4 Ways to Build Your Son's Confidence
My son came home excited to display his second place ribbon from a swim meet. I gave him a high five followed by saying, “You could shave a second off of your time if you ….” the Holy Spirit prompted me to zip it. I stopped, composed my thoughts, and told him how proud I was. Later I thought, “How many times a day do I have an opportunity to build my son’s confidence and miss it?” More than I care to admit. So I wrote down some ways to invest confidence in my boys. Here are four.
1. Celebrate HIS win now. That first thought of improving now is YOUR priority, not his. There will be a time for instruction and achieving goals. But, in that moment your son wants to hear and see that you are proud of him. Take a moment to celebrate his victory. Tell him you are proud of him. Help him hang the ribbon on the refrigerator or in his room.
2. Pray for Him out loud and with Him present. Pray blessings over your son. Ask for God’s favor and protection over him. Pick a person in Scripture and pray the things you read for your son. Pray that he would trust God even when it doesn’t make sense (David and Goliath). Pray that he would not be afraid or discouraged (to be strong and courageous like Joshua). This is life-giving to your son.
3. Ask him what his goals are. For school. For practice. With money. For video games. Yes, you read that right. Find out what his priorities are and help him achieve them. This will do wonders for your relationship. There will be coaching opportunities in that context.
4. Show him failure is a part of learning. Our culture does not allow for the valuable lessons that failure teaches us. You fail and your son is going to fail. Instead of chiding him for getting it wrong do this; 1) tell him you love him and are proud of him first, 2) show him failure is part of the learning process by sharing an example of how that’s true in your life, 3) focus on the process (ask him “what did you learn?”), and 4) help him in any way possible achieve his goals.
Practice these steps as a starting point. When I practice them it breathes life into my sons.
The boys have another swim meet this Saturday. Another opportunity to build their confidence!