phrases that build confidence

Is there anything more heartbreaking than hearing your child say, "I'm so stupid"? It can feel very uncomfortable to hear our children talk badly about themselves. Children sense our discomfort and may interpret it to mean that their feelings are not normal or okay.

While your automatic response is likely to tell them that nothing could be further from the truth, that they're smart and perfect, there are specific things you can say to your child to help build their confidence when they're hurting.

Try these Montessori-inspired phrases to give your child a boost and help instill a growth mindset that will keep them from getting discouraged in the long run:

1. "You seem discouraged. Tell me about it."

While we understandably want to shut down any negative feelings our children are experiencing, we must create room to reflect on the situation. If you're too quick to jump in, you may miss out on an illuminating conversation.

If your child tells you they're stupid, take a breath and try to take a backseat, letting your child lead the conversation. You are much more likely to get a glimpse into how they're actually feeling if you focus more on listening than changing their feelings.

2. "I need your help."

To give your kid's confidence a boost, try asking them for help.

Think of something your kid is great at and let them know that you see their special talents and that they have value. Does your child know the name of every dinosaur ever discovered? Ask for their help in making a dino card for a cousin's birthday.

Do they love playing basketball? Ask them to show you how to shoot a layup. Let your child feel like the expert and experience the self-confidence that comes with the role.

3. "I remember when you learned to read.

"Children may feel unintelligent when they're working hard at a new skill and it isn't clicking. Help them remember something hard they mastered in the past, whether it's tying their shoes or learning to read. Remind them of how hard the skill used to be, and how easy it is for them now.

4. "I feel that way about myself sometimes too."

Be a little bit vulnerable and let them know that you don't always feel great about yourself either. Talk about how silly you felt when you realized your shirt was on backward or when you got lost and were late to meet your friends.

Our children see us as superheroes and knowing that we struggle with confidence too can make their feelings a little less scary.

5. "Some things take a lot of practice."

Let your child know that some of the most interesting, rewarding things in life take a lot of practice. Whether it's learning a new language or learning to play an instrument, new things are hard, and that's okay.

Talk to them about how their favorite musician had to start at the beginning and learn how to play the guitar, or how their favorite baseball player had to learn to pitch. Talk to them about how you had to practice a lot to get better at yoga and how your first class felt a little bit scary. That doesn't mean you're bad at yoga, you just had to practice.

Put the emphasis on hard work and practice, rather than talent and natural ability, to encourage your child to persevere and welcome the challenge that comes with learning something new.

6. "I love you just the way you are."

Whatever the reason your child is feeling down about themselves, there is nothing more comforting than hearing that you love them just as they are, without expectations or caveats.

Try to make time for a few extra snuggles and say, "I love you" while your child is working through their feelings.

7. "Good job! You kept trying and figured it out all by yourself."

While telling your child they're smart is a natural instinct, putting too much emphasis on their intelligence can actually make them afraid. Afraid to fail, let you down and try.

While there's no need to completely censor your natural inclination to praise your child's intelligence, try to focus on praising the process. Let them know that you see their perseverance, their focus and their tenacity. Let them know these are the things that matter.

Remember to offer encouragement, but try to stay calm and let them lead. Otherwise, they may become so fascinated by our strong reaction that they keep saying "I'm stupid" far longer than they otherwise would.

Build your child up, praise their hard work and process, and trust that their confidence will grow with time and encouragement.

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Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


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