Instilling Confidence in Children
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” (Proverbs 24:10)
I think we can change the world through varying means. We can even make the world better or worse depending on our actions, our thoughts and our behaviors. But positive changes don’t often happen without intentional living. In my case, I intend to be the best Mom I can be. With this in mind, I plan to make a positive difference in the world by raising one incredible child.
Admittedly, however, being a mom is tough. As I sit at baseball AAA tryouts, and watch my son running constantly to catch the ball, I know he is thinking it’s because he can’t catch well enough that he might not make the selection — not because the player throwing the ball can’t throw. Previously, he had said on the way to tryouts today … “I’m nervous mom.” And yes, knowing my son, I’m sure he is nervous but I told him that indeed, he could do it because I know he can. My job as a mother is to encourage him and in this situation, make him believe it!!!!
It is during times like this that I wonder aloud if Jesus ever questioned whether or not He could do something, I know He faced adversity daily. How could He not??? On the cross, for example, Jesus said, “Why have you forsaken me?” Of course, Jesus already knew the answer, but the words were spoken anyway so that we could have that confidence. The knowledge that even in adversity, there is promise.
We need to remember this in our day to day. My son knows a boy who is not necessarily a bully but he’s not very nice. All through hockey tryouts, this boy told my son he wasn’t good enough. At the rink. At school. Whenever and wherever he could, this boy’s bullying and mean attitude was a daily thing. Still, at times, I found my son believing him. This young boy of mine with a tender heart.
The question is this. How do I encourage my son to hear my voice instead of the one he is listening to??? I believe many parents struggle with this issue.
And here now, this same boy is at it again during baseball tryouts. It is hard for me because I know that I need to teach my child to value HIMSELF while at the same time not being negative about this other boy. I never want my son to think it is okay to make someone feel not good enough. To bully. To say mean spirited words just because he can. A necessary lesson for all of us to recognize.
Last night, we watched the movie about Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League Baseball. It was a good movie. This movie gave me an opportunity to teach my son about being stronger than the voice of doubt that is trying to take hold. This other boy’s doubting voice that tries to tell him he doesn’t belong at baseball tryouts. Or, even worse, the inward voice that says he isn’t good enough. Indeed, Jackie Robinson’s story gave me a chance to show my son that if he works hard and does his very best, he will always be a winner. It also allowed me time to bond with my son because one day he will pull away from family — because that is what we do as teens. So, in the interim, I work hard to cherish each second I can
Whatever happens at the baseball tryouts, one thing is certain. My son will still be awesome. He may or may not make this baseball team today but that is okay because I know that EVERY time he looks at me, he hears his Mom telling him to try harder. Run faster. And most of all, yes, he is good enough. As long as I can, I’ll not let anyone take that confidence away from him!!!! His innocence.
As I write this, I encourage each and every one of us as parents to take the words ‘I can’t’ out of your child’s vocabulary. And at the same time, remove the “I don’t know-s” and the “I’m not good enough-s” too. Teach them that they can. They might not appear to be listening when they are 12 but they will remember in the years going forward — when they really are old enough to change the world. Then – with confidence, our grown children will know that THEY CAN!!!!