/doing stupid things and with the kid characters correcting or making derogatory comments toward the adults...well...the seeds of disrespect start to plant themselves into those viewers.

I'm not insinuating that all TV is what is making a generation of disrespectful kids. But it sure doesn't help to have stupid sounding and acting adults as the role models on some of these TV shows.

Here are some tips that we use with our kids:

  • Instill in kids the habit of using positive words toward family members, friends, and neighbors.
  • Set a good example of being respectful toward others by being prepared, organized, and on time for appointments.
  • Kids are watching you all of the time and mimic your behavior. Be conscious of this when driving, standing in line at a store, and on the phone.

What do you think? How do you help your kids act respectfully?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A New 5-Star Review for Are You Respectful Today?!

We are thrilled with this new 5-star review for Book 2 in our Becoming a Better You! series, Are You Respectful Today? from Readers' Favorite! Please read and pass it on!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Start the School Year Building a Foundation for Success!

As parents, we want nothing more than for our kids to be successful. In the High 5 for Character world, success = happiness...BUT happiness is not brought about from status, material items, or having an abundance of money.

Happiness is brought about by confidence, respect, empathy, honesty, and gratefulness.

Help the kids in your life build a great foundation for HAPPINESS (and SUCCESS!).

The first two books in our series Becoming a Better You! Are You Confident Today? and Are You Respectful Today? are now available.

 Our third book, Are You Empathetic Today?, is on it's way to the printer and will be here in October!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to School Contest!

Head over to our Facebook Page to enter our Back to School contest.

We want kids to start the new school year off with great positive character so we're giving away one copy of Are You Confident Today? and Are You Respectful Today? to two lucky winners!

Hurry! The contest ends Friday, August 29!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Have You Seen our FB page?

We are having a BLAST over at our High 5 for Character Facebook page - not that you all shouldn't stop by here often - but our FB page is updated on a daily basis, multiple times. There you'll find tidbits about the five character traits that drive our book series: confidence, respect, empathy, honesty, and gratefulness. We scour the internet to find videos, quotes, and interesting articles that represent those character traits.

Here's our schedule:

Monday = Confidence
Tuesday = Respect
Wednesday = Empathy
Thursday = Honesty
Friday = Gratefulness
Saturday/Sunday = Family

We hope that you'll "Like" our FB page and stop by often. We love to hear what other High5ers have to say about the building blocks of a successful foundation for our kids!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Want a FREE book? :)

We're running a contest over at our High 5 for Character Facebook page...and it's really easy to enter!

  • Like our Facebook Page 
  • Share our Post (about the contest...the one pinned to the top of our page)
  • Let us know how you keep your confidence
It's as easy as a free book! Contest ends Friday (7/25) and the winner will be announced at 3pm.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Like" Us on Facebook & Follow Us on Twitter!

We're so excited to announce our new Facebook page, High 5 For Character. Please click over and "like" us!

We're also now on Twitter at @Hi5forCharacter. Consider following us and we'll follow you back!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Opportunities to Create Kids with Character

This summer is a pretty light one for my family. My older son is working out with the hockey team and the younger son is counting down the days until he leaves for a fine arts camp. Two kids who couldn't be any more different!

Knowing this about them, over the years I've always tried to match their interests with activities throughout the summer. Even though I wished they would read and practice math facts every day, I knew that wasn't going to happen - and plus...they needed a break!

Several years ago, I learned about a wonderful service-learning project through my local YMCA called Summer of Service. Middle school and high school students spend a week throughout SE Michigan (where we live) helping at various organizations. Each day was different and would span from pulling weeds at an elementary school in downtown Detroit to helping sort food at a local food bank. The kids would spend from 9am until 2pm at the designated location. Highschoolers had more weeks to choose from, while the middleschoolers had only one week that was primarily for them. Find your local YMCA to see if they offer Summer of Service.

Another opportunity that we would take advantage of during the summer was Kids on Campus. This is a program at one of our local community colleges that offers a multitude of camps for kids as young as second grade and as old as ninth grade. Kids can choose from camps about acting, science, computer programming, video game creation, Lego Mindstorms...just to name a few. Some camps also had a more academic spin on them - how to improve reading skills, writing skills, math skills, etc. Check out the colleges in your area to see if such camps are available.

Creating kids with character doesn't just happen in the classroom. Help your child build a foundation of success by giving them opportunities for confidence, respect, empathy, honesty, and gratefulness around the house with some of these ideas:

  • Try a new sport or music instrument - in a non-threatening situation, even the shyest child can gain a great amount of self-confidence.
  • Give your child a chore such as folding the towels, doing the dishes, walking the dog, feeding the cat, making the salad for dinner, etc. - something to help them feel like they are an important aspect of running the day-to-day home.
  • Visit an elderly relative, have your child make an "I Love You" card, and be ready to listen to stories from the "old days" when you visit.
  • Encourage family members to a "summer cleaning" of their bedroom and toy chest. Determine which clothes can be handed down to younger siblings/cousin or donated. Those clothes that are too small and in good condition can be passed along to a "new" owner. Consider doing the same with toys.
What are some of the character-building activities that you do with your children during the summer?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Are You a Teacher who uses TeacherPayTeacher?

We've made it easy for you to bring the first two books of our Becoming a Better You! series to your classroom. We've created ebooks of Are You Confident Today? and Are You Respectful Today? just for you!

We're also working on classroom activities for each book that align with the Common Core Standards. Check back for more details!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Great Article on Are You Confident Today?

Just wanted to post a great article that was written up about the first book in the Becoming a Better You! series, Are You Confident Today?

Our books in the Becoming a Better You! series are aimed at helping your child achieve success in life!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Do You Do When Your Kid Has Lost His Confidence?

I’m the mother of two teenage boys. The oldest is fifteen and the youngest just turned thirteen. You might think that boys this age would have as much confidence as they do appetites—which is HUGE, I might add. But, like any kid navigating through childhood and adolescence, their level of confidence ebbs and flows—and usually is dependent upon SOMEONE else...or so they think.

The oldest son plays hockey. You would think that after playing for almost ten years, he would be a wealth of confidence…especially now with his teammates and opposing players being as big as refrigerators. These are big boys who play rough. But when he doesn’t get ice time during games for whatever reason, he questions his abilities and the confidence that his coach has in him as a player. Game after game, this can spiral into a pretty ugly mess. This situation ends up devouring his confidence, making him second-guess himself when he’s on the ice, which results in mistakes—which then creates self-doubt, low self-esteem, etc. This lack of “hockey” confidence then flows to other areas in his life, as I can show you with some of his most recent grades. L

Watching a son or daughter lose their confidence is heart-wrenching. We want to pick them up, dust them off, and kiss and hug them until the hurt goes away.

But what’s a parent to do? No matter how much we say, “You’re awesome!” our words fall on deaf ears. He knows we think he’s awesome – he’s our kid! We aren’t the ones who can mend this situation.

And I’m here to tell you that it’s not the coach who can mend it either.

Wait. What?!?!? I can see your eyes bugging out. Wasn’t I leading you to believe that? Tricked ya!

Nope. It’s our son – or in your case, your son or daughter.

Confident kids bounce back after being beaten down…but only when they finally realize for themselves that they have value and worth. Sure, it helped that we gave praise, reminded him of past successes, and the fact that he got more ice time.  But it was really him that decided that he wasn’t going to be broken anymore.

Here are some traits of confident kids:
  • They take risks.
  • They use unsuccessful attempts (notice I didn’t say failures) as learning experiences.
  • They work hard.
  • They expect to do well, but don’t cave when the result turns out differently than what was expected.

We all “lose” our confidence at times. But really, it’s not lost. It’s there…we just have to remember that we are valuable and have worthiness.

What are some of the ways that you help boost your son’s or daughter’s confidence when they appeared to have lost theirs?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book 2 in Becoming a Better You! series update

We've been asked when to expect the next book in the series, Are You Respectful Today?, and we're proud to say that the book will be going to the printer tomorrow! Our illustrator Jeff Covieo did another outstanding job bringing our words to life.

We've been blessed with wonderful words about the new book. You can read them over at The Corner on Character blog.

We've finished the text for book 3, Are You Empathetic Today?, and the illustrations have already started. We can't wait to share this entire series with you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Confidence vs. Cockiness (psst...we really don't like that word, but...)

Our marketing rep told me that at a conference, while looking at our book Are You Confident Today?, a mother stated, "My child doesn't need any more confidence. He's already too cocky."

Upfront, please know we don't like that "c" word - and I'm obviously not talking about "confidence"!

When I heard those statements, I immediately scrunched my nose and said, "What? Too much confidence?"

But it brings up a really good point...when does confidence become cockiness and how do we, as parents, make sure our kids are grounded enough to know the difference?

My older son plays hockey. He's always had natural talent, but has worked really hard to hone his skills. Over the years, my husband and I have watched parents build their kid's ego up, oftentimes to the detriment of the player's attitude and work ethic. By the time the player gets to high school age, his self-perception of his skills is so elevated that even teammates don't want to hang out because "he's such a jerk" and coaches have a hard time getting him to comply with the system (way the coach wants a particular play to go.)

It's hard enough making and keeping friends; why would parents want to put their kid at a disadvantage by creating an ego monster? And, aren't coaches like future bosses? I highly doubt parents want their child to be unsuccessful in the work environment.

We've never been over-the-top parents. We compliment on hard work and question when things didn't turn out as expected. With the amount of time, money, and energy that goes into nurturing a hockey player, we do expect him to do his part. With a good combination of praise and questioning, I think we've help to create a balanced attitude in our son.

Building a healthy self-esteem and providing opportunities to build confidence are key components of a parent's role in raising a child. If your kid really has too much confidence, to the point that he/she is not accepted by his/her peers, it might be time to look at ways to gently rein in his/her ego.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Are You Confident Today? wins 2014 Mom's Choice Awards - Gold Medal Book Award

We are so proud to announce that Are You Confident Today? has been awarded a Gold Medal in the Juvenile Books (Level 1 Ages 5-9) in the Motivational/Inspirational category. We couldn't be more pleased.

Also Book 2, Are You Respectful Today?, in the Becoming a Better You! (BABY!) series is coming along nicely. Here's a peek at the front cover. What do you think?

While writing this book, Marian and I had many discussions about how, where, when, and why kids need to be respectful - just like our conversations while writing about confidence. Granted, neither of us have a PhD in confidence or respect, but we do have a lot of years of working with kids. Plus...we have the #worldstoughestjob according to American Greetings. Click the link if you've not seen it yet--it's worth your time. Much of what we discuss in all of the BABY! books comes from our own experiences, as well as the research we've done on each topic.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Summit Academy Elementary North has CONFIDENT Kids!

I had the pleasure of speaking with students and parents of Summit Academy Elementary North last night. It was phenomenal. Carol Paul, another NPM author and literacy advocate for Summit, contacted me after she learned about Are You Confident Today?. She purchased Confident (as we lovingly call it) and my other book, Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors (chapter book, great for grades 3 and up) so the students could do an "author study." Wow! I was humbled.

I was able to speak with many of those kids who were reading one of the books. Most were reading Confident..and I have to tell you...those kids are CONFIDENT!

As I read the book, I would ask them questions.

  • Who makes their breakfast?
  • Who gets their backpack ready before school?
  • Who has tried something new?
  • Who has had to practice and practice before mastering a new skill?
  • How do we treat others when they make a mistake?
  • How do we feel when we make a mistake? Do we try again or give up?
Time after time, hands were raised and little mouths were opened to tell me their stories. I loved it.

Then came time to talk to the parents about bullying, empathy, and raising responsible kids. Since the kids were still sitting on the floor in front of me, I didn't want to leave them out. As I gave my presentation, I asked the kids questions like:
  • What's the difference between bullying behavior and conflict behavior?
  • What's the difference between tattling and reporting?
  • What do you do when you're being bullied?
  • Do you have a "family mission"?
The kids had GREAT answers.

Summit Academy Elementary North is grooming some wonderful, character-filled students! I'm so happy that they chose our books to help complement their curriculum.

If you're interested in learning more about our school program, please don't hesitate to contact us! I can be reached at krismyankee @ gmail (dot) com.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Class Favorite!

We love to read reviews on Amazon, but I think we love it even more to see when a class adopts the first book in our new Becoming a Better You! series as their favorite book. Are You Confident Today? is Mrs. Morgan's 1st grade class's favorite book for March. How cool is that?

We would love to hear how YOU are using Are You Confident Today? in your classroom!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Are You Creating Opportunities for Confidence?

Parenting is a HUGE job. There are so many things we have to make sure our kids experience on a daily basis. Not only are we responsible for making sure that our child is clothed, fed, and sheltered, we also are responsible for helping to mold him/her into a citizen of the world. This molding includes:

  • understanding and following rules
  • caring about themselves and others, physically and emotionally
  • learning to make decisions
  • knowing right from wrong
  • treating others with respect, kindness, empathy, love. etc.
  • being responsible
The list goes on and on. Frankly, raising a child can seem like a daunting task for any new and/or established parent.

What is one of the ways to help mold your child into a citizen of the world? 

One way is to create opportunities for confidence. For the younger child, these opportunities could be as simple as:
  • folding towels
  • making the bed
  • getting food and water for a pet
  • putting away toys
  • helping Mommy at the grocery store
For the older child, these opportunities could be:
  • trying something new (sport, hobby, musical instrument, class, etc.)
  • making dinner for the family
  • doing chores and depositing their earnings into a savings account
  • babysitting younger siblings or other younger kids in the neighborhood
  • bringing in the newspaper or mail for a neighbor who is on vacation
We'd love to hear what you do to help create opportunities for confidence!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The reviews are rolling in...

We are so very thankful to those who have taken the time to write a short review on Amazon for the new book, Are You Confident Today?. What makes me feel especially tingly and gooey inside is when a teacher or parent writes how something in the book has made an impression on their class.

This review in particular makes my heart swoon. It's a 5-star review from Ryan R.

I am a kindergarten teacher and I used this book with my class and they loved it. I had to bring some of the vocab down a little to their level, but the message rang through. I incorporated the I will do my best today chant as a part of our morning routine. What a great and positive message! Can't wait for the next one in the series!

Thank you, Ryan R., for making kids more confident!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Are You Confident Today? featured on The Corner on Character Blog

We're so excited to be featured on The Corner on Character Blog today! Barbara Gruener has said some awfully nice things about our book. If you have a moment, please head over there and read her kind words.

Thanks, Barbara!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The new book is HERE!

We are so excited to announce that 

Are You Confident Today? 

has been delivered and is ready to ship to YOU!

What does a confident person look like? Smart? Happy? Talkative? Self-assured? Take a look in the mirror because a confident person is YOU! Are You Confident Today? presents situations that will help build and reinforce confidence in all readers. Are You Confident Today? is part of the Becoming a Better You! series which strives to highlight character traits that help readers reach their potential and help make a positive impact in the world.

Orders can be placed at the following:

Don't let the picture book format intimidate you - this book is for kids of ALL ages. Bulk order discounts available, too!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Set a Good Example

Are you guilty of saying any of the following:
  • "I'm tired and I can't do that right now even though I'm supposed to."
  • "XYZ has changed? Well, that won't work now."
  • "You want me to do what?"

I'll be the first to admit that I've said similar things, and I'm sure that most of us can relate to at least one of these statements/questions. It's human nature, I believe, to resist change, especially when it doesn't work with our "plans." But do we set the right example for the kids in our lives when they hear us speak like this?

One lesson I'm trying to teach my kids is that not everything they will encounter in their lives (that they are required to do) will be fun. It certainly wasn't fun finding a final resting place for my father when he passed, but we had to find a burial site. Okay...something not so gruesome and more's not fun to scrub the entire kitchen floor on my hands and knees, but it needs to get done and I'm healthy enough to do it on my own (and not hire someone).

We all do things that we don't want to do. Part of raising character-filled kids is that we teach them the value of hard work, being adaptable, and not getting crabby in the process. Helping kids to see the outcome rather than the journey can give them a brighter outlook on the situation and a sense of accomplishment when they are finished.

Although it's no fun being on my hands and knees scrubbing, it's a great upper body workout. When I'm done, I've burned a few calories and have a great looking floor as well.

How do you help the kids in your life adapt to change?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Olympics, Character, and a Support System

How can we not post about the Olympics? The games are the epitome of hard work, confidence in oneself, honesty, and my favorite, gratitude. I can't help it, but I love when the athletes win and then say, "Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!" It's makes my heart sing. :)

Even though the athletes worked hard for years, most of the time it was their parents who were supporting them during the good and the bad times. Don't get me wrong--the athletes are there because they exemplify the best of the best, the cream of the crop!

BUT...if a good support system weren't in place for them throughout their lives - be it parents, guardians, wives/husbands, and/or coaches - those kids (especially the kids), wouldn't be competing at that level. They wouldn't have all those positive feelings in them to remember when a mistake is made (remember Bode Miller's wife's face when he finished his run? Ugh.) They wouldn't know how to bounce back from "failure" if they hadn't learned to be self-confident individuals.

We don't need to tell our kids when they've made a mistake - they know. What's more is that we should focus our attention on questions like these:

"What could you have done differently to possibly have a more positive outcome?"
"Do you feel like you gave 'it' all your effort?"
"What will you do different next time?"
"I love you, no matter what" followed by a big hug.

These are good reminders for all, and they apply to more than just sports. Classwork, quizzes, tests, trying something new, even household chore "mistakes" happen and the above questions can help parents build that support system.

Be a confidence-builder, not a confidence-breaker.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What would be staring back at you from the mirror?

There's a popular post on Facebook that says,

"Many people would be scared if they saw in the mirror, not their faces...but their character."

I'm not sure where this came from, but it spoke volumes to me.

Wouldn't it be cool if we could have character mirrors? What would an honest person look like? Or a grateful one?

But what about people who lack confidence, empathy, respect?

We don't have character mirrors, but we do have that inner dullness that tells us when we're treating someone poorly or when we're being dishonest. We also have that inner glow when we're confident, grateful, and respectful.

Some character traits may not be inherit, but they can be learned. Teach your kids to listen to their inner glow or inner dullness. Remind them that when they glow, they're doing good in the world for themselves and those around them. When they're dull, they need to consider the choices they are making.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Can 30 days change your attitude?

I frequent several writing blogs and I came across one that I wanted to share here with parents because it's not about writing - it's about gratitude - something that ALL of us need.

Sheri Larsen, a fellow writer (and hockey mom!), has posted a wonderful blog post about the importance of gratitude for a writer. BUT what's so wonderful about this post is the video that she's attached to it. It's a simple, 3-minute-plus video that talks about the reasons why people are happy. The number one reason stated is GRATITUDE - which just happens to be book #5 in our series, btw!

So, if you'd like to join me...head over to Sheri's blog and listen to the short video. Why not do this for 30 days? Then you can report back here - or join Sheri's blog hop, if you have a blog. Reminding ourselves of ways to be happy on a daily basis can make real change in our lives. Whether it's true or not that 21 days can change a habit, I think this next 30 days should be one of being happy...and being grateful!

What do you think?

Friday, January 31, 2014

What does the Super Bowl - or ANY Championship game - have to do with confidence?

I am not a huge football fan. I'll watch an occasional televised game, and I certainly went to many as a college student, but we're a hockey that's the sport I identify the most with these days. We'll watch the Super Bowl, but mainly for the commercials and that darn "Puppy Bowl" which just gets me oohing and aahhing every time!

But I digress...

I can understand the intensity and expectations of a championship game, like the Super Bowl (or the Stanley Cup Finals) and what it takes to get to play in that type of game. Think about all of those players on the field. What did they do to make it there?

Practice? - Of course, without a doubt.
Passion? -  I would hope those playing have a passion for the sport, or why would they endure the lifestyle (workouts, practices, games, road-trips, time away from family, physical pain/injury, etc.)? I would hope it wasn't just about the money.
Drive? - Sort of the same as passion, but I think drive lasts longer and runs deeper than passion. One may lose their passion for the sport, but their drive keeps them going for whatever reason (maybe money/debt/responsibilities, etc.).
Natural talent? - Possibly, but I think practice is more important than natural talent and reminds me of the quote "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
Confidence? - Yes, yes, and yes!

Without confidence, either in themselves or from outside sources (coaches, upper management, etc.), those players wouldn't be there. They may be the best of the best (for this season), but they've proven that they can get the job done. They are expected to get the job done. For years, they've been playing this game, gaining more and more confidence. It fills them up and everything in the game comes second nature to them.

But what about when they were first starting out? How did they gain confidence? And how can we, as parents, help our kids be filled with confidence when they go out on the field, on the ice, or at a new tryout or new activity?

I submit it's through our words and actions.

I support my boys with positive feedback, positive words, and by teaching them positive self-talk. There's no "I can't" in our house. When they say that, my response is, "Why not? Yes, you can." If they come back with, "I don't know" or some sort of version of that response, I say, "Then let's figure it out."

Be a confidence-builder, not a confidence-breaker.

What do you do to instill confidence in your kids?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pre-Order the Book and a few Reflections

With the book just a few weeks away from being delivered from the printer, you can place your pre-order at Amazon.

We've heard great things about the resources that are included at the back of the book. Here are just a couple of the reflections that, we hope, will prompt readers to think deeper about how confidence shapes their daily lives:

  • Have you ever made a mistake and given up? What other choice could you have made?
  • How do you help others build their confidence?
  • What do you do well? Make a list.
  • What’s good about working with a partner?

How does confidence shape your life or the life of your child? We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Are You a Confidence-Builder?

From the time our kids are born, there are (usually) two primary caregivers- Mom and Dad. If the baby is lucky enough, there are more...grandparents, aunts, uncles, god-parents, siblings, etc, but let's primarily consider the parents at this point. As the child grows, parents are constantly saying things such as, "You got it!" "Good girl/boy!" "I love you." "C'mon, the peas aren't that bad..try again." "Come to Momma/ can make it. Just a few more steps!"

Parental encouragement develops confidence in the very young and continues throughout the child's life. Even at my age, my mother is still encouraging me to "follow my heart" or "do my best." I don't think she'll ever stop telling me such words. It's in her maternal nature.

Once the child reaches school-age, those who boost his confidence can include teachers, librarians, coaches/activity instructors, music instructors, friends, principals, even his doctor or dentist. Who doesn't love to hear that all is GREAT at a doctor and/or dentist visit? No cavities means Little Johnny is doing a GREAT job cleaning those teeth! There are more and more people who are influencing and encouraging the child -- confidence now is not just reliant on the parent(s) or other family members.

Throughout the school years, however, the child does begin to develop their own sense of self-confidence. Whenever they have a new experience--whether it's the first day of the school year, taking a test, visiting a new friend's house, trying out for a team, joining a club--the more the child has these experiences, the more self-confidence he will have. Repetition of similar experiences not only makes things appear easier, they allow the child to want to try something different.

Since I'm only the expert of my own children, I can tell you that I see this time and time again with my two boys. My younger son is the polar opposite of my older son. Son #2 is very smart, very cerebral, and is always concerned with the "big picture". He's very black and white, so gray areas confuse him or make him uncomfortable. He has tried many sports, and although athletic, none have ever captured his attention. He would rather play his trumpet, fool around on the piano, or play a video game than engage in backyard football. And don't even talk to him about hockey! He consistently scores above 99% on most standardized tests and probably should be in a gifted school. Given his academic talents, you would think that he was the most confident kid. Guess what? He wasn't confident until this past summer. Oh, by the way, he's 13. That seems sort of old, in my mind, to be just finding his confidence in "life", especially when his older brother seemed confident when he started running at 7 months instead of walking. But, after spending twelve days at a fine arts camp, Son #2 was so confident, he seemed like another child when my husband and I picked him up.

What's my point in all of this? I believe that parents are the primary confidence-builders for their kid, but that each person who encounters that child is also partially responsible for building or breaking that child's confidence. Eventually, the child will gain enough self-confidence that minor confidence-breakers from adults/authority figures will just be blips to them and won't produce the devastation of fulling losing their confidence.

How are you a confidence-builder?

Thursday, January 16, 2014


We are so happy that you stopped by Parents for Character. Marian and I are both excited to share ideas, tips, and strategies for helping raise kids with character. We're both parents and we know how tough it is to raise confident kids these days.

We all need confidence, but how do we get it? Are we born with it, or does it develop over time? We believe that confidence, like all character traits, is something that needs to be worked on throughout life. It's easy to do well at something and feel confident. But what happens when we attempt something new, but the result isn't what we expected..and daresay, we feel as if we've failed? Does a confident person give up? Or does a confident person learn from the experience and try again? We will be discussing these questions and more in upcoming posts!

Our new book, Are You Confident Today?, will be published in February and is a great way to start conversations about confidence. 

Here's what one parent said:

"After reading Are You Confident Today?, my daughter Elizabeth (age eleven) and I had a fun talk about being confident and how it helps you stand up to kids who are pains in the neck." ~ Jennifer Backer, mother of two kids

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

What does a confident person look like? Smart? Happy? Talkative? Self-assured? Take a look in the mirror because a confident person is YOU! Are You Confident Today? presents situations that will help build and reinforce confidence in all readers. Are You Confident Today? is part of the Becoming a Better You! series, which strives to highlight character traits which help readers reach their potential and help make a positive impact on the world.