Monday, May 2, 2016

Can Parents Inspire Buzzer-Beater Confidence?

Dr. James Naismith - Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

What a game, one we are still buzzing about here in the Philadelphia area. I can still picture that shot going down, the backboard framed in red lights signifying the end of the half. Hitting nothing but net Kris Jenkins came through for his team. With that the Wildcats, after coming together as a team during the season and making a great tournament run, were crowned national champions. As I remember the shot I find myself wondering what I can do to inspire my children to have the confidence to step up when the pressure is on.

I know each child is different and each will respond to pressure by performing to the best of their ability. But are there things parents can do to make sure those abilities are not lost behind a wall of doubt? How can parents nurture children in such a way as to encourage them to take the last minute shot or to be ready for that crucial at bat? Can we do things that give children the courage to take on the challenge that comes with being first chair in the orchestra or of solving the world's most pressing problems? I believe confidence can be made or broken at home and we parents have a huge say in the outcome.

How do we build a home where confidence has what is needed to bloom? The obvious first step is to offer unconditional love and security. Children must know they are loved and must find the home to be a safe secure place no matter what happens outside. Children must know that their parent's love remains strong no matter how big the failure. They must be assured that failure will not become their identity in the family, which will help them keep it from becoming their identity outside the home. I believe this frees children to go out and take risks, knowing that love is not what's on the line.

Now it's your turn. I hope from time to time to open a door where I can learn from you the reader. What ingredients do you believe help in growing a confident child? Please leave a message here on my blog or on twitter where I can be found @denniswcoleman.