Building Confidence

Look At Yourself   - Really look at yourself.  Stand in front of your mirror and take a good look.  This is really hard for a lot of kids to do, but try - it's important.  That's your face you're looking at and it's going to be with you for  a long time, so it would be really helpful if you would stop worrying so much about it and start liking it. Learning to really look at yourself in the mirror and accepting all the good and not so good things about your face is an important step in feeling more comfortable with you and then, with everyone else.  

Practice - It takes practice to stop being so hard on your looks.  But, if you look at other people's faces, you will see that no one looks perfect. You may think your favorite singer or actor looks perfect, but everyone's idea of perfect is different.  (And people look a lot different under all that stage makeup.)

Your job is to start seeing the beautiful things about you. It takes practice.  You might notice that the expression on your face makes a big difference in how you look.  The most attractive people have eyes that say "talk to me", not turn away.  Can you say "look at me" and "turn away" with your eyes in the mirror?  Do you see what a big difference it makes in the way your face looks?  The expression in your eyes and on your face mean a lot more than the size of you nose or the color of your skin.

Dress for Comfort  - It's important that clothes make you feel physically and emotionally comfortable. Clothes say a great deal about the person who's wearing them. Kids who want to fit in, tend to wear clothes that are similar to what their classmates are wearing. Kids who don't want to fit in (or want to be left alone) wear very different clothes to send people away from them. Parents may make silly comments about how kids all like to dress alike, but don't most of them dress alike too? If you walked into your parent's offices right now, you wouldn't see too many people who are dressed that differently from each other. People of all ages really want to fit in with the group they're hanging out with. That's really okay as long as you don't worry that your jacket didn't cost as much as your friends, or your sneakers are not the most cool ones or your jeans are one inch shorter than your friend's jeans. 

Everyone wants to fit in, but it's more than okay (it's actually pretty terrific) to develop your own personal style that you can wear with confidence.                              

Hygiene/Manners - Okay, now that you've taken a liking to your face and your clothes, let's work on cleaning and manners. The simple fact is that if a kid smells bad and has dirty teeth, other kids and grown-ups won't want to come too close. 

Now some kids think their face will melt if water comes too close to them, but it's really not true. Taking a bath or shower every day, or every other day (with soap) and brushing your teeth at least twice a day makes a big difference in every kid's appearance.

Not enough can be said about being polite. Using please and thank you in your conversations with kids and grown-ups says a lot. It says that you respect them. Everyone wants and needs respect.--Next

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