Confidence serves as a key motivator and catalyst in life. Learning and growing require a willingness to take steps forward, to take a chance, to stretch. As child psychologist Dr. Emilie DeYoung says, “Confidence enables a student to move through circumstances in order to thrive in life.”
Yes, every kid needs confidence. However, Kids Hope USA students need even more.
What can we do about it?
First, commit in your mind and heart to help your student develop his/her own confidence. Second, watch the Confidence Series training videos. Then do the assessment. Now you’re ready to try the exercises you want that are provided by Dr. Emilie. Think about how to make a confidence deposit every meeting, yes every meeting. It’s not hard, but requires deliberate effort to start—which will become habit.
You and I know that kids will live out what they believe to be true about themselves.
You can help shape that belief. You can walk with your student and help her discover the truth, that she can engage the world around her. You can do all this because of the safe space the two of you occupy together—called a relationship. Kristina, now in her 20’s, describes it best:
As a third-grader, I always waited for my classmates to leave the library before I selected a book. I would do anything I could to avoid letting them see how low my reading level was compared to theirs.
The first day my mentor showed up she saw me stay behind after my class left. Somehow, I told her about the reading thing. She encouraged me to add one more book—a higher level book, and then she helped me read every word. And not in that “hey, stupid” tone I was used to hearing. She was nice about it and said we were “trying together.” I liked that—I liked the “together” part.
My mentor and I kept reading, and I started to believe I could do it on my own. Then we also started doing creative art together. The stuff we did was so cool, that kids would ask me about it. So each week I started to show and tell them about our crafts. After a while, I realized I wasn’t shy anymore.
You could say that my mentor helped me step out of my shell and really start to live. And it all started when my mentor said we would learn together.
You need not be a tutor to change a life; instead, focus on what you and your student can do together. It’s simple to do and yet profound; every mentor can help a student build confidence. Every kids needs it. Ours need it even more than most.
To learn how to access The Confidence Series for your mentors, contact your regional team at https://kidshopeusa.org/contact-us/