Confidence

Nurturing Healthy Self Esteem in Children

Confidence is a social emotional skill and can be nurtured, practiced, and learned. It helps children feel secure, capable and high-achieving. A University of Melbourne study showed a definite, positive correlation between belief in oneself and success or achievement. Confident children grow up to become successful adults, empowered to face life’s challenges and achieve their most lofty goals.

Confidence nears the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The need for respect, esteem and confidence, is a requirement for all well-functioning human beings. When your child’s basic needs for survival are met, giving them opportunities to feel justly praised, recognized, and competent helps facilitate healthy development. Every parent wants the best for their children, and confidence is at the core. We have taken the mystery out of building confidence by developing programs that work and re-invented them in interactive games and comics to eliminate the struggle. There is no trait that replaces confidence in children and adults. That is, if your child communicates well and demonstrates self-discipline and empathy, he will still need to develop his self-confidence in order to achieve success. At curaFUN, we help parents raise confident children who trust themselves, are comfortable in their own skin, and aren’t afraid to go for their goals, starting from social initiation.

How confident are you?

Preview of the foundational skills we teach

Training List

COLLABORATION

Determine who is available and compatible

Training List

SOCIAL INITIATION

Overcome shyness and social anxiety. Find friends with similar interests and values.

Training List

PERSEVERENCE

Positively initiate a conversation with a group after being rejected

Training List

PARTICIPATION

Ask to join a game already in progress. Be flexible when things change. 

Training List

ETIQUETTE

Interrupt and leave a conversation appropriately

INDEPENDENCE

Decide whether to play with a group, another peer, or by yourself

What kind of life do you envision for your child? Whether it’s happiness, affluence, or academic achievement, self-confidence will be integral.

"You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind. "
-Dale Carnegie

Studies show that primary school children who were confident performed better at school and bagged academic achievements regardless of their age, cognitive ability, and gender. Like Rome, confidence isn’t built in a day. It requires a nurturing environment, the right training, and consistent practice and encouragement. curaFUN games and comics employ a scientifically based and systematic approach to building confidence starting with guided practice with professional feedback in social initiation, peer interaction, and confronting bullies.

The World Belongs To Those Who Believe In Themselves!

Social Skill

Successful People Have One Thing in Common: High Self-Confidence

But how does one develop strong self confidence?
As a society, we chase after self-confidence and try to promote it in children by giving out participation awards in the fear of leaving any child feeling left out. But do abundant encouragement and praise result in higher self confidence?

In a recent study, children who had a positive but inaccurate perception of their performance were more susceptible to being depressed than those who had a more realistic rating of their performance. Undeserved praise can lead to a flawed portrayal of oneself, which may eventually lead to poor self-esteem. Rather than dishing out unwarranted or unmerited praise, parents can encourage children by urging them to stretch and grow, trying new things and challenging themselves often.

  • Unlimited play, self-paced program
  • Progressive training in areas of impulse control, focus, social initiation, teamwork, perspective taking, emotional regulation and more
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.  Cancel anytime

Zoo Academy

$10USD/month
*Billed monthly for 12 months.

Zoo U

$10USD/month
*Billed monthly for 12 months.

Zoo Academy

$35USD/Year
*One-time payment for 12-month access.

Zoo U

$35USD/Year
*One-time payment for 12-month access.
5 Self-Soothing Tips To Heal Your Inner Child

5 Self-Soothing Tips To Heal Your Inner Child

“No one’s going back for that inner child. Except you.” ~Tanya Markul Everyone has an inner child. Your inner child is You but it’s not a childlike personality you have held onto all these years. It’s your unconscious mind. It’s the You that has all those repressed memories and feelings from your childhood that resurface from time to time. Healing your inner child is essential to wellbeing and growth. Signs Your Inner Child Might Be Trying To Reach You According to American Psychological Association, “Research has found that relationships between parents and caregivers and youth that:
  • Are warm, open, and communicative;
  • Include appropriate limits, and
  • Provide reasoning for rules for behavior
are associated with higher self-esteem, better performance in school, and fewer negative outcomes such as depression or drug use in children and teenagers.” Caregiver relationships impact social, cognitive, emotional and mental health. What happens when a child doesn’t receive a supportive relationship from a caregiver? An unmet childhood need for unconditional love and safety drives your inner child the most. You are most shaped by the early years of your life with the caregivers who surround you at that time. There are triggers, trauma responses and self-protection practices that may be in play if your inner child is provoked. If Jane goes to her husband for validation and one day, he is too busy to give her a compliment, she may feel unseen and unheard. Her inner child longing for attention may be triggered. Jane then starts a fight over something seemingly small but big to her. She feels rejected even if her husband wasn’t intending this. Such a reaction happens often when the inner child is triggered. Anger as a secondary emotion comes out. You relive the feelings of abandonment even if you are now in a healthier relationship. Intimacy may be more difficult to master due to projection of past pain. These triggers can also be simply being overwhelmed or stress or feeling like no one appreciates you. Triggers are different for each person. Trauma responses may also show up in the following ways:
  • Not asking for help
  • Avoidance
  • Saying “I’m fine” when you are not
  • Feeling like a burden
Your self-protection practices might be in perfectionism, people-pleasing or power hunger as well as more. There are many ways this can manifest. You try to overcompensate for the neglect you once experienced as ... Read More

The key to a happy teen? Listen and support — and resist solving problems for them.

In a new book, two experts advise parents on how to talk to their teenagers in ways that foster closeness and help them cope with adversity on their own. You’ve probably heard that to raise a successful person, you need to allow your child, especially adolescents, to have autonomy. That if you micromanage everything, they won’t learn how to do it themselves and thus won’t thrive later in life. You’ve probably heard that to raise a successful person, you need to allow your child, especially adolescents, to have autonomy. That if you micromanage everything, they won’t learn how to do it themselves and thus won’t thrive later in life. But how do you actually do that? William Stixrud, a clinical neuropsychologist, and Ned Johnson, founder of test-preparation company PrepMatters, have a new book out that aims to answer all of that. “What Do You Say? How to Talk With Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance and a Happy Home,” builds on their last bestseller, “The Self-Driven Child.” They break down how each parent can be a non-anxious parent-consultant, rather than a parent-boss, and ways to help kids be truly happy as they grow and head into the world. Stixrud says that one of the wisest things he has heard about adolescents is that “Every day, when they come home from school, you can see who they’re deciding to be.” Here, they give advice on helping your child to become who they really are. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.) How has the pandemic affected kids’ motivation and stress tolerance, and how should parents pivot to deal with their teens? WS: The kids who are introverted, hated getting up for the bus — for a lot of kids it’s been a pretty good thing for them and for their families. Nationally, you see a significant increase in depression and anxiety, but these were increasing dramatically before the pandemic. NJ: We know that kids from wealthy families are at an even greater risk than those stretched thin, in part because of an intense pressure to excel. And these kids don’t feel as close to their parents. It’s really helpful if parents take the long view and recognize that the emotional resilience we so want for our kids [can be achieved by] adversity with support. We’ve had so much adversity; let’s do everything we can to support our kids — ... Read More
Supporting a bullied middle schooler

Supporting a bullied middle schooler

The door bangs shut. Your teen is home from middle school with their head hanging down and in disbelief. When you ask how the day went, they bury their head in their hands, cry, and share that their best friend is spreading rumors about them all over school and not letting them sit with any friends at lunch. Your heart sinks. Maybe you recall the many ways in which middle school can be a relationship battleground. You might find yourself feeling protective and ready to call the friend’s parents to give them a piece of your mind, but resist that urge if you can. One of the best ways to support your teen is simply being there for them right now. How do you do that, and what else can you do? Below are three helpful tips. Validate first Before you think about problem-solving, it’s important to start with validation. Validation acknowledges how your teen is feeling without agreeing or disagreeing with the emotional experience. When you validate, it shows your teen that you hear them, helps them manage the intensity of their distress, and makes their ears more likely to open up and hear what you have to say next. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in parts of the world, it is slowly retreating in the U.S. There are now three FDA-authorized vaccines, including one for children as young as 12. The vaccines are proving to be nearly as effective in the real world as they were in clinical trials. The CDC has relaxed some prevention measures, particularly for people who are fully vaccinated, and especially outdoors. Meanwhile, scientists continue to explore treatments and to keep an eye on viral variants. In this example, you might say, "You must be feeling so betrayed." Even though you might long to try to make the pain go away, it’s important to send a message that emotions are helpful and not hurtful to us. Avoid phrases such as, "Forget her!" Despite kind intentions, words like these inadvertently send the message that your teen should not be having strong feelings about this experience. When you validate, aim to describe the emotion or lead with a tentative approach, such as "You’re really [insert emotion here]" or "You seem [insert emotion here]." Avoid starting with phrases like "I know" or "I understand." Developmentally, teens go through a stage in which they think no ... Read More
Parents Like Social-Emotional Learning, But Not the Name

Parents Like Social-Emotional Learning, But Not the Name

Parents are strongly in favor of schools teaching the skills promoted in social-emotional learning. Things like setting goals, controlling emotions, and being informed citizens. However, if you ask parents what they think of “social-emotional learning,” they may react negatively. That’s because while the idea of social-emotional learning is popular with parents, the name isn’t, according to a nationally representative survey of parents by polling firm YouGov and commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. This disconnect—and other findings in the survey—have implications for the future of SEL, says the Fordham report based on the polling data. Social-emotional learning is having a bit of a moment. Its reach has expanded significantly over the past decade. The number of states that have adopted standards or guidelines for SEL has grown from one in 2011 to 18 today. Interest in building students’ social and emotional skills—especially around things like coping, responsible decisionmaking, and relationship-building—has only intensified with the pandemic. Educators and policymakers alike see SEL as a crucial means to help students recover from the trauma and disrupted schooling caused by the pandemic. Even some federal COVID-19 relief aid requires states to dedicate a certain amount of money toward responding to students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs. But SEL is also facing some headwinds. Some people in conservative education circles believe that it’s imparting a more liberal set of ideals and that its benefits are oversold. More recently, SEL is being brought up in the political sphere and even linked to the fights over critical race theory, the academic concept that racism is embedded in legal systems and policies. Idaho education leaders were rebuffed by some Republican state lawmakers in the House Education Committee last year over a social-emotional proposal with one lawmaker comparing it to the dystopian novel Brave New World . Others walked out of the hearing. More recently, the Virginia Department of Education is facing pushback from some Republicans over draft state standards for SEL, with critics calling the proposal indoctrination and critical race theory by another name. All that aside, though, large majorities of parents, regardless of background or political party, agreed in the YouGov poll: They are strongly in favor of schools teaching students skills such as how to set goals, approach challenges with optimism, believe in themselves and their abilities, and control their emotions. When asked in the survey to rank in order of importance academic ... Read More
How To Teach Kids The Importance Of Accountability

How To Teach Kids The Importance Of Accountability

We’re living in a time and place in which it often seems the people in charge have no sense of accountability ― whether it’s governors rejecting mask mandates and other public health measures aimed at keeping people safe, or leaders failing to own up to their role in big and small failures. On an everyday level, many adults don’t understand the consequences of their actions and refuse to acknowledge when they’ve made mistakes. And as always, our children are watching. So perhaps now, more than ever, is the time for parents to focus on teaching kids about accountability. “Accountability is a way to take responsibility for actions you’re in charge of,” Priya Tahim, a licensed professional counselor and founder of Kaur Counseling, told HuffPost. “By teaching kids personal accountability, you’re teaching them that mistakes happen and when those mistakes happen, it’s important to learn to fix or grow from them.” “It helps instill moral values of right and wrong, even when there is no one watching,” she added. “It also allows kids to see that it’s OK to make mistakes, and there are ways to move forward from those mistakes.” So how can parents create a culture of accountability in their homes? Below, Tahim and other experts share their advice. Start small. “Parents are unsure sometimes about when to actually start asking their kids to be accountable,” Sheryl Ziegler, a psychologist and the author of “Mommy Burnout,” told HuffPost. “I feel like it starts when they’re toddlers, and it’s as simple as, ‘We can play with the puzzle but when we’re all done, we need to clean it up.’” She noted that kids may wander off to play with something else or get a snack when the puzzle is finished, and too often parents resort to just cleaning it up themselves because it’s faster and easier that way. But it’s better to provide opportunities for kids to take ownership of their own little responsibilities. “If you start early, you start setting the foundation that it’s important to be accountable: ‘Sure we can play with that now, as long as we clean this up,’” Ziegler said. “You can make it fun and have cute cleanup songs like they do in preschool, but bring it into the home to reinforce that this is how the world works.” Give more responsibilities. As kids get older, you can give them more things to be ... Read More
Is Your Kid A Hot Mess? 10 Ways To Help Your Child Keep Their Emotions In Check

Is Your Kid A Hot Mess? 10 Ways To Help Your Child Keep Their Emotions In Check

Carrying a 500-pound backpack, seeing people they had forgotten, realizing new relationships have formed during hybrid or shut down schooling, or even just trying to use social skills they have not used in a while can be tough. Not to mention all the struggles that go into childhood and teenhood. Is it any wonder that you have an overly emotional child, right now? As you hear the stories of other kids who seemed to have climbed Mount Everest during the pandemic while getting straight A’s, your child might feel very alone. But, fear not! Many kids, probably including yours, are a hot mess right now. But their struggling does not mean that they will struggle forever. At the end of this school year, so many kids and teenagers are bombarded with demands, mental health issues, and the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). If your kid seems unmotivated, it’s because they probably are. Perhaps some students have surfaced energized, but for the majority, going back to school is about learning how to connect again. Low energy combined with stress may create an environment where they come home snarky and grumpy. Don’t despair, they might just need a little support to guide them out of this hot mess. Here are 10 ways to help your overly emotional child keep their emotions in check. 1. Truly listen to your kid. Ask and listen. Don’t apply pressure nor assume you know the reasons for your child’s behavior. When you talk to your child, don’t jump in with advice. Imagine a world in which your boss or partner constantly told you, "The reason you're a mess is because you don’t plan ahead." It wouldn't be well-received. Getting your child to feel comfortable talking to you requires waiting, listening, and showing confidence that they have the capacity to learn and grow. If you push your agenda, you will likely get nowhere. By truly hearing your child’s perspective, you allow them to hold a mirror up to her views about friendship and to evaluate them. This takes time, but it will deliver better results. 2. Give them space. Everything doesn't have to be solved in the moment. Allow your child to walk away. If they won’t take the time and space to use strategies to manage their emotions, then you will need to breathe deeply and give yourself space. 3. Don’t interrogate. Continue reading the ... Read More
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