Cultivating Confidence in Students with Social Challenges

Confident people have a certain air about them. It’s a combo of presence and ease. They seem to own the space and, at the same time, have room for others. There’s a sense of standing tall in their skin, knowing their worth.

The good news is that we can teach kids to be more confident!

To cultivate confident kids, here’s one of SocialEyes Together’s methods of reinforcing understanding and language around showing up on purpose.

It’s called Stand TALL©.

We want our students to be intentional about their lives. To that end, these terms (in an easy-to-remember acronym) reinforce the notion of being present and using our senses and our minds to help us make good decisions. The “TALL” acronym helps students remember to Live on Purpose.

Stand TALL

Think on Purpose

Act on Purpose

Look on Purpose.

Listen on Purpose

Think on Purpose

To Think on Purpose means to assess your situation and use your brain power to gather information. You do that by Looking and Listening on Purpose, recalling prior experiences, and evaluating what’s going on before you jump to conclusions, make assumptions, and take action. You learn to review your thoughts carefully before you make decisions.

Act on Purpose

Acting on Purpose is to align your actions with your knowledge, goals, and intentions. Does your behavior achieve your goals? How will it affect others’ perceptions of you and how will you feel about yourself after you do or refrain from doing something?

Look on Purpose

Looking on Purpose is the practice of using your eyes to help you know what’s happening around you. What is this environment all about? How is it organized? How can the features of the environment give me clues as to expected behaviors? Who are the people here? What are they doing? Are they acting in a certain way? What message are their bodies sending to me? Why is this person near me? How am I expected to behave?

This builds an increased awareness of social environment, non-verbal communication, and other people’s plans.

Listen on Purpose

Listening on Purpose is to pay complete attention to the person speaking. We analyze what our ears are hearing. Why are they speaking? What are they trying to communicate? What is their tone of voice? What emotion is behind the words?

This gets us closer to receiving their intended message as we tune in to the subtle nuances of tone and feeling. Instead of preparing our response while the other person is talking, we give our full attention to them as we digest their words and look to understand their ideas and intentions. Listening on purpose requires patience and practice.

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