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A common question received at Mint comes from parents wanting to help their young athlete develop more confidence. In the same sense, your children have learned so much from you; they also get their first look at confidence from you. The people and environment your children are exposed to early on will dramatically affect their developing relationships with confidence. Kids need to know that effort (not just results) are important, that coming up short does not make one a failure, and that learning or acquiring new skills is supposed to be clunky and uncomfortable at first. They need to understand that how they speak to themselves (either out loud or in their head) is important. Self-talk is at the root of confidence, more importantly, positive self-talk. We know from the works of (Leung and Poon, 2001, and Owens and Chard, 2001) that negative self-talk will come at a cost. It has been linked to disorders such as; anxiety, aggression, depression, and low self-esteem. So the first thing a parent can do is maintain a healthy, positive dialogue with themselves, especially in the presence of their children.
Here are some other things you can do as a parent to help your child develop a strong sense of confidence.
Remember, as a parent, intentions matter, but the environment you create and maintain is even more important than that. This will have a substantial impact on your children. Teach them to find the good in every day, to give great effort, and to speak to themselves like a dear friend. Create an environment full of love, rewarding effort, and accepting shortcomings. Doing so will be an excellent 1st step into helping your child develop lifelong confidence.
Book a consultation here if you want to have a conversation and see if Mint is right for you or your athlete.
Leung, P. W., and Poon, M. W. (2001). Dysfunctional schemas and cognitive distortions in psychopathology: a test of the specificity hypothesis. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11583248
Owens, G. P., and Chard, K. M. (2001). Cognitive distortions among women reporting childhood sexual abuse. Retrieved from: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2001-14164-006