Tell us about yourself.
Positive Parenting Coach, mother, wife, teacher, gather-er of experiences & passionate about family life.
My background is in education having been a teacher, deputy head and other senior leader positions for over 20 years before I started my own business supporting families nearly 5 years ago.
I have gone on to get a coaching qualification, become an NLP practitioner and a number of other qualifications that allow me to support the families I work with in a holistic and nurturing style. There is no one way to parent, each family, circumstances and life experience is different and therefore a bespoke approach is needed.
I am an Aussie who is living in the north of England. Although I do consider myself a world citizen having been born in Hong Kong and lived in countries from Fiji to Colombia.
What inspired you to pursue positive family and leadership coaching (i.e. motherhood, firsthand experience, etc.)?
I was inspired to pursue positive family and leadership coaching as from my own first hand experience of motherhood and my pastoral role in my senior leadership role, I knew how hard yet rewarding (at the same time) motherhood could be.
We as parents don’t have all the answers, children don’t come with manuals and despite googling, asking family and friends and reading all the parenting books on the market, we still might need some intervention, guidance or a sounding board to work out what is right for our family.
This is where I step in, as I help parents to build on their foundations to have happy, healthy and confident kids, parents and families.
Raising Confident Kids
Anisa Lewis – Positive Parenting
As parents, we all want our kids to be happy, healthy and confident versions of themselves. Although, we are fully aware that life is not all rainbows and unicorns as the last year has proved, when our children finally fly the coop, we still want them to believe in themselves, their abilities and to be able to stand on their own two feet. This is a process that can start at any age.
Like so much of parenting, raising confident kids is a contradiction. We want to give them strong foundations: things like their self-awareness, courage of conviction and the assurance that they can always rely on us to be there for them. Ironically, the foundations that keep our kids grounded, when mixed with the magic elixir of confidence is what will enable them to truly sprout and spread their wings to make their mark on the world.
Confidence is the key that will help them get there.
Confidence is not always about singing on a stage in front of hundreds of people or being the most vocal child in the class.
Confidence is feeling sure about yourself and your abilities.
Confidence is knowing you are safe and secure, no matter what is going on around you.
Confidence is about trying something new; it’s about falling down and getting back up again; it’s about carrying on when things haven’t gone your way.
Confidence is simply a quieter inner knowledge that you are capable.
So how do we go about nurturing a confident kid in the 21st Century? Well, I am glad you have asked, as I have pulled together my top 5 tips to help.
Embrace a Growth Mindset
The concept of a growth mindset was coined by psychologist Carol Dweck and popularised in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Where people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through hard work, they are in growth mindset. This view creates resilience and a love of learning. It inspires problem solvers who think outside the box and allows you and your child to reframe of challenges as opportunities.
Growth Mindset sits in opposition to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that intelligence or talent are fixed traits: the hand you’re dealt at birth. Talent alone creates success with little to no effort. Mistakes when in a fixed mindset can be viewed as lack of talent or gifts. A fixed mindset excuses quitting and can lead one to the belief that they are simply not good enough, and in turn they stop trying.
Ways to foster this in your homes can include:
- Celebrate mistakes
- Use the word ‘yet’, ‘you can’t do that, yet!’
- Encourage your child to show resilience and not give up even when something is hard
- Allow your child to fail (in a supportive and loving way) as from failure comes growth
You are your child’s greatest role model and like it or not they are always watching. So, think carefully about how you might portray confidence to your child through your daily actions.
- How are you speaking about others? Yourself?
- Do you criticise yourself or put yourself or others down?
- How do you make your own happiness and opportunities?
- Is your happiness dependent on others or circumstances?
- How do you react when things haven’t gone as planned?
Practice at Home
The great news about confidence is that it can be a learnt behaviour and this is where practice plays a part. Your child wouldn’t expect to pick up a musical instrument for the first time and play like a member of an orchestra and this is the same with confidence, it needs to be worked at and given time to develop.
- Are you able to role play a situation where your child feels they need to show more confidence?
- Congratulate your kid(s) on their accomplishments or milestones remembering more though about the process that they went through to reach this. For example, ‘You showed a great deal of perseverance and determination to get that score in your spelling test, well done.’ Rather than ‘great score!’
- How can you show your kid(s) that you have recognised their hard work, effort and perseverance?
Be a Family that doesn’t give up
Confidence comes through building on every day wins and finding your child’s talent. This may well be different to yours, and that is ok, so do be mindful not to live through your child. It is never too late to start something new. Using the growth mindset model, they will need to stick with it whole heartedly, rather than giving up when the going gets tough. Could you learn something new as a family? How can you as a parent role model perseverance, confidence and problem solving?
Listen, and I mean REALLY listen to your kid(s). Tune into their cues, the language they use. Listen to understand, rather than to simply reply. This is a wonderful way to validate your son or daughter.
Not everything you say needs to be a lecture or teaching them a life lesson. Kids more often than not, don’t want to be ‘fixed’ they just want someone to validate what is going on for them and to empathise. A lovely way to do this is to use: I see …. I hear…. I understand …. Use these as your sentence starters and put after it what you notice, your observations avoid giving your opinion. E.g. ‘I can see you tried really hard to score that goal. I heard the joy in your voice when you got it after all those attempts. I understand you needed lots of courage, confidence and determination to get the goal.’
You’ve got this!
Building confidence in ourselves and our families is a daily practice. It builds on successes, celebrates mistakes and takes small steps on your journey, rather than focusing on your destination however, with you cheering your kids along, and encouraging their own confidence practice and growth mindset, there are no limits to their success.