3 ways to build a God confidence in our children
From the very beginning God designed us to be confident in His abilities and in our abilities.
He gave us a role, He designed us for significance:
'So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God said to them ,"be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves".
God wanted them to know they were important
He planned we would be secure
'And the lord God commanded the man saying, "of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of life you shall not eat, for in that day you eat of it you shall surely die".
Gen 2 v 17
God knew the moment Adam and Eve ate the apple they would separate from Him and no longer be safe.
His perfect design was that we find acceptance.
"it is not good that man should be alone: I will make him a helper comparable to him"
Gen 2 v18
God knew we needed companionship
Knowing God always had a plan for our significance, security and acceptance I have discovered one of the most life changing, confidence building truths you give your children is this "I am significant, I am safe, I belong"
Our middle son was very shy? To be honest, I quite liked it. Whenever we would meet new people he would bury his head into me and whisper in my ear, BUT one day I felt a nudge from from God, he gave me a choice - I could hold him close and keep him looking at me or I could be close, face him forward and teach him how to live courageously & confidently. Fast forward 10yrs & that once shy boy is now strong and confident. (Introverted, but bold.)
This moment in my parenting journey and others have become the building blocks we have used to build confidence in our children, so here's 3 steps we use to help build a God confidence:
ONE - Find a hobby your child is good at.
This builds significance (I am good at this) & they make friends and it increases a sense of belonging.
When we find others who share the same passions & experiences, we feel more confident.
Have you seen the things younger children can create? Dens, Lego sets, minecraft worlds, role-play, tree climbing, complex/interesting drawings and models. These skills are totally transferable & enable children to build, experience and see the things the can achieve.
Have you seen what older children can figure out? Complex maths problems, trampoline skills, sporting and musical achievements.
These skills are all confidence building & transferable!!
TWO - teach basic life skills.
This says to them I belong, I am part of this family it also helps them gain confidence for the future.
I know it's quicker and easier sometimes to just 'get on' with things, doing it ALL is more convenient (in a busy schedule) than teaching them. But when we 'do it all' we risk becoming a Helicopter Parent; we over-protect, over-parent & hover over them - instead of building confidence we build anxiety and fear. Deep down our children form a belief system that because they were never trusted they mustn't be good enough or able.
(Want to know if you helicopter parent? Take this BBC quick test)
in my experience the following skills build confidence:
Younger children should be able to:
Tie their shoelaces
Eat by themselves & use cutlery
Polish shoes & put their own shoes on
Make their bed & tidy up after themselves
Help with family chores such as sorting laundry into piles & taking out the trash
Hoover & polish
Older children should be able to:
Order from a restaurant & ask where the restroom is
Make reservations or speak on the telephone
Pay at the checkout
Read a map & know how to give directions
Clean a bathroom & the car
Operate a washing machine, hoover, dishwasher & iron
Make a meal, bake a cake and pack their own lunch
Change their bedding, make their beds open their blind
Set an alarm clock and use it
& so much MORE…….
And teenagers...well there's no limit to what they can do, they are highly competent and able!!
THREE -Modify the way WE behave
Did you know most of what we communicate is done in a non-verbal way? How we speak to our children with our actions is the most impacting, because it forms the basis of their inner voice & it is especially important for children to know they are safe & secure, to know that we as parents are safe, steady and can provide for their needs.
We can show this in simple ways - spending quality time, eating meals together at the table, looking your children in the eye, knowing what they are interested in, filling their time well, providing healthy food, speaking kindly, setting good boundaries, providing clean clothes, being consistent, modelling good life choices, being quick to say sorry & more - these ALL build confidence.
This is a super little video you can share with your children about safety:
When children experience the above firsthand it proves to them that:
I am significant - MY hands, ME, I did this! I can make a difference!
I am safe - it's ok to get it wrong here & learn how to put it right.
I belong - we share a common goal, I am an important part of this family.
When we give them skills we build their faith, confidence and strengthen their self-esteem.
'We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.'
Rom 5 3-5
Brave it today, give your children challenges at home or a new activity to learn & some of your undivided attention. Watch their confidence grow!