The Top Two Ways to Create a Confident Young Adult

For me, the top two ways a parent teaches their children to feel confident and good about themselves is by telling them what they should expect for and from themselves in their life.

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  • They should expect to be challenged in life; so they grow and learn.
  • They should expect others to treat them with respect; anything less than that is unacceptable, and
  • They must expect the same applies to how they treat others; with respect.
  • They should expect that there are choices they could make during the process of expectations.

Of course, children of all ages run into people who won’t follow those rules; whereby they are challenging the boundaries of respect and expectations. It could be a man, woman, friend, or family member who won’t adhere to your child’s way of thinking and their balance of peace becomes disrupted in the moment. This is the moment in time when conscious choices come in; so balance can be restored and their journey of life continues on.

Without looking at the choices offered to them, your child can get stuck in a downward spiral into the bickering, anger, resentment, or whatever feeling of that moment; in turn, stunting their emotional growth. In one way or another, the child must decide what to do in that given situation. Your tools and guidance helps them to rise through the options.

Perhaps an apology or disconnect from the person is in order. Maybe your child needs to put a boundary in place, tell someone of authority the circumstances, or hopefully, if he or she doesn’t know the best way to handle a situation, they know they could come to you for advice.

When a child learns to expect more for and from themselves, they know better how to make good choices for themselves. For starters, teach them how to appreciate. Appreciate what, you say? Themselves; for who they are, what they have to offer, what they have the ability to do, and for what they are given. When a person knows that they are blessed, valuable just as they are, they exude it. When they are truly grateful for those blessings, their personality comes alive, their self-esteem rises, and they beam their light out to the world.

To take a line from the movie, The Help, teach them to say,

“I am smart, I am kind, I am important.”

Although there are many lessons to share with your kids as they grow, most importantly, remind them that they are worthy of respect. Their self-worth will replicate through their higher self-esteem, and you’ll know that you are helping to make them stronger, more loving, more loved, and grateful individuals.

As you go about your day, make conscious efforts to take notice if your child isn’t feeling good about him- or herself; then, remind them of their worth. By way of the media, peers, and even family members, kids find reasons why they aren’t good enough. Help them to know better. Teach them to be more independent at a young age so they transpire into men and women with high morals, values, and self-esteem. Show them that they, on their own, are acceptable, respectful, and worthy beings. By introducing this idea now, when they leave your protected cover they will know it to be true.

In summary, the top two ways a parent can teach their children to feel confident and good about themselves is to tell the children to 1) expect others to respect them, and  2) expect respect from themselves. If they don’t expect others to treat them right, then they are disrespecting themselves. Both 1 and 2 go hand-in-hand. When they honor themselves, they inadvertently receive respect externally.

Happy Parenting!

Kimberly Mitchell

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Responses to Harm

Worried Face

RESPONSES TO HARM

By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.

Worried FaceWhen someone harms us or is hurtful in some way, we tend to absorb and retain these energies.  We often obsess about the experience and tell everyone we know, letting the story and its feelings grow.  Our response to harm may be self-righteous indignation, or chronic pain and suffering.  It may be retaliation.  Or it may stimulate our own feelings of low self worth or self hate.  We might invest time, thought and emotion in wondering why someone hurt us.  We can reflect on their possible thoughts, feelings, upbringing, goals and motivation.  We can spend copious amounts of time thinking of the ways they should change and mend the hurt that they cause.  Our communication, body language, and actions are often attempts to manipulate or punish, those whom we feel have hurt us.

Even when our own behavior is harmfully wrong, we tend to focus negative responses onto those who confront or impose unwanted consequences on us.  We thus add to our own unhealthy behaviors, the emotions of anger, bitterness and blame toward others.  We commonly become angry with our own body, or diseases that we contract through our unhealthy habits or neglect.

Ironically we believe that maintaining vigilant attention to the components of past negative experiences will alert us to prevent repeat episodes.  Conversely this is the very force that precipitates continuing problems.  These patterns of externalizing what is wrong, without taking responsibility for solutions, keeps us stuck in escalating negative patterns.  The amount of painful energy that we absorb from the original problem multiplies from our defensive and offensive reactions to it, and repeated recounting either in our minds or to others.  This is how the energy of harm expands, attracting similar experiences, preventing solutions, and blocking the flow of our own evolution.

We are all imperfect human beings with healthy and unhealthy traits.  We live on a planet where pristine paradise, natural disasters and constant change coexist.  And yet we court false beliefs dictating that we should have all that we desire for as long as we wish, and none of what we fear.  This denial of the duality and transformations of the earth and its inhabitants, puts us in constant conflict with life.  Attempts to capture, cling and control external circumstances are doomed to failure and misery. This focus causes us to forget what we have to give, and overlook the blessings that we do receive.  No matter how, when and where harm began, responses that increase our negative energy diminish, and if severe, preclude the possibilities of natural joy, hope and appreciation in the rest of our life.  The dark and light side of life are inextricably woven together.  Just as ignorance precedes knowledge and healing follows illness, shadows are necessary to allow us to more clearly see and appreciate the light.

Cultivating a mature adult relationship with ourselves means that we acknowledge the whole of who we are.  This entails honesty, deep understanding, responsibility for our well being, learning, growth and integrity.  It includes setting healthy boundaries between aspects of ourselves, other people or situations that are destructive.  It is wise to do this without anger or other negative emotions, because a mind full of complaints and criticisms isn’t capable of finding a solution.  We can refuse to participate in or add to any harm that visits us.  Our best response to harm or potential harm is to seek safety, assistance, healing, a better understanding of ourselves, and personal and spiritual growth.

Instead of focusing on who hurt us or why, we can identify the consequences of harm that we carry inside of us and in our interactions with life.  We can surrender all of the ways in which we are hurtful to ourselves and others.  We can shift our focus from harm to healing, from perpetrators to helpers, from past hurt to present safety, from victim to miracle, from anger to peace, from despair to grace.  And we can do this work with the emotions of compassion, curiosity, faith, gratitude and humility.  This puts us in the energy of the solution and in harmony with life, regardless of current conditions.  When we no longer feed the fire of negativity, we can rise from the flames of harm and allow our hearts to tell a whole new story.