De­clut­ter­ing im­pacts kids con­fi­dence, emo­tional in­tel­li­gence & re­silience

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Ash Nay­ate

Al­though con­fi­dence and de­clut­ter­ing are seem­ingly un­re­lated, the process of de­clut­ter­ing can profoundly im­pact our kids’ con­fi­dence, emo­tional in­tel­li­gence and re­silience. Th­ese are abil­i­ties that are per­haps some of the most cru­cial el­e­ments of a happy and suc­cess­ful life.

Re­silience is the abil­ity to re­cover from life’s stres­sors. When life throws us a curve­ball, it’s our re­silience that al­lows us to ma­noeu­vre around it, cope with it and/or work with it. Thus, we grow and be­come stronger than we were be­fore. Re­silience is a self­per­pet­u­at­ing skill. The stronger we are, the more con­fi­dent we be­come and the more likely we are to take on fur­ther chal­lenges fu­elling fur­ther growth.

Re­silience is a psy­cho­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tic that hardly seems rel­e­vant to our sur­round­ings. How could a sim­ple change in our en­vi­ron­ment ac­tu­ally boost our kids’ con­fi­dence?

It turns out that re­silience isn’t just some­thing we ac­quire through sheer luck. While some peo­ple seem to be more nat­u­rally re­silient than oth­ers, re­silience is a skill that can be learned. Since our daily ex­pe­ri­ences are teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties which es­pe­cially holds true for kids, then the ac­tiv­i­ties we un­der­take and the lessons learned through them, go a long way in shap­ing re­silience.

So here are three key ben­e­fits of de­clut­ter­ing that will as­sist your chil­dren.

1. De­clut­ter­ing isn’t just or­gan­is­ing and tidy­ing up.

De­clut­ter­ing in­volves a fun­da­men­tal shift in the way we think about our­selves, our pos­ses­sions and our en­vi­ron­ment. De­clut­ter­ing re­quires us to make cru­cial de­ci­sions about what’s im­por­tant. It re­quires us to be fu­ture-fo­cused and to see be­yond our im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion. It re­quires us to think cre­atively about what we choose to re­tain. In times of cri­sis when our re­silience is put to the test, it’s pre­cisely th­ese skills upon which we need to draw.

Stress­ful times re­quire us to think be­yond


our im­me­di­ate knee-jerk re­ac­tion and to in­stead fo­cus on the big­ger pic­ture and act ac­cord­ingly. For ex­am­ple, con­sider a sce­nario where a child wishes to be class cap­tain, but is ner­vous about speak­ing in public. The knee-jerk re­ac­tion is to avoid the fear of public speak­ing and to avoid giv­ing a speech or per­haps to with­draw from can­di­dacy al­to­gether. How­ever in the big­ger pic­ture, this child may have a strong de­sire to con­trib­ute to the class­room with su­pe­rior lead­er­ship. The tem­po­rary dis­com­fort of public speak­ing is well worth the long-term sat­is­fac­tion of class cap­taincy and work­ing through the dis­com­fort is what helps boost re­silience and con­fi­dence.

When we help our kids declutter, we teach them to look at their pos­ses­sions in new ways. In­stead of sim­ply striv­ing to ac­quire and hoard, we show them how to view be­long­ings with a more crit­i­cal eye. Are their be­long­ings still serv­ing a vi­tal func­tion in their life? If so, what is that func­tion and is this con­ducive to the ‘big­ger pic­ture’ of their goals and as­pi­ra­tions? If not, then how might this item be bet­ter utilised? Per­haps by sell­ing, do­nat­ing, or re-pur­pos­ing it.

To change per­spec­tive on pos­ses­sions – or on any­thing – re­quires flex­i­bil­ity of thought, which is a key in­gre­di­ent in re­silience and con­fi­dence. The more flex­i­ble our kids are in their think­ing, the eas­ier it is for them to shift their fo­cus from im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion to long term ful­fil­ment.

2. De­clut­ter­ing also forces us to make tough de­ci­sions about our en­vi­ron­ment.

Th­ese de­ci­sions can in­clude let­ting go of items that per­haps have sen­ti­men­tal value but which are not adding some­thing pos­i­tive to our lives. Th­ese days, it’s too easy to hold onto things – even those

that add no value or even de­tract from our lives – out of habit or fear. And yes, this even in­cludes toxic or neg­a­tive relationships. De­clut­ter­ing teaches our kids that mem­o­ries are not held within our sen­ti­men­tal items and that it’s pos­si­ble to hold onto a mem­ory with­out hav­ing to hold onto a phys­i­cal ob­ject. De­clut­ter­ing also teaches kids that it’s OK to let go of things that are no longer in our best in­ter­est and to be dis­cern­ing about what and who, they choose to bring and keep in their lives.

3. De­clut­ter­ing pro­motes the ideas of com­mu­nity, em­pa­thy and con­sid­er­a­tion for oth­ers.

When we elim­i­nate the ex­tra­ne­ous, es­pe­cially with the in­ten­tion of pass­ing it along to oth­ers who could re­ally use it, we teach our kids that they are not sim­ply is­lands, in­de­pen­dent of ev­ery­one else, but that their ac­tions or in­ac­tions di­rectly af­fect oth­ers. A vi­tal com­po­nent of con­fi­dence and healthy self-es­teem is know­ing that WE MAT­TER. When we pro­mote the idea of com­mu­nity, our chil­dren learn the ful­fil­ment that comes from help­ing oth­ers. And, per­haps more im­por­tantly, our chil­dren learn that it’s OK to reach out for help.

Dr Ash Nay­ate is a clin­i­cal neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist spe­cial­iz­ing in brain func­tion and re­sult­ing be­hav­iour. Ash has al­most 15 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with chil­dren and fam­i­lies, sup­port­ing them to feel hap­pier, more con­fi­dent and re­silient. To con­tact Ash please visit her web­site.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.