Background: I introduced you to my Confidence Cookies back in August as part of a “Back to School Series”. Although I am fine to give my kids Confidence Cookies as a fun reminder, I knew I would eventually need to teach them about where true confidence comes from. I couldn’t let them think that confidence is just about a cookie. But I did springboard off my cookie idea to teach the concept.
I have been mulling over the idea of confidence for years. You might say I have been obsessed with the secret to confidence, because I feel like confidence is the single greatest attribute a kid can have. I believe if kids have true confidence, they don’t do stupid stuff to get others to like them. They don’t stay in unhealthy relationships. They don’t bully or get bullied. They don’t have an eating disorder or get addicted to drugs, etc. etc. Overall, confident kids just make better choices.
So how can children gain confidence? Where does confidence come from? Here is the Family Night lesson:
Attention Getter: I had a jar full of m&ms and labeled it “Confidence”.
Objective: Then I asked the kids, “Do you remember when we made Confidence Cookies? Well, tonight we are going to make Confidence Cookies again, but this time we are going to talk about the real recipe to confidence and what you can do to become more confident.”
Lesson: First, it is important to define confidence: believing in yourself, trusting yourself, liking who you are, etc.
Then I showed them the jar of m&ms and asked, “Do you see how there are all different colors of confidence? Each color stands for a different element to confidence.”
Confidence comes through making good choices over and over again. If you don’t believe me, think of this scenario: Have you ever passed a police officer when you were speeding or when your kids weren’t buckled? Compare that to passing him going the speed limit or when everyone was all buckled up properly. I bet you had more confidence as you passed him. And it is a lot less stressful isn’t it?
Blue- Divine Nature
Knowing who you are and where you come from fosters confidence. Understanding your divine origin- that you are a literal child of God- that God is your Father- gives you security, certainty, perspective and purpose. It is empowering to know that God created us, loves us and trusts us.
Brown- Doing Hard Things
Nothing builds confidence quite like doing something hard and making it through. My divorce and college graduation forever changed my level of confidence. To bring it to the kids level, I asked Elle, “How did you feel after you hiked Angel’s Landing?” When kids are pushed to do what they think they cannot do, they see themselves in a different light; their capacities increase and they learn to trust themselves.
Green- Learning New Skills
Every time you master a small skill your confidence grows. It could be just learning to tie your shoes or your multiplication facts, but the more skills you learn for yourself the more confident you are. And learning these skills takes practice- putting in your time; doing the work; you can’t be confident at a piano recital if you haven’t practiced.
Red- Physical Health
When you are stronger and healthier physically, you are stronger and healthier mentally. The spirit and the body are inextricably linked. When one is out of whack, the other suffers. Plus when you are physically healthy, you feel like you have the energy and capability to face whatever comes.
Yellow- Looking Beyond Yourself
When you look beyond yourself to help and serve others, selfishness and self-absorption melt away. When you focus on others, you are less likely to think of your own weaknesses and your own shortcomings. And when you look for the good in others, you are more likely to see the good in yourself. Be kind and gentle with others and you will learn be kind and gentle with yourself.
Treat: After we discussed what each M&M color represented, we made cookies and added ‘Confidence’.
Disclaimer: Confidence is a complex, complicated topic and I don’t have all the answers by any means. This lesson isn’t perfect and I may change what the colors mean over the years. But I have done some study and much thought and this is just my take on confidence today. You could change the colors to be whatever you feel develops confidence.