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What is confidence? This is an important question to consider before we start to teach our children. The answer will help you discover the right way to instill this valuable trait. Dusty, the main character in Disney Planes displays a great example of the confidence I want to instill in my children.
For our family, confidence is NOT thinking highly of ourselves. It’s NOT thinking that we can do anything we want. Confidence is being sure of our beliefs and knowing our abilities, our strengths and weaknesses.
We start teaching our children confidence at a very young age. Our son is 2-years-old and each day brings new opportunities to help cultivate character.
I Can’t Do It
How many times has your child said this phrase? Sometimes I let my children say it. I let them struggle, get frustrated and work out a problem on their own without intervening. Overcoming that I-Can’t-Do-It situation on their own can quickly build confidence.
In Disney Planes, Dusty exemplifies this struggle principal. He doesn’t give up and keeps going even when thing start getting really tough.
Now I don’t do this for everything. There are some things that they just can’t do because of their physical and mental restrictions. This is also an essential part of confidence. There are things that we will never be able to do and it wouldn’t be wise of us to struggle through it or even attempt to do it. For example, I know that I will never be a professional basketball player, and most likely, my children won’t either. We are just short people.
Part of having confidence is knowing our limits and that it’s wise to say “I can’t do it” or ask for help sometimes. Again, Dusty knows when he can’t go on or needs some extra help from his friends.
Standing Your Ground
What you believe defines who you are. If you believe that there is a fire in the room, you will act based on that belief. If I started yelling that there was a fire, when you could see that their wasn’t one, you would also act based on your belief even though it was contrary to what I was saying. You would stand your ground.
One thing that my children haven’t experienced yet is defending their beliefs. This skill is part of my definition of confidence, so how do I start to cultivate this in my children when they don’t experience it?
I educate and make them practice. We explain what is right and wrong to our children and help them remember through discipline and roll play. Having clear consequences for their wrong actions does more to instill beliefs than anything else I can do. After that, we sometimes describe situations and ask them what the right thing to do is.
This is my favorite thing in the #PlanestotheRescue Movie. No matter what other people are doing, Dusty stands up for what he believes is right. He puts other people ahead of his own well being and isn’t afraid of being ridiculed for it.
That’s how I want my son to act, but I know it will take a lot of work. So I start with the little things at 2-years-old like sharing his favorite new Planes toy that we got at Walmart or putting on his shoes by himself, climbing some rocks…
and getting back up to try again.
Make sure you check out Disney’s Planes Fire & Rescue in theaters July 18th!