On Raising Confident Kids

On Raising Confident Kids

Confession: I suck at consequences.

I mean, really, who can think of a response for ALLLLL the things our kids come up with?!

While I may suck at consequences, there’s one parenting tip I’ve implemented with great success for over 10 years: the Love Jar.

I write all about it in my latest article for Collin County Mom Collective: https://collincounty.momcollective.com/parenting/be-your-kids-biggest-fan/

Our Love Jar – Getting filled (and emptied!) since 2008

After reading “The Love Jar” article, a mom reached out and asked the “secret” for raising confident kids. I’m a firm believer that there’s no one-size-fits-all method to parenting. Every parent, every kid, every family is unique. What may work well for one, may not work well for another. But the one approach that wins every. time. is love.

Confident kids are loved and they know it.

Now you know that loving your kids doesn’t mean giving them everything or doing all the things, I don’t need to tell you that. In fact, it’s my experience as a single mom that NOT being able to give my kids all the stuff or go on all the fancy vacations is precisely what shaped them into who they are today: confident, content, and comfortable in their own skin.

So while Lord knows I’m no perfect parent and my kids have had more than their share of flops and failures, I am happy to share a few things that have worked for my family to build them up and bond us together.

Be silly.

“Home is wherever my bunch of crazies are.”

In our family, we have a slew of silly sayings. For example, “Is that a pimple on your nose?” and “Chocolate chip cookies!” means “I love you BIG much!” Back in the carpool days, I dropped my kids off at school in the morning with, “You’re blessed and highly favored of the Lord!” or “You’re big and brave and strong and smart!”

If anyone in the family says, “Cool beans!”, we all follow in unison with, “Hot chili!” then “Bean burrrrrrriiiiiiitoooooo!” When we get separated, we find each other by calling out, “Marco!” More than once, I’ve been reunited with Jenna in the store by asking the front clerk to announce “Marco!” over the intercom. And we just love when perfect strangers join in the game. Laughter is the best.

Serve together.

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” {Anne Frank}

There’s nothing like serving those less fortunate to cultivate gratitude for what you have. In my graduate school leadership classes, I’ve learned that empathy is one of the most sought after skills in leaders. Not only does serving others increase empathy, it builds self-esteem and nurtures a servant’s heart.

Readers are leaders.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” {Dr. Seuss}

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Be resilient. Have a growth mindset. Be a lifelong learner.

Well, it starts at home and it starts young. In our family, as our schedule allows, we all read together for 30 minutes in the evening before bed with hot tea, popcorn, and blankets. Lots of warm, cuddly blankets. And not just any books – the classics. Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, Inkheart …. to name a few.

We also listen to audiobooks in the car (which is where it feels like we are for half our days!). We never established the habit of watching movies or being on devices in the car. Instead, we listen, we learn, we talk. (Which reminds me – talk with your kids. A lot. Like a lot a lot.)

These are a few of our “hauserbubbleisms” – our own little quirky things that fosters togetherness as a family and confidence in my kids.

And this is where I’ll leave you today, with a final hauserbubbleism.

Whenever my kids wonder why we’re doing something, going somewhere, or trying this or that, my response is always:

#familybondingadventureisoutthere!

And off we go.

What works for your family? I’d love to hear from you on ways you strive to build confidence in your kiddos!

Whether your kids are littles or bigs – it’s an ongoing process that’s made possible by sharing, supporting and encouraging each other.