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?