If you struggle to boost your child’s self esteem, take a few minutes to read this guest post by Mental Toughness Trainer Craig Sigl.
As a sports parent, most of us get our kids into sports to learn life lessons. As a mental coach for youth athletes I like to be creative in how I share and teach those lessons. I call it my “Hero” technique.
Being fun, creative, and imaginative in your efforts to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence will be so much more effective than just straight teaching.
To introduce the Hero technique, share with them some of your inspirational heroes to teach them how to model your hero’s greatness.
We as adults understand the power of finding mentors, coaches, and other successful people and simply observing what they do and applying them to our own lives, but many young kids don’t. The best way is to work within their model of the world and spark their imagination.
Boost Your Child’s Self Esteem using this Hero technique:
- Ask your child if they would like to go on an imagination journey. For older kids, you can use a more adult term like: guided visualization. Let them know on this journey, they are going to discover how to make themselves feel really good any time they want to. With older kids use the word “confident.”
- Next, ask for a person (besides you) who they really look up to and admire. It doesn’t have to be a famous person, but that’s often who kids will pick. If they can’t come up with any, then feel free to offer suggestions.
- Ask them what is so great about this inspiring hero. The trick here is to get as much detail as possible including how the hero walks, talks, carries themselves, etc. Keep asking questions, but if you reach a dead end with “I don’t know” answers, then you can suggest hero qualities and see if they agree. The more you can get from the child, the better. Try to get what the child believes the hero thinks and feels about what the hero does in the world. Your looking for words like “confident, powerful, kind, happy, etc.”
- Once you’ve got the good stuff out about the hero, then have them take a nice deep breath and close their eyes. Talk for a minute about relaxing different parts of their body and imagining being at home watching TV with a remote control, changing channels until they come to a show featuring their hero.
- Have them press a button and imagine they can actually float into the TV show and observe their hero up close. Have them press another button, which allows them to step into the body of their hero so they can experience life the way the hero experiences it.
- Talk about how they can feel and understand all the great things their stated in step 3, about that the hero. Tell them that now the hero can teach them how to be “confident, honest, kind, successful, etc.” and that they can adopt those feelings now too.
- Drag it out as long as it seems the child is enjoying it and allow them to talk to you about what they are experiencing. Finish up by saying something to the effect that they will be able to bring all these new learnings back to the here and now and be part of their life.
- Then have them reverse the process by returning to their chair.
This can be so much fun! A great time to do this is when they are going to bed. It’s an excellent way to get them to sleep and get some powerful learning. These types of messages learned through imagination sink into the child’s subconscious mind and can have long-lasting positive effects.
Looking for a unique gift that your kids will use and love? Check out Craig Sigl’s Mental Toughness Training for Youth Athletes here.
Get my free new report: Sportsparents’ Guide: 55 time & money-saving tips guaranteed to make your life easier. You’ll also get regular sports parenting tips each week and a weekly parenting tip. Sign up here.