Developing Confidence In Children & Young People
Give them autonomy – let them fail – and be there to support them
There are three factors you need to consider in developing confidence in children and young people, they are: autonomy, failure and support.
Autonomy – (Let them at it)
Autonomy is the willingness of the adult to allow children and young people to try something out without providing a ready made solution. It sounds simple. But there is always an inclination on the adults behalf to show, lead or ‘hand hold’ – and its not always the best way to build confidence.
Even if they ask for help, put the ball back in their court by asking them to say how it should be done – or what way it should be approached.
Confidence comes from the feel good factors of self-creation and self-achievement. In fact, its also part of building self belief.
Failure – (Its OK not to get it right)
Failure is something adults can be very protective against. We seem to use every trick in the book to protect children and young people from failing; and its not always a good thing to do – as failure is mandatory for success, achievement and building confidence
Protecting them from failure is not preparing them for the many setbacks that await in the real world. The way forward is to have a conversation around setbacks (or failures) before the event. And find out what their reactions might be – and discussing ways to cope and move forward. It’s a great conversation to have, as it lays the foundations for resilience – another character strength that can be crucial to wellbeing and quality of life. Yes…. talking to young people about failure and coping, will be one of the most powerful things you will ever do for them
Support – (Be there if it doesn’t work out)
Support is the safety net for autonomy and failure. Its where you get the opportunity to help and guide. Its important though you don’t supply instant solutions or answers. Great learnings for young people come from a facilitative process of reflections, questions, and working through solutions together. Its important you get them back on the bike… but the most important lesson from failures should be the learning that occurs from the reflective stage.
DOK – Founder WMM