My Messy Mom Life

My Messy Mom Life: 3.11.20

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to raise confident kids since a parent-teacher conference I had a few months ago. My child was described as an excellent leader and friend, but someone who often is nervous to try new things in front of the class.

My heart sank. I knew that feeling too well and wondered if it was a predisposition to a personality type. Did I project my own weaknesses to cause it, or does it just happen as we become more self-aware? I started asking myself the hard questions. How can I make sure I’m raising my kids to be confident enough to try, and even more importantly, confident enough to fail? How can I make sure that when they are making a decision, they dig within themselves for the answer and don’t base it on what others around them think? I found some ways we can proactively help our kids find deep confidence early on so they can flourish in later years.

Celebrate the right thing, and don’t make a big deal of failure and success. First of all, we are not a ‘participation award’ family. We don’t teach our kids that all teams should get a trophy. In life, there always will be people winning and losing, and it’s important for kids to be able to handle that. At home, I’ve learned that it is vital to celebrate a child’s hard work and what they learned in the process more than the actual outcome. Giving them compliments for showing up to tryouts, raising their hand to participate, taking responsibility on an assignment and working hard to develop a skill makes a big difference in our kids’ confidence.
Teach them to pep talk. I want to tell my kids every day how strong and wonderful they are. But what I want more than that is for them to be able to tell themselves. And not in an egotistical way; just positive talk to get them through struggles. Doing affirmations may sound a little strange to some, but I am learning that they are a game-changer when it comes to building confidence in your kids. We started saying positive affirmations on our drive to school. Check out The Big Life Journal Growth Mindset Kit, available to print at It has 25 affirmations for kids, and I can’t wait to start the worksheets!
Help them develop deep roots. The idea of being deeply rooted keeps coming up in my mind. I grew up with strong connections to my family and my faith. I know they helped me tackle some big projects and deal with the rejection and disappointment that came with them. Spending quality time as a family is not just for great memories; it’s a chance for us to remind our kids of core values and how much they are unconditionally loved. They can go out into the world and attempt challenges knowing there is always a safe place waiting for them.

Katelyn Young is a local mom of three (her #crumblycrew) who shares real moments of motherhood as it relates to fashion, food and fun! Follow her on Instagram at @_katelynyoung_ or follow her blog at