Faced with the epidemic of “doubt” how to restore trust in children

What to say, what to do in front of a child who doesn’t trust him? The philosopher Jeanne Larghero, who is also a mother and a teacher, advises changing the way you look at the doubting child.

“My problem is that I don’t have any confidence…” The epidemic of acute doubt hits schools seasonally. It rages two or three times a year over the approach of class councils and experiences episodic setbacks on the dates of the most dreaded evaluations: white bin, joint control, homework on the table. And the symptoms persist or sometimes worsen in the insecure countries of higher education. Should this be taken lightly? What do you say to someone who walks into an exam with an upset stomach, someone who loses their minds at the very questioning, and to those who, rightly or wrongly, blame all their failures on a lack of self-confidence?

First, let’s stop idolizing confidence. Do you lack self-confidence? It’s not serious. In fact, it’s the absolute opposite that’s serious. Anyone who never doubts themselves, who doesn’t ask themselves questions about the risks they are taking, who is convinced that they can never be wrong, has a problem: they are dangerous to themselves and to others. . Seeing failure as an opportunity is more a sign of clarity. Realizing that you can be wrong because it has happened before and might happen again is a form of humility that enables progress. Also, everyone knows that the Coué method: “I have faith in myself – repeated ten times” is not very effective, a sign that the antidote to demobilization lies elsewhere.

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So let’s turn to the questions that are worth asking because they hold the possibility of a solution. Let’s ask ourselves: Who do I trust? Who are the ones I can lean on, who don’t fail to support me with a gesture, a look, a kind word; Who do I contact if something doesn’t go as planned? This is a good reason to look to the future with confidence. And all those who gave us their affection, their time, their energy, even when we were more vulnerable, almost useless, are proof that our value is great and that it is unconditional: this strengthens a healthy and objective self-awareness.

Rather than just encouraging children to be positive about the future, which we do almost intuitively, we should also encourage them to reflect on the past.

Finally, even the self-doubts should ask themselves: Who are those who trust me? Everyone who has entrusted me with the realization of a project, everyone who has asked me for a service before, saw reasons to trust me. They found objective qualities, they bet on skills, they might even entrust me with their own children! what they hold most valuable! It is a sign that I am trustworthy when I have succeeded in achieving these goals. Even the simplest.

All of this teaches us that when our children or young people complain about their lack of self-confidence, a rethink makes more sense than a pep talk. Rather than just encouraging them to be positive about the future, which we do almost intuitively, we should also encourage them to reflect on the past. This is called anamnesis: re-reading our past experiences, relying on our successes to face the future with confidence. This time given to inwardness is a beneficial source of trust not only in oneself, but in everything that life has to offer us all the time.


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