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Parenting Guru: Got confident kids?

Julie Weingarden Dubin is a Michigan-based freelance journalist, blogger and author with three rocking kids, a loving husband and a trashed minivan. She covers parenting, health, psychology, relationships and pop culture for national mag...

How to nurture resilience

If you’re struggling with how to help your kids feel more confident, Maureen Healy, an emotional health and parenting expert, has the advice you need. In her new book, Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success, and Happiness, she explains that children find happiness from something inside themselves. It's not connected to their socioeconomic status, their parents' marital status or where they live.

How to nurture resilience

If you're struggling with how to help your kids feel more confident, Maureen Healy, an emotional health and parenting expert has the advice you need. In her new book, Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success, and Happiness, she explains that children find happiness from something inside themselves. It's not connected to their socioeconomic status, their parents' marital status or where they live.

Bounce back

How do you help your children find their inner happiness?

Healy: Making smart choices for their emotional health is key. A happy brain needs a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of sleep. You can also help your child believe in him or herself by doing positive affirmations together like "I love me" and "I am amazing" to help counter any negative thinking.

When do you think kids are old enough to understand how to be resilient?

Healy: Kids learn how to bounce back after problems and shake things off from early ages. Most kids can learn how to think and feel more resilient or inwardly confident thoughts even before preschool. Start planting the seeds of inner strength and confidence early -- it will pay off when your kids need it most, like if they're being teased.

How can you teach kids to shake off the bad and focus on the good?

Healy: You nurture a belief that within them is a power greater than anything in the outside world. They have an inner strength that can get them over life's bumps like a bad grade, getting cut from a team or having a mean friend.

Create a no-downer zone

Are kids with positive mindsets more resilient?

Healy: Yes. They're able to see mistakes, failures or problems and understand that they're not catastrophes, but merely stepping stones to their success. If your children are focusing on the things not working out, gently guide them to have more positive expectations. Kids that are open to change and display interpersonal flexibility tend to be happier.

What can parents say to kids who make downer comments like, "I’m going to fail the test," or "Everybody at school hates me"?

Healy: For starters, "You get what you believe in. If you think you'll fail the test, then it's likely. But if you study, apply yourself and begin thinking maybe I'll pass -- you'll have a better chance at passing!" The gift you can give your children is a wider perspective, a sense of truth and the ability to guide them to believe more fully in themselves especially in moments like these.

More on raising happy, confident kids

Confidence: Help your child gain confidence
5 Benefits of positive thinking

Boost your teen boy's self-confidence

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