Like any parent, I want my kids to grow up strong and resilient. If you've ever googled something like, 'How to raise self-confident kids' or "Tips for parents on raising resilient kids', you know there are lots of suggestions and ideas out there.
As parents and caregivers, we all have to determine what works best for our situation. I don't claim to have all the answers (I am just a dad trying not to suck as a parent...) But one of the things that resonated with me, and helps me to think about how to take parenting action, is the concept of helping my kids develop and empowering set of beliefs. Now I know that may sound obvious, but it helps me with actions.
So in my 'man brain', that means to teach them to have a growth mindset, I want to help them believe that we can all get smarter if we try hard and learn from our mistakes.
And for self confidence and resiliency, I want to help them develop inner beliefs like, I am loved for being me, I have inner strength, I can solve problems, I can overcome challenges, I wont give up, and I may not be able to do all this YET, but with hard work and learning from my mistakes and failures I WILL.
We all know, and research shows, that our kids are influenced by the characters they look up to and this can contribute to those inner beliefs. There are a few part of The Smart Princess Series below that we think are useful in talking with your kids about self-confidence and resiliency.
The key thing is to use your parent super powers to make them relatable to your loved one.
Because the stories are told in verse. I personally found it best to read the full story, then go back and use the examples below.
1. In Smart Cinderella on the 2nd page the story reads, "When Cinderella was young, her parents saw all of her potential. And they wanted her to know that it's what's inside us all that's most essential." The art on this page has a silhouette of a young girl with a colored heart and brain. An option here is to talk with your loved one about how they are amazing on the inside also - just being themselves - and how the power of their brain and heart help them to solve problems and to solve problems and overcome challenges just like Cinderella did.
2. In The Smart Little Mermaid she sees the ocean is sick and she wants to help. An option here is to talk about how the Little Mermaid knew she could help the ocean because she was strong inside and that your loved one is like that also. She probably has inner beliefs like, “I can use my mind to solve problems and won’t give up until I find a solution.” Also in this story the Little Mermaid agrees to give up her voice to get the human legs she needs to convince the Prince to help her. Even though this was a big risk, she was confident in her abilities to find a way to communicate with the Prince and was determined to help the ocean. Then also at the end of the story on the 34th page when the Little Mermaid and the Prince are standing with the sign that says ‘Help Save the Ocean’ the story says, “And it was all because the little mermaid refused to give up and used her brain. And when things got difficult she just tried harder, she didn’t complain.” An option here is to talk about how she believed in her abilities, was determined and didn’t give up with things got difficult. She kept trying different things until she overcame the challenge of showing the prince how to help the ocean.
3. In Smart Sleeping Beauty on the 9th page the story says, 'At an early age she heard about the curse and said,'That can't be true. I'm going to figure this out with science. Yep, that's what I'm going to do!'. Here an option is to talk about how she was ready to work hard and determined to use her brain to solve the problem. She probably has inner beliefs like, "I know I can figure this out with my brain." Then on the 24th page when the mean fairy pokes her with the spinning wheel and Sleeping Beauty knows that she will fall asleep, she doesn't give up. She is determined to overcome this challenge and takes decisive action before she falls asleep. Here and option is to talk to your loved one about not giving up and that she believed in herself and the cure and knew what she had to do. It was hard but she didn't give up, she kept trying.
4. In Smart Beauty and the Beast when she hears about the beast and the legend about it the story says, 'But Belle didn't believe that, without evidence she was not easy to convince." Here an option is to talk about how Belle had confidence in her abilities to find out what the truth was. She knew she could use her brain and science to figure it out. Then at the end the story says, “So yes she became a Princess, but she never stopped learning or achieving. And just like her, you can too, in your abilities never stop believing!”
5. In Smart Rapunzel on the 3rd page the story tells the reader “You can learn anything and are awesome just being you!” Later in the story it talks about how Rapunzel was fascinated by the sky and land below her tower and wanted to know more. And that the reason she grew her hair long was so that she could climb down to study the soil. Here an option is to talk about how Rapunzel was confident in her abilities to learn and determined to find out more. She probably has inner beliefs like “I can learn anything and I am determined to learn more about things that interest me“.
We hope that these conversation starters can help integrate the principles of a growth mindset, self-confidence, and resilience into your loved ones' lives and that they help you discuss parallels between the princesses' mindset and how are loved ones can use that mindset in their activities, whether it be academically, socially, or with other interests.
What inner beliefs do you teach your loved one? We'd love to hear what you think about these suggestions. Please message us back and send us a few thoughts. We'd love to hear from you!
For your reference, the link to the printable resource guide with these examples is HERE. And you can download or print the coloring page HERE.
In our next message, we'll talk about The Empathy Advantage and how the books can help.
All our best,