Wouldn’t we all like our children to grow up feeling successful? Expressing themselves without worrying about correctness or giving offence, speaking easily to strangers, able to put others at ease, comfortable addressing a wide range of different people and audiences, enjoying successful relationships? Confidence is the priceless asset that will inspire this success, helping them live their lives to the full.

The word ‘confidence’ originates from the Latin ‘confidere’ meaning to trust — as in trusting in our own ability. Confident people enjoy a great advantage in life. They gain satisfaction from helping others and perform better in school, exams, interviews, meetings and arguments. With confidence we live our lives better.

Many of us weren’t brought up with confidence. Today’s shy adults come from reserved families where there was little communication about ideas, thoughts and feelings; or at school they were discouraged from talking or asking questions. Many of us were taught, at home, the cultural value of self-effacement and modesty, encouraged not to “show off” by seeking attention for ourselves. Some of us are bringing up our children in the same way. But in the working world, others are not aware of our backgrounds or the conditioning that has made us who we are. The shy adult who doesn’t believe in himself is passed over by his more confident peers.

To enable our children to project confidence, inspiring and encouraging others, we can help them practise confident thinking and speaking.

Try these eleven tips to guide you along the way to success:

1. Confidence in conversation leads to confidence in life.

2. The way we sit or stand dictates the way we think. Positive thinking is produced by confident posture.

3. Good breathing helps you feel confident. Carrying the body well enables us to breathe into the diaphragm.

4. Speaking clearly helps you project confidence. Practise tongue twisters together for firm articulation

5. Please pause! In conversation, oral exams and interviews, take time to pause, breathe and think before you answer the question.

6. Each to his own. Let your child develop his own ideas by remembering that we’re all different.

7. Encourage communication.

8. Learn to listen.

9. Children need to practise assertion – understanding that they can say what they want and that others will listen.

10. Help them to criticise themselves by assessing their own performance.

11. Pick out the positive. It’s easy to criticise, but it’s also easy to erode confidence by doing so.

Our children are worthy and deserving of love and respect. This fundamental belief is what will enable them to become confident adults.

At Julia Gabriel Centre, we empower students to communicate confidently through EduDrama®, a unique learning philosophy inspired by educators passionate about children, language and the arts. For more information about our programmes, workshops and seminars, contact us here.

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