Woodbury, Long Island, New York (516) 340-0378
How to improve your child’s self-esteem

How to improve your child’s self-esteem

Does your child lack self-esteem?

Your child’s biggest problem:
They defeat themselves in their own mind. That’s it.

By doing this, they are slowly over time killing their self-esteem which negatively affects their self-image which impacts EVERY aspect of their life.

When children lack self-esteem (aka self-love) they experience:

  • shyness
  • sadness
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • mood swings
  • anger outbursts
  • feelings of unworthiness
  • depression

Does this sound like your child?

All of the above IS fixable when you address the root issue: your child’s self-esteem.

Why your child lacks self-esteem?
(there can be many reasons, below is a common example with the many kids I work with)

Scenario: 1

Growing up, children are NOT taught to LOVE themselves or LOVE life. Instead at an early age, your child’s “intelligence” was measured by performance in every subject in school. Therefore, if your child did not excel academically, your child at age 6 (or whatever age) automatically was deemed “NOT smart”.

Scenario: 2

Conversely, if your child was lucky enough to excel in EVERY subject, then your child learned validation by manufactured benchmarks, such as grades. This created the pressure to perform in order to continue their validation of worthiness, all of which is exhausting, stressful and causes that dreadful “perfectionism” bug.

So regardless of whether your child fell into either scenario 1 or 2, that experience has shaped their self-image.

Now, should it have? No, of course not. Instead, we must teach our children that their worthiness comes from the inside and has NOTHING to do with outside accolades or other’s opinions of them. And that includes grades and everything else.

But unfortunately, the current reality lends to create a platform for your child at an early age to become very self-critical.

For example, self-critical thoughts based on the above scenarios include:

(Scenario 1) Does not excel academically:

  • I am not good enough.
  • I am not smart enough.
  • What’s wrong with me.
  • I have to study more.
  • I don’t study enough.
  • I am stupid.
  • I don’t fit in.
  • My parents are disappointed in me.
  • My grades aren’t good, so I am not a good student or person.
  • My teachers don’t like me.
  • My parents will take away my phone or privileges.
  • I’ll never get into college.
  • I’ll never amount to anything.
  • My friends are better than me because they are smarter.

Scenario 2: Does excel academically:

  • In order to be good, I MUST do well.
  • If I am smart and get a bad grade, maybe I am not smart.
  • If get a bad grade, I am disappointed in myself.
  • I must study, study, study in order to do well.
  • I must be the best to prove my worthiness.
  • I must be the best in order for my parents to be happy.
  • I receive positive attention from my parents only when I do well, so in order to feel loved, I must continue to do well.
  • I’m only as good as my last grade, which stresses me out about my next test.
  • What happens next year, if the work is harder and I’m not the best.
  • I MUST take A/P classes even though they stress me out.
  • If I fail at anything, I’m a failure.
  • I MUST do well in order to get into an IVY league school, so my parents are proud.

And the list goes on…

And I know, because I’ve worked with them. They put undue pressure on themselves to perform, fit in AND make you, the parent, happy. Let’s face it.  There is no wonder why kids’ anxiety and depression are at an all-time high. And just remember, the above scenario is pertaining to schoolwork and grades! There’s also the social aspect with making friends, succeeding in sports, the pressures of social media…and much more!

So, what’s the solution?

It’s simple. Kids must learn how to love themselves AND how to start loving life. Regardless of EVERYTHING ELSE. They must know that the only opinion of them that matters, is their own. And when they improve their opinion of themselves (their self-image), by focusing on their positive, unique qualities, they WILL feel better.

And WHEN they feel better, they will:

  • Stop equating their worthiness to their grades
  • Be nicer to themselves in their own mind (Stop focusing on the negatives and start focusing on the positives)
  • Be proud of their successes AND their failures (knowing that their success is in the ability to try new things)
  • Embrace their brilliance (not by grades, but by how they feel)
  • Love themselves so much (that they no longer compare themselves to others OR care what other people think of them)
  • Be more comfortable being around others (as they are more comfortable being themselves!)
  • Believe in themselves (no longer needing validation from anybody)

Because when your child starts loving life, life will love them back….

 Imagine that?

 

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, NY where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information on how your child can start loving life® call today at (516) 340-0378.

Get Rid of Your Child’s Shyness Once and for All

Get Rid of Your Child’s Shyness Once and for All

Why Your Child is Shy

I recently worked with a young girl “Sally” (age 14) who was shy. Her mother was concerned about her lack of social life. When I first met with Sally, she was reluctant. Sally’s prior counselor had given her homework she was not able to complete.

Her assignment:

  1. “At school, go up to someone you don’t know and start a conversation.”  
  2. “Midweek, make plans with one of your friends for the weekend.” 

Sally wasn’t able to do either. And not only did she feel bad about it, she felt worse than she did before.  Sally already felt bad for being shy, but now she felt the added emotion of failure as she was not able to fulfill her counselor’s recommended homework, even though the tasks seemed simple.

The result?

Sally became more self-critical of her “shyness” and more self-critical of her ability to act in order to fix it.

You see, what most don’t realize is that children “know” what they need to do to socialize. They see many kids doing it in school. That’s not the issue.  The issue is that Sally really isn’t shy.  She simply does not feel comfortable with herself, so she doesn’t feel comfortable socializing.

So, asking a child who feels insecure within herself to start a conversation or make plans with a friend is IMPOSSIBLE for the child.

The reason she isn’t able to fulfill this seemingly simple task is because the root issue is not being addressed: her lack of self-esteem. 

Sally is not socializing because she feels unsure of who she is, compares herself to others and tends to be self-critical of herself in her own mind.  So, it’s ineffective to encourage action on her part which, at this stage, is too advanced and will only set her up for feeling like she failed again.

Therefore, if you have a child similar to Sally, who is shy or maybe lacks friends, then do the only thing you can do: improve your child’s self-esteem.  Because children who have an improved self-image discover how to love life and most of all, love themselves.  And when that happens, their social life improves.

When you teach children to love themselves, they feel better, perform better and are more comfortable being themselves around other people.  If your child isn’t shy at home, innately your child isn’t shy. It’s as simple as that.  You must teach children how to feel comfortable with themselves first, and then and only then will they feel comfortable around others. Imagine that?

The end result: after completing my program, Sally found the confidence within herself. She stopped feeling bad about herself; stopped feeling as if something was wrong with her.  Nothing was wrong with her, aside from her not knowing her true worthiness. And instead of begging mom to change schools to find new friends, she formed new friends and even became more involved in school activities, all because she understood that the only thing necessary was loving herself first.

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who works with kids & teens who suffer from anxiety and common childhood insecurities. Her specialty includes teaching them how to be confident, happy, make better decisions and LOVE their LIFE in as little as 30 days (regardless of what they have experienced in their past). For more information check out Connie’s “30 Days to Happy” program here or call (516) 340-0378.

What’s the secret to being happy every day?

What’s the secret to being happy every day?

There is only one thing to rely on for happiness in your life: The power of your mind.

Many people tend to complain and choose to focus on their problems, never realizing that the reasons for their complaints and problems stem from their own mind and their thoughts.

That is why negative people usually have the worst luck, nothing ever goes right for them and/or they are always sick or suffering from some physical ailment (neck ache, back ache, etc.)

It is also why happy, positive people tend to have good luck, things tend to work out for them and they typically have good health.

It is not a coincidence, people!

Consider the people you know.  Are they super happy, positive and loving life?  Or are they cranky-pants, stressed and just getting by?

Newsflash: Your world reflects back to you, how you think and feel.  Good or bad

So knowing this information, why do so many people continue to complain and focus on all the negativity around them?  Do they not believe they have the power to improve their life one thought at a time?

The great news is: YOU have that power!  And it’s easier than you think.

The first step is becoming more aware of what you think and speak about.

For example: When you wake up, you can be excited about the day anticipating a great day ahead.  Or you can dread getting out of bed and focus on all the reasons you don’t want to go to work.

Which will result in you having a great day?

And when you get to work, you can greet your co-workers in a happy mood, spreading the sunshine.  Or you can show up recapping how you couldn’t sleep and questioning whether it’s 5pm yet?

Which will result in you having a great day?

Then on your way home from work, you can recap all the amazing things from your day, such as:  so happy I got to work on time; Sally and I had a great laugh about that work project; lunch was extra good today.  Or you can focus on what went wrong that day, such as:  this was the longest day ever; Sally is so annoying; my boss has no clue; and I can’t stand this job.

Which will result in you having a great evening?

You guessed it! The person who deliberately looks for the good in everything finds happiness.  Now, will there always be stuff you don’t love? Of course. That’s called life.  But, you dohave a choice on what you give your attention to and what you choose to speak about.

So now that you know how your thoughts are responsible for how your life plays out, each and every day, how can YOU start thinking differently today?

Speak of your life as you want it be, as opposed to how it’s been.  Imagine your life how you want it to be versus how it’s been.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Just give it a try! XOXO! 

Do you feel guilty for wanting more out of life?

Do you feel guilty for wanting more out of life?

I remember in my early 20’s, sitting at the Airport Diner in Bohemia, Long Island at 11pm with an old friend catching up and discussing life. I recall being dissatisfied with where I was and pondering what was next.

Oddly enough, I remember the conversation well.  It went like this…

My friend: “Con, I feel as if you will never be happy.  You are always wanting for the next.  It’s as if you are never satisfied.”

Me: Whaaaaa…?? (Insert frowny face 🙁 here)

OMG.  He was totally right. I recall sitting there with nothing more to say other than thinking, geeeez, what is my problem…if this is my life I am so screwed.

Fast forward 10 years later…

I finally have a new understanding of the conversation that night.  It’s interesting when you finally realize that seemingly insignificant pieces of your past really do have significance. 

That night, I thought I had a problem.  I feared the mere thoughtof going through life never being crazy-excited about waking up each day, always wanting for more, never getting it, being strangely disappointed that I would be subjected to the same long career, typical marriage in my mid-twenties and juggling some kids until they were old enough for college.  Definitely Ok for some people, but for me…

Little did I realize that the exact opposite would soon happen and I would owe it to the conversation that night as my inspiration…

What I realized was…

I felt bad that night, but not because my friend was right.  I felt bad because that conversation revealed that I was focused in direct opposition to everything I ever wanted: a better job, more money, an awesome relationship … etc.  

I was allowing some else’s perspective of me, based on their own limited thinking (unknowingly of course…), to influence how I felt about myself and my desire to consistently grow.

As a result, I came to a very clear understanding, one in which I appreciate my friend for calling me out on…

90% of the population is content with the status quo.  They begin a career, work hard all their lives, wake up on Monday looking forward to Friday, and count down the years to retirement.  And if that’s you and that makes you super happy, then great. 

But if you are anything like me and find the status quo terribly boring and suffocating to say the least, then you are in luck…

What I finally realized is that there is are 10% just like me, who also believe…

Life is about the evolution of YOU.  Which means you are always going to be wanting for more. Long gone are the days when you pick one career and stick with it your entire life.  Instead you will create a goal, accomplish the goal and then move on to the next…

And there is nothing wrong with this at all!

In fact, the most growth, fun and satisfaction you will experience in life, is when you continuously expand your boundaries.  This is where increased confidence plays a role.  The more you try new things and accomplish what you set out to do, the more confidence you find in yourself.  It is pretty amazing and life-giving once you start on this journey of self-growth.

The second realization is something equally important and one that I was guilty of for years…

Appreciating YOURSELF. For years I neglected to pay attention and appreciate everything that I had accomplished so far.  This includes everything, the little things, the great things and even the things you screwed up royally.  Everything you do must be appreciated, because everything you do helps you clarify your likes and dislikes.

Some things you will want more of and some things you’ll realize that once tried, there is never a reason to have to do that again.  Every experience allows for you to make better decisions that are aligned with the NEW YOU and what you are moving towards.

Start Loving Life now…

Life is about progress. Life does not stand still.  Life only seems to stand still when you keep doing the same things over and over again.  This equals boring, stuck and the feeling of discontent. 

Don’t feel bad for consistently wanting to grow and evolve.  That is what a fun, amazing life is about. Expand your boundaries and life will expand with you, allowing new and great experiences to come your way.

Appreciate everything you can about everything you have lived so far.  Give credit where credit is due.  Every experience has created the person you are today.  Don’t allow any bad experience to consume you, instead appreciate the bad experience as a clarifying moment. 

Appreciate yourself for every little thing you have done or plan to do.  Once you discover the value in appreciating yourself, you will see how life changes in the craziest ways and crazy goooood things start to happen for you…

What steps can you take today to move your life forward? 

What things from your past and present can you appreciate for allowing you to be the person you are today?

Comment on the blog below! XOXO

Are VIDEO GAMES BAD for KIDS?

Are VIDEO GAMES BAD for KIDS?

Many parents call me with the concern that their child is spending way too much time playing video games, whether it be Call of Duty, Minecraft, Fortnite or whatever the rage is at the moment.

And yes, if you find your child’s excessive playing is affecting responsibilities, social life and/or school work, then I definitely do recommend creating some kind of time limits to ensure your child is engaging in the world.

But, I would never suggest video games are all bad. In fact, I find that video games can help your child tremendously, especially if your child is experiencing stress, anxiety or is going through a difficult time. And yes, most parents are shocked when I say this, but let me offer you a perspective from someone who teaches kids how to love life and be happy.

As a parent, you may have a hard time relating to video games since your generation grew up very differently. For you, it was common to play outside, play with friends or just play with rocks (joke!). It took little to entertain you as a kid and as a result you felt you were more engaged in the world. And you are correct, you probably were. But that’s NOT the same world your kids are living in today. And that’s a very good thing.

Today’s world is about technology and progression. Today’s children are living proof of these advancements, as they know how to navigate an IPHONE or IPAD before even learning to walk or talk. It’s as if the kids of this new generation were born ready and willing to embrace all of what technology has to offer. This is very different compared to our generation of the Rubik’s cube, Lite Brite and if you were more advanced, Atari (another joke!).

And this is in addition to all the social media stuff (Instagram, Snapchat) as well as the constant noise in your child’s mind from social pressures, self-criticism, perfectionism, anxiety and the list goes on.

But children, who innately know the power of their minds and the need to “turn it off,” will often look to video games as an outlet. And that is not a bad thing.

Video games can allow children to shut their minds off from the daily stresses of life or negative thinking that can contribute to stress and anxiety.  Just as there are many other creative outlets, including reading, coloring, listening to music, playing an instrument, baking and even meditation, video games can be a helpful distraction if that is what your child prefers.

Each child is unique and will gravitate to the creative outlet that works best for him or her. If part of that outlet for your child includes moderate video gaming, then “let the games begin!”

Connie Henriquez is a Teen Life Coach who has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, New York where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature Start Loving Life® “positive psychology” coaching system. For more information on how your child can start loving life®…call (516) 340-0378

 

How to stop living in the past and move forward.

How to stop living in the past and move forward.

How to stop living in the past and move forward.

Many times, I come across clients who believe that their past is a life sentence.

But little do they know their past can serve as quite the opposite.

The only reason why most people believe their past is a life sentence is because they have created a habit of negative thinking and ALL they do is think about the past, reference the past and talk about the past.

What they don’t realize, is that is the problem.

The more you focus on “what you don’t want”. The more you are destined to repeat it.

Therefore, the more you focus on your past, the more you invite your past “stuff” into your current life or your future life experiences.

So, the solution is, you MUST start looking towards your future.

That is the only way to move away from your past.

Because what you are thinking NOW is creating how you feel in this moment and what experiences you will attract in your future.

This means that it is super important to be deliberate in choosing your thoughts and ONLY think about the life you want.

As opposed to the live that you have lived.

And the great part is the more you do this, the better you will feel over time and you will no longer feel resentful about your past.

But Instead, you will thank it for being the catalyst in allowing you to move towards the very amazing life you want versus the “not so fun” life you have been living.

Imagine that…?

On-Air TV host of @DatenightTV and Start Loving Life® Expert Connie Henriquez LOVES to teach people how to start loving life! Connie has a private coaching practice located in Woodbury, NY where she teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve their self-esteem in as little as 30 days utilizing her signature “positive psychology” Start Loving Life® coaching system. For more information on how you can start loving life®…call today for your no-cost consultation at (516) 340-0378