In challenging times, it’s okay to feel mad and happy (or any contrasting feelings) even at the same time. Looking for the good things in our lives—and in ourselves—can help us feel positive more often. These resources offer ways to help your child develop that skill, and build confidence along the way.
Remember: As you explore these resources, remember that your safety, security, and comfort are your priorities. It’s okay to focus on just making sure you and your children feel safe and calm. In those moments, a deep breath or a quiet moment may be all you need (or, sometimes, all you can do). If you still feel stressed, it’s okay to take your time and come back when you’re ready.
Happy to be Me
In times of transition and change, it’s okay to feel uneasy or unsure. Reminding children that they are important and pointing out all the things that make them special can help boost their confidence. This positive self-assurance can be a source of comfort in times of uncertainty. And appreciating themselves and others helps children build strong relationships.
In this video, Big Bird shares some things that make him feel special and happy. After watching the video, ask children to share something special about themselves. What are they proud of? What are they good at? What makes them unique?
Remember, self-appreciation is an important skill for adults to practice, too. Each day, try to tell yourself one good thing about you or something you did during the day (even if you had to learn it the hard way!): “I got a little lost today, but now I know which bus to take next time.” “I remained calm when trying to solve a problem.” “I am a brave parent. I listened to and comforted my child.”
Big transitions and changes can cause many feelings, including self-doubt, for your child. Developing an “I can do it” attitude can help your little one redirect his negative feelings and help them face challenges with more optimism.
The playful ideas below can help boost children’s confidence. Try these ideas when you and your family are feeling somewhat calm. When things feel more stressful, taking a deep breath or standing tall and still can help children feel connected to themselves and the present moment.
Guess the Feeling
Take turns showing different emotions with your face and body. Can the other guess the feeling? This game will help children learn what to call their feelings—helping them feel more confident talking with you and asking for help when they need it.
I Can Do It…Can You?
One positive thing about resettling in a new place is that you get to learn many new things, every day. Learning new skills can help us all develop confidence!
Try this little game with your child:
- Say and show something you can do, such as jumping on one foot, throwing a ball, or drawing letters and numbers.
- Then invite them to give it a try. Say, “I can do it. Can you?”
- Take turns to let your child show off their skills, too.
- And finally, practice—and celebrate—often!
Accomplishments—big and small—add to a child’s sense of confidence that she can remember in tough times. Keep a list of all your child’s accomplishments and display the growing list in a place that they can see every day.
Count to Five
Use your fingers to count to five. As you count, say something positive about your child, such as, “You are brave” or “You are helpful” or “You are kind to your siblings.” Invite them to do the same for you or another family member. Encouragement—from a caring adult or even from themselves—can help children feel confident.
I Am Somebody
Saying kind things to yourself or together with your child is a powerful way to keep positive ideas in your heads and hearts when you need them most. Print these cards, cut them apart, and keep them in an envelope.
Children can pick one as a morning or bedtime ritual (or keep them in your bag or pocket to use anytime). Read the card aloud, ask your child to repeat it, then say it together.
Together, think of more kind things, and write them on blank squares. Make as many as you’d like. You can also leave them as notes for your child to find.