By Maureen Healy
Just yesterday, I worked with an eight-year-old client named Ava. She is highly creative and intelligent, yet struggles with her self-confidence. So I asked her, “Would you like to paint today?” and she replied, “I am not sure if I can do it.” Of course, this is a clear sign she continues to need help building her sense of outer to inner confidence. Since I also know her family as a spiritual, but not religious one, I took the approach of cultivating confidence from a spiritual perspective.
Instilling Self-Confidence Spiritually
So how do I spark self-confidence at a deeper level in children? I must be honest, this isn’t a simple question or answer. Any adult can nurture a stronger type of confidence in their children, but here I want to emphasize that children begin looking outside of themselves for validation (grades, acknowledgment from parents and trophies) and the process of spiritual self-confidence is helping them go inward.
In other words, adults who nurture in children, on a consistent basis, that within them is a power, capability and greatness able to overcome any obstacles are teaching inner confidence. It is this power within that from a spiritual perspective is our divinity. Call it God, Spirit, Christ-consciousness, Shiva, the Buddha Seed or Jehovah – the name doesn’t matter, but the idea that there is an infinite intelligence in and around our lives that can help us is a powerful teaching for kids.
So I explained this idea to Ava and she immediately brightened up. She said, “You mean I have God within me?” And I said, “Yes. There is a power in you that can help you succeed no matter what is happening in the outer world.” Interestingly enough, she was also then willing and more optimistic about painting.
Inner Confidence: Three Tips for Today
Nurturing in your children a sense of healthy self-confidence from a spiritual perspective and awareness of their divine nature is conscious parenting. Some ideas to help you on your way are:
1. Daily Dose of Spiritual Confidence (Take one every day like a vitamin!) Just like a gummy vitamin we give our children daily, we need to nurture in them the belief that they have power, greatness and capability in them every day. This may be an affirmation, song, prayer, meditation or something unique to your family or culture – the point is it needs to be done consistently and not sporadically for best results.
2. Get Inspired Together. By becoming genuinely inspired by life and seeing the creative force that made the daffodils come up early and butterflies emerge from their cocoons is the same powerful force inside of us – this sparks self-confidence in kids. So enjoy getting inspired together whether it is musically, going into nature or something else, but remember to reinforce the idea that that same greatness is in all of us.
3. Give More. Once children “see” how powerful they are – the path to inner confidence becomes easier and more possible. Lizzie, my neighbor, set up a lemonade stand on a hot day this week and used all of her earnings ($55) to give to the local humane society that has 19 bunny rabbits in their care and needs help with them. She was so happy to drop the money off, see the bunnies and know they’ll be taken care of until they are adopted.
Maureen Healy is a spiritual teacher with more than 20 years of global experience fostering children’s happiness. Her new book, “Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success and Happiness,” presents a model called The Five Building Blocks of Confidence that explains in everyday language how any adult can foster a deeper type of confidence in their children. For more information visit her website at www.growinghappykids.com or follow her on Twitter: @mdhealy