Motherhood is a journey. It’s an exhausting, exhilarating, up and down, learn-something-new-every-day, find-unknown-strength kind of journey. Although we all have our own struggles, our children have their own personalities, and we all come from different situations, all moms can bond and connect under the motherhood banner.
In particular, I love being able to connect with mamas online, thanks to blog and social media interaction. So it’s such a joy to link up with a few other amazing mamas for the new series, “Let’s Talk Motherhood.” The cool thing with all our different experiences is that we all bring something rather different to the table. This series will include conversations on the same topic, but coming from perspectives from all of our different backgrounds.
Today’s topic is on raising confident children. This one is close to my heart, you guys. You may or may not be able to tell from my writing voice and posts, but I am not naturally a confident person. I tend to be insecure, and I am more of an introvert, sometimes even to the point of social anxiety. It’s a struggle for me, and it’s something I wish I didn’t have to work through every day.
But it’s always been just my battle, until now. When it comes to my kids, I want them to have it all. I don’t want anything to hold them back from their dreams, their relationships, and their day-to-day interactions. I don’t want them to struggle with lack of confidence. Here are specific questions and answers:
1. What is one way you teach your child self-confidence?
I am encouraging a sense of independence in my toddler. (In the future I’ll do the same for my infant.) This means different things – choosing from different options, asking him to help with a small task, letting him play independently at times, and applauding victories. My goal is to help him develop a sense of self and a confidence in his abilities, although I don’t want his confidence to be totally based on what he can do.
2. How do you (or how will you) help your children find their passions in life?
Again, I think for me, I’m trying to give him the opportunity to choose for himself. Sometimes that means that I have to not be afraid of what he picks! I can worry about him making the “right” choices. I can get caught up in whether or not the toy or TV show he picks is educational enough. And to be honest, although I’m all for gender equality, I’ve noticed a bit of inward anxiety when he picks a more feminine toy. I think I get worried about what people will think. Instead of giving in to that fear, I’m trying to let go and feel good about whatever he goes after – and build him up!
3. Do you have an opinion on how social media affects self-confidence? How do you (or how will you) navigate this with your children?
While I think social media can build confidence in how you choose to express yourself online, I think it’s just as easy, if not more so, to compare yourself to others and fall short. I think it’s like any “thing” – if you invest too much in it, if you make it some kind of idol in your life, it’s going to leave you empty. I want to my kids to approach social media with caution, and to not get their confidence from “likes”.
4. What are you currently doing to gain confidence in yourself?
Just being a mom has built up so much confidence. It’s the difficulties you encounter, plus facing your selfish side. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get as much sleep, entertainment, or spontaneity anymore. That’s challenging! All of these things, and rising above them, help to build confidence. Currently, I’m trying to face hard things and not run from them, because once I conquer them, I’m so much more confident.
5. Any words of advice you would want to give to your children on being confident in themselves?
Worrying about what people think about you is such a waste of time and effort, because you can never please everyone. Prioritize instead; choose to focus on the people who will always be there for you no matter what, and the things that give you purpose and joy. And don’t feel bad about leaving the rest behind you.
Check out all the ladies in this link-up! And feel free to think and post about these questions, too, to keep the conversation going.