child walking

How to Build Confidence in Your Child: 10 Simple Ways

A confident child is a successful adult of tomorrow, who is better able to deal with the challenges of life and better able to bounce back from failures. Confidence is something that comes from within—it is something related to how you feel about yourself; and not that you can put on. A child who is confident is comfortable in his or her own skin and knows his/her self-worth. A confident child is always open to learning and gaining new experiences and is at ease in interacting with others, and is thus able to form good personal relationships as well. It is true that children should learn to face failures as failures build resilience, but the downside of it is that too many failures can hit the confidence-level of your child negatively; success definitely helps build more confidence. So as a parent, it is very important to provide ample opportunities where a child can experience success while dealing with challenges. This, however, can only happen when parents know how to provide appropriate support to their child, without being overprotective. A healthy self-confidence can, hence, be achieved only when the child experiences adequate success and when he or she knows how to handle failures. The best thing about confidence is that, it is not static or permanent; it can develop and grow, and parents can play a pivotal role in helping kids become more confident. Here are few ways that can help you build confidence in your child.

1. Believe in your child: Confidence is all about having belief in oneself, in one’s ability to accomplish things. A child who has a strong belief in his or her abilities is more likely to succeed in challenging situations and success, as we know, in turn, raises self-confidence. But this self-belief does not arise on its own, it is the result of having faith, as a parent, in your child’s abilities. So start by showing faith in your child, as this will in turn help your child gain healthy self-belief.

2. Assign responsibilities: Another way to help your child gain confidence is by giving them responsibilities like helping you in daily chores or taking care of pets etc. This, in turn, increases a child’s sense of self-worth, which in turn affects his or her self-confidence. When a child is given a responsibility, he or she feels needed and important. This sense of positive self-worth enhances the confidence level of your child.

3. Start coaching: Instead of being a controlling parent start being a coach to your child. Your job as a parent is to provide ample opportunities for learning, growing and developing. Start working with your child as a coach rather than as an in-charge doing things for your child yourself. You need to stop being a controlling parent and give some space to your child to let him/her learn on his/her own. Your approach should be like that of a sports coach, who only trains the player and does not play himself on the player’s behalf.

4. Be open to your child’s opinions: As a good parent, you must learn to accept and respect your child’s opinions. This gives a strong message to the child that his/her thoughts, ideas, and beliefs matter and have value. This also conveys that their views are respected. Involve your child in simple decision-making activities, like deciding on the location of your next family vacation or involving them in deciding house rules. And remember to respect their opinion no matter how absurd they might sound at first. You can always reason with them. This will also give your child a sense of power.

5. Encourage: As a parent you should always encourage your child to try new things and take on new challenges. This will help your child to master new skills which will, in turn, enhance his or her confidence. So, healthy parenting means providing opportunities where your child can learn new things and skills.

6. Appreciate your child: Whether your child succeeds or fails at an attempt, keep appreciating the efforts. The child should never feel ashamed of his attempts. When you start appreciating the efforts, your child will feel motivated to try again even if he or she fails in his earlier attempts. Your criticism will only discourage your child to try after a failure. So to raise a confident child it is important for a parent to focus on encouraging and appreciating the efforts.

7. Set achievable goals: As mentioned earlier, success helps build confidence and failures affect confidence negatively. So in order to raise a confident child, it is important to set goals that are achievable for the child. This is even more critical when your child tries something new. Success will help your child try and learn new things in future.

8. Don’t rescue but work with them: Sometimes parents are faced with situations where they are faced with the dilemma of whether to come forward and rescue their child from the failures that are imminent or to let him face them on his own. Well, studies have shown that children of the parents who let them face the consequences or failures as learning experience feel unworthy of love; they consider themselves as failures and often feel that their parents don’t care about them. On the other hand, the parents who come forward to save their children from facing the failures or consequences, raise kids who always avoid or run from challenges. Thus, the best thing you can do as a parent is to work with your children, not for them. Help them organize their ideas and plans, but the execution of such plans should be left to them.

9. Keep your worries to yourself: When a child feels that his parents are worried, he/she tends to interpret this worry as his/her parents’ lack of confidence in their abilities. This parental worry is often perceived as lack of faith on parents’ part. Thus, it is important for you as a parent to keep your worries to yourself.

10. Take interest: Be interested in the activities of your kids. Your genuine interest in what they do will make them feel worthy. Asking them about what they are doing is a good way to show interest. Your positive attention to your child’s activities will have a lasting impact on his or her confidence-level.

Nudge

Baby elephant nudgedThe concept of ‘nudge’ was first made popular by two American researchers Richard Thaler (economist) and Cass Sunstein (legal scholar) in the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008). Nudge is a concept from behavioral science, behavioral economics, and political theory, which suggests that decision making and behavior of an individual or group can be influenced by positive reinforcement and indirect suggestion. It is different from other methods of eliciting compliance like, education, enforcement or legislature.

The principle of nudge increases the probability that a given person will make a certain choice, or will behave in a certain manner, by modifying the environment so that unconscious or automatic processes of cognition get triggered to elicit support for the desired result.

It is believed that there is often a gap between the intention and behavior of an individual, in other words both are not always in alignment, which is termed as value-action gap. And that people have a tendency to often take actions that probably are not favorable to them, despite being aware that such actions are not in their best interest. Thus, nudges are aimed at influencing such choices, but at the same time, the power to choose still remains with the individual. In this senses, nudges are quite helpful as humans don’t always think and take decisions in a logical manner and most of these decisions are often unconscious, without weighing the costs and benefits of these decisions and choices. So in an attempt to bring positive change in the behavior of individuals, tapping on these instinctive styles of thinking is required. This is what nudge does.

A lot of British and American politicians have been influenced by nudge. Numerous nudge units exist around the world at both national level (UK, Germany, Japan and others) and international level (e.g., World Bank, United Nations, and the European Commission). Nudge theory has application in various fields, like government, healthcare, and business.

7 Unconscious Errors We Make When Buying Brands

woman with shopping basket

The way we decide to buy brands is mind-blowing.

Here are seven fascinating mental mistakes we make when purchasing the products and services we use every day. Since these errors are made unconsciously, we need to first become aware of them. Recognizing the irrationality of our decisions can help us make more informed, sensible choices and save money.

via 7 Unconscious Errors We Make When Buying Brands

Human forehead

Using Your Intuition for Self-Care

Intuition is sometimes thought of as the sixth sense. Basically, it’s an inner knowing that does not involve the mind, or intellectual or logical processes. It’s when we feel something instinctually without needing to be analytical. When we have an intuitive feeling, we’re receiving ideas without being aware of where they’re coming from.

Following your intuition means that you’re listening to your inner voice, which can be a huge tool in the decision-making process. A study done by Lufityanto, Donkin, and Pearson (2016) found that nonconscious emotional information can boost the accuracy of decision-making while also increasing an individual’s sense of confidence. In addition, it was found to speed up the actual decision-making process. This is fascinating information and confirmation that trusting our inner voices and intuition can be a positive action.

According to transpersonal psychologist Frances Vaughan (1998), intuitive awareness falls into four main categories: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, which we can use independently of one another.

An example of inner knowing as it pertains to the physical self might be when we’re in an unsafe or uncomfortable situation and we feel a sensation in our body, whether it’s a headache, stomachache, or a sense of anxiety. This points to a form of inner knowing that offers a message: “Learning to trust your bodily responses is part of learning to trust your intuition” (p. 186). If your body is giving you information, then it’s a good idea to listen because the information can ensure your safety. If you habitually have the same response to the same situation, it might have to do with a preexisting (perhaps childhood) trauma. Being mindful of this reaction will allow you to cope.

An example of emotional inner knowing is when you feel that someone’s energy or vibes are either positive or negative. Most often, this will affect your behavior when you engage with them. Often there’s no particular reason for how you feel; it’s just felt at a vibrational level. Moving forward, these vibrations can provide you with valuable information. Those who experience this type of intuition might have a tendency for synchronistic and/or psychic experiences. For example, you might be thinking about someone and then that person phones you.

Mental inner knowing, according to Vaughan, pertains to an awareness accessed through images or “inner vision.” You might see patterns in a situation that was previously chaotic. This sort of inner knowing or intuition is sometimes referred to as “having a gut feeling.”

Spiritual inner knowing or soul guidance might be associated with mystical experiences. Experts have suggested that regular meditation practice can foster and enhance a sense of this type of intuition.

In his classic book You Are Psychic! (1989), Pete A. Sanders says that psychic abilities can be tapped into using the “psychic reception areas.” He identifies four different psychic senses in the body: psychic feeling (in the solar plexus), psychic intuition (knowing or inner awareness), psychic hearing (on both sides of the head above the ears), and psychic vision (the third eye or the place between the eyebrows). In the same way that some of us are auditory or visual learners, we each have strengths in one of these psychic areas. Sanders says that in order to face challenges and make good decisions, it’s important to learn your own psychic strength because it can affect how you live your life. Also, when you know the psychic strengths of your loved ones, you can communicate with them more effectively.

How to Tap into Your Intuition

1. Begin a regular meditation and mindfulness practice. Meditation will help you tap into your subconscious mind and is a powerful way to awaken your intuitive powers.

2. Use the intuition “psychic reception center.” This was discussed by Sanders and describes a spot on your head where you receive intuitive messages. The idea is to imagine a funnel on the top of your head, with the larger end of the funnel touching your head and the narrow part extending into the universe. When you need to tap into your intuition and focus on something, place this imaginary funnel on your head and focus your awareness on that area. Be receptive to the messages you receive.

3. Maintain a regular journaling practice. Journaling is a wonderful way to tap you’re your intuition. For example, try to think about a recent situation you’d like more insight about. Focus on that event and pay attention to the thoughts that emerge. Write in your journal what comes to you. As you go about your day, observe others, and see if you can pick up any messages from their body language even before they speak to you. It’s all about “tuning in.” When you have the opportunity, jot down your observations in your journal.

4. Practice creative visualization: Shatki Gawain wrote two seminal books on the subject — Creative Visualization and Developing Intuition, which work hand in hand. Creative visualization is a technique where you close your eyes and use your imagination to create what you want in your life. It can open you up to new creative energies that will help you tap into your intuition.

Begin with a few minutes of diaphragm breathing. Then, let go of any thoughts that enter your mind, and imagine them fading away. Picture yourself in a cave where you remove all your clothes and lie down. Feel the moisture dripping from the ceiling, as its acidic nature begins to dissolve your skin, organs, and body systems. Think of yourself as a skeleton, while being completely aware. Being stripped of everything can offer a magical opening into your intuitive self and may also help you tap into your inner voice.

References:

Lufityanto, G., C. Donkin, and J. Pearson. (2016). “Measuring Intuition: Nonconscious Emotional Information Boosts Decision Accuracy and Confidence . Psychological Science Online.

Sanders, P.A. (1989). You Are Psychic!. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Vaughan, F. (1998). “Mental, Emotional, and Body-Based Intuition.” In Inner Knowing, by H. Palmer, Ed. New York, NY: Jeremy Tarcher.

a woman undergoing ct scan in front of a doctor

Peer Pressure Influences CT Scan Use for Dizziness/Vertigo Patients

It is usually believed that peer pressure ends when a person becomes an adult. But this is, unfortunately, not the case. Adults are just as much subject to peer pressure as children and youth. Peer pressure is when a person or group of people attempts to cause another person to conform to some type of uniform code. Peer pressure among adults can happen anywhere, even at workplace and in general work practices.

A new study published in the journal Medicine has shown that peer pressure among emergency physicians (EPs) plays an important role in the use of computed tomography (CT) imaging, also known as CT scan, for dizziness or vertigo patients. A team comprising researchers from Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Niao-Sung, Taiwan and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan City, Taiwan evaluated the effect of peer pressure on decision making in EPs to use CT scan for patients with dizziness/vertigo.

Dizziness is a common complaint in the emergency department (ED), accounting for 2.5% of all ED visits in the United States. While the most common causes of dizziness/vertigo are benign, a potentially serious underlying disease, such as cerebellar or brain stem stroke, may go unnoticed. Due to the uncertainty and cost of a misdiagnosis, EPs may reduce the testing threshold for brain imaging in handling these low-probability, high-morbidity situations. But unnecessary head CT examination may lead to prolonged ED stay, increased medical costs, and exposure to radiation (a potential carcinogen).

The use of CT imaging to examine patients presenting with dizziness has increased exceedingly, from 9.4% to 37.4% in the United States between 1995 and 2009. A previous study had showed that EPs vary in their respective decisions to either admit or discharge general ED patients. Senior EPs were found to have lower discharge rates compared with their junior colleagues.

The purpose of this study was, therefore, to evaluate the peer-pressure effect on the decisions of CT use for dizziness/vertigo patients by EPs with varying seniority. The EPs were categorized into 3 groups according to seniority. Group “>V12” consisted of 10 senior physicians with more than 12 years of work experience. Group “V7-V12” consisted of 9 physicians with 7 to 12 years of work experience (intermediate seniority). Group “<V7” consisted of 10 junior physicians with <7 years of work experience.

The study intervention used a behavior modifying measure by creating a “team norm” that imposed an unspoken peer pressure effect by announcing the CT-use rate of each EP by monthly e-mail reminders. Norms are the rules that the team agrees to follow and designate a standard for average performance by the whole team. Once developed, team norms are used to guide and shape team members’ behavior.

The authors explained, “To evaluate the effectiveness of peer pressure on changing EP decisions concerning CT use for dizziness/vertigo patients, we created a ‘team norm’ imposed peer-pressure effect by announcing the CT use rate of each EP through monthly e-mail reminders. We also conducted a before-and-after retrospective case review of patients who visited the ED.”

The study was conducted in a tertiary academic medical center in Southern Taiwan with over 2500 acute beds and an average of 72,000 adult ED visits per year. The medical records of nontraumatic patients who were older than 17 years of age and visited the ED with a principal diagnosis of dizziness and vertigo were extracted from the ED administrative database using the International Classifications of Diseases Tenth Revision coding system.

“Our study group consisted of 3165 patients; 1657 were enrolled in pre-intervention group while 1508 were enrolled in post-intervention group. Patients were assessed by the 29 EPs in the department,” the authors said.

The intervention strategy presented herein applied peer pressure through e-mail reminders. The findings of the study revealed a decrease in CT use for patients with isolated dizziness/vertigo, particularly among junior EPs and in younger patients. Although the study has a few limitations pertaining to the generalizability of its conclusions to other ED settings, the method used in this study offers a promising option that can effectively decrease CT use and unnecessary medical costs in ED.

Also read 10 Techniques to Help Your Child Resist Peer Pressure