Have we raised a struggling generation who finds their confidence only in their appearance? As the school year resumes, my feed is filled with moms spending their energy and 401k earnings on a wardrobe they’ll outgrow in six months. They madly rush from store to store, intent on finding the shoes. You know –the ones not fit to walk across dirt or be worn on the playground because they cost a month’s worth of groceries? The backpacks and all the accessories must be matching and monogrammed, ready to set our child apart from the 42 other Emma’s or Jaxon’s.
Certainly, we want our child to fit in, be respected, well-loved, and excelling in academics and extracurricular activities. That’s what colleges want to see on their applications, right?
What if we’ve focused solely on their appearance and achievements and neglected their inner core? Have we missed the season of saturating them with God’s truths making sure they know who they are, giving them a confidence only found in Christ?
Confidence is an essential part of building their self-esteem but when we focus on one aspect, such as appearance, rather than a quiet, inner confidence, we may be setting them up for failure.
How can I know if my child lacks confidence?
If your child lacks confidence and self-respect, they aren’t alone. Many kids feel vulnerable as they face an onslaught of emotions throughout their growing years. They face a range of challenges as they navigate through school, learning their strengths and weaknesses, finding new friends, and growing academically. New experiences can lead to insecurities and feelings of inferiority. They don’t have to face these feelings alone, though.
You can help.
First, talk to your kids. Be sure to ask open-ended questions so they’ll answer more than a simple “yes” or “no.” Put down the phone or other distractions and let them know they have your full attention. Invite your child to talk about their friends, classes, sports, or challenges. If they have a friend with a great relationship with their parents and teachers and are respectful, kind, and considerate, encourage your child to make friends with them. It’ll build their confidence and create lasting friendships.
Second, determine their insecurities. This may be something you have to ask your child if you’re unsure. Is there an area you can work on with them to face their insecurity and overcome it?
Finally, remind them who they are in Christ. We were created intelligent, creative beings in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27). Psalm 139 is an excellent chapter to reinforce God’s utmost interest in our child’s life. When they face internal battles, we can remind them we are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37) and we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
What practical application will increase my child’s confidence?
Words are powerful and take root deep inside our hearts and minds.
I clearly remember that stage between a child and a young woman and the words I stored up in my heart and mind, words that affected me for a long time. Some encouraged me and some disheartened me. These years ahead will be a trying, tumultuous time and our kids need to not only hear the words we say but to see them clearly written out.
This Five-minute Encouragement Jar is an excellent tool to encourage our children and remind them of who they are. Slips of paper with handwritten verses along with your own words reaffirming how amazing and special your child is effective in building confidence. A small investment of your time will leave a profound, lasting impact on them.
Bringing It Home
As our kids face another school year, let’s come alongside them, cheering them on, offering words of encouragement to them. Notice those things they’re good at and tell them. It makes a difference. Memorize the verses in this post with them so when they’re struggling, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to remind them of who they are. Because they are amazing and they need to know.