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Raising Confident Kids
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Dear Parent of self-critical, anxious child...
Are you worried because your child frequently criticizes herself, or maybe gives up easily when trying new activities? (E.g., “I hate my hair!” or “I don’t want to do math. I’m terrible at it!”)
Or maybe you notice her following other kids just to be liked, and ignoring her own gifts, because she’s not self-confident enough to be herself…
Have you recently, when she criticized herself, tried to tell her that it’s not true, only to realize that your words and deep compassion for her in that moment didn’t stop the criticism?
What’s more, you probably felt a rising knot of anxiety in your stomach coupled with a heavy heart, because you love her so much and it’s troubling to see her judge herself so harshly.
You wonder where the self-criticism comes from, because you’ve always encouraged her and celebrated her successes; you’ve certainly never called her stupid or told her she’s not good enough at something.
You feel anxious or even a bit panicky when you can’t figure out how to help.
The truth is, when it comes to self-criticism, being told the “facts,” or to change your mindset or “think positive” doesn’t change the pattern.
I know. I’ve tried all of those things and still failed to stop my child from judging himself, or from feeling too anxious to try new activities. My heart sank the first time my son crumpled up his artwork and threw it in the fireplace, and I panicked when I couldn’t seem to stop his growing self-criticism.
However, after studying the current research plus a lot of observing and reflecting, I figured out what I needed to change in my everyday life habits that were creating self-criticism instead of confidence.
When I began to use these new parenting practices, my son’s confidence started to grow (and bonus, mine did too!) He became more willing to try new activities, and to persevere on a project even when he had failed at first.
These days, when he makes a mistake or doesn’t meet the goal he’s striving for, he’s gained enough confidence, self-esteem and resilience to know that it doesn’t mean he’s incapable or stupid or bad. He can muster the motivation and courage to try again.
He’s marching to the beat of his own drum—whether it’s in the clothes he wears or how he expresses his creativity and gifts (right now, it’s through dance and making kombucha!)
let's do it!
Get the tools and practices to end your child’s self-criticism and rebuild his or her self-confidence and self-esteem in my signature 5-week online program, Mentoring for Raising Confident Kids...
You know that self-criticism and shaky self-confidence can limit a person for his lifetime, in everything from career to relationships.
This customized program helps parents like you learn practices that build self-confidence in your kids, and once self-esteem begins to grow, the self-criticism drops away naturally.
Mentoring for Raising Confident Kids is right for you if...
By your child, who excels at so many things, but still focuses in on the one thing she didn’t excel at and judges herself. It’s painful to watch—and not know how to shift it.
You’re comparing yourself...
To other parents and families whose kids seem more confident, and no matter what strategies you try, your child’s anxiety often stops her from being willing to try new activities. Sometimes you feel like a failure as a parent.
When your child does try new activities, she gets easily discouraged or feels defeated if she doesn’t perform well right away. She may want to quit. She compares herself to others who she sees as performing better than her, and seems to feel inadequate.