How many times have your kids come home sad because of something someone said at school. That they have a big nose or they’re not a fast runner. Or, perhaps because of something an adult told them they could never be in life, because it’s “too hard”, or that they’re not supposed to like pink because “boys don’t like pink”. Confidence is one of the most important characteristics to enable our kids to soar through and over all of the bumps in life, and to never doubt themselves – their ideas or even just who they are. It’s normal for kids to have insecurities, but you have the ability to give your kids the gift of feeling powerful and important.
I have a phrase I repeat often to my kids, in those moments, that reminds them to believe in themselves – always. And that what they think and feel matters. And that they have a choice how to react… actually, they have a choice how to think, which affects how they feel…which in turn, affects how they react (good old CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
“Don’t let other’s opinions matter more than your own.”
Once they hear these words, the subtle relief I see move over their little faces as the stress exits with their breath. This process is not only comforting for them but for me as well – who doesn’t want to see their children happy? I remind them how others are entitled to their own opinions, but it does not mean that their opinion should matter more than their own. They can still feel sad, that will soon lift. And the next time, they won’t feel so sad, because they will know that the hurtful words that were dealt speak more about the person saying the words, then the person the words are directed toward.