Confidence helps children deal with social pressure and stay away from drugs. When children have good self-confidence, they know their value and would not likely get involved with things that are less than their worth. Working Mother (2018) lists 10 ways parents can help their children build confidence. First, parents need to love their children. This means making sure your children know that they are loved even when they make mistakes. When you make mistakes in your parenting, it’s good to show your children that you are human, apologize, and reassure your children of your love.
Parents should give praise where praise is due, and this means not giving more praise than is really due (Working Mother, 2018). Be careful not to give too much praise for winning the trophy or getting the A. It’s better to focus on the effort that it took to get the trophy or earn the A. This helps children develop a “growth mindset,” and begin to understand that through effort many things are possible (Grose, 2018).
Children need to know that they will not be great at everything. It’s okay to have big dreams, but help your children set realistic goals (Working Mother, 2018). A parent can help children think through smaller goals that need to be achieved to get to the bigger dreams that lie ahead. Again, this helps your children develop a “growth mindset” to understand that their skills and abilities are not set but can improve over time (Grose, 2018).
Children watch how parents treat themselves, so it’s important to model self-love and positive talk (Working Mother, 2018). Parents should talk positively about themselves and recognize the accomplishments that they make. They should point out the good things that their children are doing as well. Thinking and talking positively broadens “your sense of possibilities” and helps you take on new tasks and dream new dreams. (Clear, 2013).
Parents need to teach resilience to help their children deal with life’s setbacks and disappointments (Working Mother, 2018). When failures come, instead of spending too much time feeling bad for your children, help them think about what can be done to make the situation better. Again, parents can share failures that happen in their lives and what they do to try to fix the situation or to come up with a plan B.
Instill independence and adventure by encouraging your children to try new things. You can help your children get started, but you should step back to let them take on the new challenge independently. Help find a physical activity your children can enjoy. This will help your children feel confident in their personal strengths. This can be an organized sport but it could also be an independent physical activity like skating or biking. When they find it, support the pursuit of your children’s passions. This may be something that you are interested in, or it may be something completely new to you.
Your children can find confidence in knowing that the rules in your house are consistent and you will follow through with consequences if needed. The foundation that you set will help your children know that there are some things that they should and should not do in life and that consequences come when not doing the right thing. Children gain confidence in knowing that what is expected of them and what they can expect from the decisions that they make.
It’s worth intentionally instilling confidence in your children when you know they will have a better chance of making good decisions by knowing their self worth.
If you are in need of help or know someone in need of help for a drug addiction, below are some current resources in Shelby County that might be of assistance:
• Counseling for Wellness (Mental Health Outpatient) — 937-492-9355;
• FOA — Families of Addicts (Support- Locations Vary) — 937-307-5479;
• Family Resource Center of Northwest OH — 937-710-4616;
• Dr. Fred Sacks PhD & Associates, Dr. Sara Pleiman (Mental Health Outpatient) — 937-492-9900;
• SafeHaven, Inc. — HOPE Line 937-451-3232 or 855-276-4673, 937-658-6930;
• Samaritan Works (Other Recovery Services) — 937-492-9136, ext. 108;
• Shelby County Counseling Center (Mental Health/Addictions Outpatient, Other Recovery Services — sliding fee scale basis dependent on household income) — 937-492-8080;
• Sidney-Shelby Co. Health Dept. — 937-498-7249;
• Shelby House (men) or Miami House (women) at 937-332-0021
• 24/7 Tri-County Crisis Text Line, 800-351-7347;
• Wilson Memorial Hospital Behavioral Health Center (Other Recovery Services) — 937-498-5578.
This is one article in a series of articles written with the backing of the Shelby County Drug Task Force Education and Prevention Committee with the goal of increasing awareness and developing supports to prevent substance use.
Julie Willoughby, Ph.D., is a parent advocate for Shelby County Drug Task Force Education and Prevention Committee. She also is the principal of Urbana North Elementary School.