Updated: Oct 31, 2022
We are absolutely raising our children in a more positive, more self-loving time.
Would you agree?
There are a lot of ways today that we teach our kids to be accepting, loving and confident in themselves - more than when I was a kid, that's for sure!
A great example of this is how we've adopted a growth mindset learning environment into the school system. This wonderful concept helps children mentally understand that when they make a mistake or experience a challenge, they are learning. Brilliant messages have been shared through this lens that truly support our children's mindset when it comes to trying new things, messing up and failing.
We are also seeing the many benefits of mindfulness helping youth today, such as teaching tools like present moment pauses and sharing positive affirmations, self-care routines, and breath work.
But what about our children's ability to feel connected within and empowered by themselves?
While we have an abundance of self-help content available online, a lot focus on outward support and regulation of emotion rather than embracing the true self and all you can do for yourself by simply connecting to your voice inside.
As a foundational function of mindset work, I think it's important that we help our kids know how powerful they are right now!
I am no expert on your kid, but I do have knowledge that can help guide your child inward, to learn about themselves and empower themselves with confidence so they can life an epic life!
My main goal with this post is to get your kids excited to learn about how they can develop their own self-empowering journey! My suggestion to you is to read this post with your child(ren) and use each tip as a jumping off point to spark more personal discussions and even action!
Here it goes...
#1 Talk to Yourself
Caring about the way you speak to yourself is the most important thing you will work on in your life.
There is a voice inside that knows how awesome and powerful you are, right now. But it can sometimes be hard to hear. Why? Well, many reasons but simply put, being kind to yourself is a skill that is learned. It does not come natural to anyone! There are actual brain functions (which I won't get into detail about here) that fire you up and focus on the negative all day long. So like any skill, learning how to connect to your loving, soft and empowering voice takes practice. You can work on developing your relationship to your inner voice a few times a day. Whether it's journaling your morning thoughts or speaking to yourself in a vision or the mirror, there are many ways you can discover the true voice that empowers you when you need a boost.
And while it may seem wacky, talking to yourself is an important first step to feeling connected to who you are and empowered by you.
#2 Know Your Stories
Every day we get to take a book off of our inner bookshelf and decide, this is the story I am in and the character I am playing.
If you wake up every day and believe that you are playing the character of someone that is "not good enough" or "not smart enough" or "not pretty enough" or insert any other story you are telling yourself right now, well, you're going to feel that vibe and act that way all day long. That's just a fact.
But also a fact is that you don't have to play that role. The story you tell is a choice. Since you get to pick the book off the shelf, you can choose again. You can start believing in new characters and new adventures and new accomplishments at any time.
I'm not a fake it 'till you make it kind of girl, but if you start by connecting to the story you've been telling yourself (be real) and notice what is keeping you in a low vibe, pushing down your self-esteem or inner empowerment, try to pick a new story off the shelf. One that makes you feel even the slightest bit better. And just focus on that character for a bit. Thinking about how that person would feel and act in their day, differently than you are doing right now.
Overtime, as you focus on this change, the way you think about yourself and the way you act with change too.
#3 Love Your Experiences
One thing I have learnt over the years is this: Words Don't Teach.
You need to let kids go through every experience they are ever faced with - good, exciting, uncomfortable, challenging and downright awful - so they can learn from it.
I mentioned above how growth mindset helps us understand that everything we go through is a lesson. Well, in the same way it is applied to school lessons it can be applied to your life.
Your brain may want to focus on the negative but what it really needs is to hear from you in all moments is that you are doing your best, learning as you go, so it can process all experiences without judgement or shame.
If you can take a step back in your life lessons to note that this is all a matter of experience, helping you learn something new, maybe you won't be so hard on yourself the next time you feel down, mess up or face hardship.
Being armed with inner words of compassion are helpful - they anchor your emotions and allow thoughts to move through the experience.
Something simple like being able to stop and say "May I learn and grow through this experience" is a beautiful phrase you can repeat to yourself in tough times.
#4 Do You
The best way to connect to yourself is to make time to discover who you are, what you love and even what you don't like so much.
Make room in the schedule to just be with yourself, doing whatever you think will bring you joy. Maybe that's learning about something new, reading a book, dancing and singing, baking...who knows? Only you!
Tune into who you are and allow yourself to flow in that moment.
In my MINDFLOW programs I speak to how this inward connective time allows for a natural meditative state. You don't need to be in silence to become calm and connected to your inner feelings and desires. You just need to be doing something you love, in peace, without pressure, and you'll find safety within yourself to allow that true voice to flow.
In fact, if we (aka parents) get out of the way and allow for more "flow time" we can often see that our kids are happier, softer, and more willing to listen (to themselves and us!).
#5 Feel It All
All days will not be good days. Some will just be okay. Some will be not great. All feelings are Normal (with a capital) and it's giving you golden info!
The quickest way to confidence is knowing how to feel your feelings.
Now pay attention! When you have a feel, especially one that's tough, don't push it aside or reach for positivity. Instead, pause, feel it. Get curious with it even, try to understand where it's coming from and find out why it's saying hello. This will help you understand your inner world and process experiences more mindfully.
You can also get into a routine that helps you document all of your feeling - as an informative (and creative) way to learn about yourself and guide yourself through struggles.
Use a journal, bullet style, have a feelings jar or write a list of the people, places, and things that make you have any significant feels - happy, upset, confused and mad, excited, joyful, and anything in between. This becomes a place you can turn to for your own advice and support.
Self-empowerment is all about you versus you. You are always in control.
So remember this secret: the relationship with yourself is the best confidence booster!
Hope this sparked meaningful discussions in your home. I'd love to hear from you, what did this bring up with your kids, and did it bring anything up for you?!