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Building our Children's Confidence - Issue 161
July 30, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week - I think the highlight for this week was that Joshua has enrolled for his university studies. That is exciting for him and exciting for us as a family as we support him in this next season of his life. He is going to study externally so he gets to still be at home a part of our family. There are a few things in our family life that we will need to adjust as we help him but we look forward to new things opening up for him.

For the rest of the family this week was about re-establishing some study routines and habits into our days. My goals for the next few months are

  • to re-establish quiet time habits for all (some of these have dropped during our busy season)
  • to create an excitement about the world and its people around us as we read books together
  • To consolidate some study habits such as reading, asking questions and finding answers

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Building our Children's Confidence

Our children need to be confident in order to step out and be all that God has made them be. They need confidence in talking to other people, they need confidence to try new things, they need confidence to solve problems and think innovatively, they need confidence to be themselves in a world that that thinks differently. What will give them this confidence?
  1. Seeing themselves as God sees them. God made them and then He died for them. This establishes how much God loves them. John 3:16. I grew up with a story about a little boy who made a boat, lost his boat, found his boat but had to buy it back. Once he got his boat safely back in his arms his comment was – you are mine, twice over. I made you and I bought you. This is what God has done for us. He made us, and then he died for us – we are His twice over! Our children need to know this truth. Read the whole story on my blog.

  2. Knowing parental love and acceptance. Just as God loves us unconditionally we need to love our children unconditionally. (But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV)

    Our children need to see things – they are concrete beings. We cannot just tell them we love them, they must see it, they must feel it, they must know it with all of their senses. Love is not an academic subject – it is a verb – we can see it happening. We need to consider our reactions, our attitude, our body language when we respond to our children – does it tell them we love them, even when we hurt over some of their choices? Or does it tell them they need to be fixed and then we’ll love them?

  3. Being competent with life skills. Life skills don’t just happen – they need to be taught. Some skills will come easier to some children than others – but regardless of the natural abilities we need to persevere and teach our children life skills. We must teach our children to be able to meet new people and start conversation, to think creatively, to try new things, speak publicly, to organise themselves, to step out and do the things on their hearts, to take advice but shut out criticism. We need to teach our children the practical skills necessary to look after themselves and other people – to cook, clean, iron, drive a car, fix, build, sew, understand technology, handle money wisely – the list could go on.

Building our child’s self-esteem is a catch phrase today – it is seen as the answer to many youth problems and maybe it is. But how we address this issue needs to be founded on what the Bible has to say rather than on the studies of man.

Self-esteem is what we think about ourselves, this unfortunately is often driven by our emotions. If life is good then I’m okay. If life takes a turn for the worse, then I’m not okay and nobody would want to love me. One of the things my father taught me was ‘objective truth’. Truth is truth regardless of circumstances. I may feel bad, but the truth is….

What is the truth? The truth is as the Bible states it.

  • I am God’s workmanship - Ephesians 2:10
  • I have been forgiven all my sins – Colossians 1:13-14
  • I am free from condemnation - Romans 8:1-2
  • I am God’s child - John 1:12
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Philippians 4:13

These things don’t change with circumstances – when I feel sad, lonely, or unable these things remain true. I need to discipline myself to focus on the truth. I may not feel this is the truth but I need to know that it is.

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ is a phrase we have just added to our family vocab. Stinkin’ Thinkin’ is where our thoughts are focused on ourselves, our short comings, our woes, our circumstances and the more we think about ourselves we head downwards in a spiral where nothing good will come out of it. Instead we need to lift our eyes upward to God and align our thinking with His thinking.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills,
from where comes my help.
Psalm 121:1 (NAS)

There is one other thing that I believe will build confidence in our children and that is for them to be habitually thinking of the other person. Jesus taught that we are ‘to love your neighbour as you love yourself’ (Matthew 22:39) I can see it in my children’s lives that they stand tall when they know they have blessed another person, when they have encouraged or helped someone else. They can love other people because they know they themselves are loved by God and their family.

Our children’s confidence needs to be built on a more solid foundation than simply what they think or feel about themselves on any given day. Or that they can look within themselves and approve of what they see – this will be short lived. Instead they need to acknowledge that they are okay because that is what God says! This gives them the confidence to go forth and be who God has made them be.

N.B. God loves us while we are sinners and yet his ultimate desire is for us to have relationship with us. He does not want us to, neither does He say it is okay for us to stay in our sinful state. This is why Jesus came.

Related Articles from Lifestyle-Homeschool
Read more about intrapersonal areas that we can help our children with.

Blog Updates this week
Is it really a heart issues
Planning Part I: Getting my head around planning
Planning Part II: Writing a Study Schedule
Systems that work for me: Grocery Shopping
Grocery Shopping and Children

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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