Do You Know How To Raise A Confident Child?

During the school holidays (except Christmas as there is too much going on), you’ll find Smiley at beautiful Medicine Garden. I LOVE this place. It has such a peaceful vibe and has definitely been cultivated with families in mind. The play area, the wide open space, the farm shop, the garden shop and of course the coffee shop for yummy tea and cake.

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. It’s true. Children love this space; a beautiful workshop owned by My Crafty Soul who run craft classes for adults and children to quite literally ignite creative souls. I quite fancy a spot of lampshade making myself!

courtyard at the medicine garden

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 and the children charge about in beautiful grounds to relax into the experience. In spite of how parents leave them, their shake off their self conscientiousness and quickly forget their worries. When everybody arrives they are a bit unsure, but I 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.

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‘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

Confident people know who they are

Our first task is to make a vision board. 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 in our vision board. All 8 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 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.

getting creative

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:

poppyworkbook.jpg                 tahliaworkbook.jpg

hughieworkbook.jpg          my hamster

gardening  lauren's workbook

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 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).

muscletesting

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……

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?

mantra5 mantra4 mantra3 mantra2

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.

Everything is fixable or figure-out-able

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.

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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 or you are a regular visitor to my Facebook page where I announce new workshop dates. Each workshop is £37 (earlybird price) and is for 2.5 hours. Come and join in the fun and help you child feel good from the inside out!

Love

Smiley x

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