Confidence is what drives us to make decisions and try new things. Without it, it would be hard to venture out into the world out of fear. That fear can be fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of disappointment; the list goes on. When students lose their confidence, it can keep them from believing in themselves and their capabilities.
Where did that confidence go?
Many things can crush a student’s confidence. When kids struggle in school, either academically or socially, it can significantly impact their self-esteem. A lot of the issues stem from communication issues. This isn’t just a lack of communication. It is how a child is spoken to that can have an impact on their confidence.
While a lack of communication can be an issue for many, this isn’t the only problem that can cause confidence issues. For example, if a child is constantly hearing negative criticism, then they will most likely believe that they simply cannot do anything correctly. A knee-jerk reaction would be to try to correct the problem with negative consequences. This is called negative reinforcement. An example of this could be, “If you fail this exam, then no devices for a week!” While this doesn’t necessarily drop confidence, it does increase anxiety and stress. Prolonged exposure to stress in childhood can lead to many problems, including a drop in self-confidence.
What are some of the warnings of a lack of confidence?
Every child is different, and while they might not always show their true feelings, these could be warning signs your student is struggling with confidence issues. You might notice your student not engaging in activities they usually enjoy. Maybe they’ve been slightly more irritable or touchy lately. You could also see a drop in academic performance or withdrawing socially from people they once felt comfortable being around.
What can we do to gain that confidence back?
The cause is also the solution: communication! The question is, how? We’ve discussed that negative feedback and negative reinforcement produce negative impacts. What about positive feedback? Well, focusing only on the positive aspects will negate the things that could use improvement. The right type of communication is constructive. The conversation should be open to back and forth and not one-sided. It should be open to questions and finding solutions together. It should have praise, and it should be sincere. So, let’s get talking.
The COSEC for Kids (Cognitive Orientation & Social-Emotional Competency) is a unique personal aptitude tool developed specifically for kids under 13 years of age that follows our unique PCB (Perception Conception Behavior) model. The PCB model uses the individual’s view of the world (perception), how they process that information (conception), and how the relationship between the two influences an individual’s characteristics, traits, and preferences (behavior). How does this open the door for healthy and constructive communication? By understanding how our student view the world, processes the information resulting in their behaviors, we can know in real-time what causes their stress, what environments are beneficial to their productivity, and how to set them up for success.
Our COSEC is a tool to start a discussion between parents, educators, and students about their unique path and how to pave the way to a bright future.