‘Confidence is about feeling comfortable enough in your own skin to enter the unknown and have a go’.
Would you like to give your child a huge dollop of self-confidence? You can do this by being a a good role model for walking, talking and behaving as if you are comfortable in your own skin. When we behave as if we are confident in our heads, our bodies catch up and confidence becomes our default setting. More tips on how to foster self confidence in your child can be found here in this article I wrote for Mummy Pages
The ‘Secret Ingredients of Self Confidence’ is my most popular coaching workshop for 7-10 year olds. It claims to make children feel better than when they first arrived and it’s true.
Gently does it! We are all the same here
So what happens at a Smiley children’s life coaching workshop? Well, we start by playing games so the children can relax into the experience. In spite of how parents leave them, they shake off their self consciousness and quickly forget their worries. When everybody arrives they are a bit unsure, but we make it OK to feel like this. I highlight that we are all in a new place with people we have never met before so we need to get to know each other. It makes a difference to know you are in good company.
Confident people know who they are
Our first task is to make a vision board or we sometimes refer to it as an About Me poster. Confident people have a clear sense of self which comes from knowing:
- what their passion is
- what they are good at
- what their likes and dislikes are
- what is important to them (their values)
- what they are most proud of
- what their good qualities are (how would you describe yourself in 3 words)
- what sort of a friend / daughter/ son / brother / sister are you?
These are some of the things we include and all 10 children bring along a photograph of when they felt at their happiest. Most children bring along old holiday snaps or photos of them in their element at a birthday party or doing their thing – roller skating, playing football, swimming. In such a small group, there is safe space for children to share their stuff. It’s surprising how quickly they open up and start to realise that they are not the only one that feels this way.
Creativity mixed with learning and fun
Have you seen my craft kit? It’s pretty amazing and most children’s eyes go pop when they walk into the room to see the table strewn with the contents of Hobbycraft. Learning creatively, when we are relaxed and happy means all those really important and helpful coaching tips will be going in at a deeper level. We spend about 30 minutes working on our vision boards.
Children help each other sifting through magazines looking for pictures as they get to know each other and themselves. You can see some of our master pieces here:
Your brain thinks what you tell it to
We use muscle testing (or Kineseology as it is sometimes known) to see if our thoughts make us weak or strong. The children love this and shout ‘Me! Me!’ as they stretch their hands high in the air to be the next one up the front to try it out for themselves (who’d have thought this is the same group of children).
Your brain really does think what you tell it to. So a little coaching theory highlights how the way we think has a huge impact on how we feel and consequently how we behave. We look at the negative thoughts we are having that are getting in the way of us feeling confident and we flip them on their head:-
- I can’t becomes I can
- I’m scared becomes I am brave
- I’m not good enough becomes I’m doing my best and that is good enough
- I might do it wrong becomes I’m learning every day and it’s fun
- What if (something bad happens)…..becomes wouldn’t it be wonderful if……
What really helps with this is my Smiley Thought Cards. You can see pics of them below. The children love them!
Then we get to working on our own mantras; something we want to chant over and over to ourselves every day so that we feel good. A mantra that keeps the worries away or gives us the strength to overcome whatever is troubling us. Our mantras are put on canvas boards and we decide where we are going to hang them when we get home. Somewhere we look every day so they are feeding our brain positive thoughts. By our bed? On the fridge? By the front door? What do you think of our handy work?
You don’t have to be loud to be confident
If you’ve read my blog You Don’t Have to Be Super Mum to Communicate With Your Kids then you will realise how much body language impacts how other people see us and how we feel about ourselves. We examine all sorts of scenarios where our bodies can talk for us without a single word coming out of our mouths.
- How we stand in the playground to fend off bullies and when we want to attract friends
- How we walk into a room – walk like you mean it and be 2 foot taller than you are
- How powerful our smile is in situations where we feel nervous – smile when you talk
- How we can turn away from somebody without telling them to go away
- How we can break eye contact when we want to end a conversation
These are just some examples. You can try others at home by standing in front of a mirror with your child and have fun role playing out different situations. Laughter diffuses uncomfortable feelings and this type of connection with your child means they will remember it when they need to. Children who come to the Friendship Know How workshop also find how it helps to read and be aware of their own body language in social situations.
You know that when you have self belief and confidence. You know that you can handle anything that comes your way. We finish the session by collecting our certificates, and celebrating how good we feel. A lot better than when we first arrived. This is the most important thing: it’s just the unknown that scares us but knowing that we can handle most things which life throws at us even if they don’t feel very nice at first.
Would you like your child to be Smiley for Life?
If you would like to come to my next workshop, please make sure you have signed up to my newsletter where I announce new workshop dates. There is a full list of current workshops here. Come and join in the fun and help your child feel good from the inside out!