Self Esteem

I Doubted My Child – Then She Showed Me What It Really Means to Believe in Yourself

I thought my daughter would miss the talent show deadline. But after a close call, she blew me away – and taught me an important lesson about doubt, self-confidence, and believing in yourself.

My daughter, Riley, wanted to create a painting of our neighborhood pie shop for a local talent show. I was excited that she wanted to participate, but, within a few days her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD) began flaring up.

“Ready to work on your painting?” I asked. She chewed on the brushes, erased every line she had drawn, and fidgeted. She wanted to be anywhere but in front of that canvas. Every error meant paint on the floor and water thrown across the table. Every outburst and wasted day caused me to create a list of reasons why she wouldn’t be able to make the talent show — any excuse other than “Sorry, she has ADD.”

As the event got closer, I nearly called the organizers to tell them that Riley couldn’t participate. But then, just a few days before the show, she approached me and said, “Mom, I’m done.”

[Click to Read: The “Art” of Happiness — and Self-Esteem]

No way, I thought. Somehow, some way, Riley had colored in every brick on the wall, and the icing on her pie was shimmering with iridescent opal paint. She even finished the cherry on top. I was speechless. She told me an imaginative tale of superheroes, villains, damsels in distress, and, of course, pie, that explained the painting. I jotted down her words so she would have notes to remind her during the performance.

The morning of the event, I watched her sitting on the side of the stage, wringing her hands. She was looking everywhere but at the audience. She played with the buttons on her sweater until one came off. She may not make it up there, I thought.

They called her name, and Riley stood in front of the audience. She began her fantastic tale, pointing out each detail of her beautiful art. The applause lit her up like nothing I’d seen. She had managed to overcome her fears and her ADD symptoms on her own. She was the cherry on top that day.

Believe In Yourself: Next Steps for Parents

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