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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Tuesday 15th November 2016

Raising Confident Kids in an Approval-Seeking World (Book Giveaway!)

Friends, I am so excited to have Kari Kampakis on the blog today. She’s an advocate for teen girls and has dedicated so much of her life helping them get in touch with their truest identity. Today, we celebrate the release of her latest bookLiked: Who’s Approval Are You Living For? Already, it’s the #1 best seller in “Teen & Young Adult Christian Social Issues.” Her book is so timely, and her words here today are spot-on!

Welcome, Kari!

Raising Confident Kids in an Approval-Seeking World
By Kari Kampakis

If I had to name one thing I don’t want my daughters to struggle with, I’d have to say confidence.

This is why it’s so hard for me to see my daughters doubt themselves or question their abilities.

I distinctly remember the first time I witnessed real self-doubt in my child. It descended upon my oldest daughter unexpectedly, and I felt helpless trying to stop it.

She was in third grade and learning her multiplication facts. Every day after school, she practiced timed tests on the computer and dissolved into tears when she failed to beat the buzzer.

After a week of discouraging lows, I noticed a change in my daughter. My once confident girl seemed to shrink before my eyes as she lost faith in herself and her intelligence.

The worst part was hearing her self-assessment. It broke my heart in two.

“I’m so stupid.”

“I’ll never get this.”

“That’s it. I’m quitting.”

“I’m an idiot. I hate school.”

She’d pegged herself wrong, of course, but nothing I said could convince her of that. Even her history as a great student became irrelevant in her mind. This challenge in math stumped her, and it was messing with her confidence in unprecedented ways.

It took time and lots of practice, but my daughter worked through the issue. She eventually learned her equations with speed and efficiency. With each step of progress that she made, her confidence grew. And what I grew to learn myself was how little control I have in saving my child from a struggle.

doing homework

This was (and still is) painful to accept. As a mom, I want to kick self-doubt to the curb. I want to believe that lots of love, affirmation, and encouragement will armor my four daughters with bulletproof confidence.

But the truth is, my influence has limits. I can praise my daughters all day, but how they feel about themselves and their potential is ultimately a matter that only their Creator can help them settle.

The good news is, He loves them more than I do. He sees the future and knows what they need today to be ready for tomorrow. While I want to rescue my kids immediately from uncomfortable situations and emotions, God sees the bigger picture. He understands how letting them wrestle with adversity and self-doubt can 1) draw my daughters to Him, 2) build character, and 3) cultivate the right kind of confidence.

If life were always easy, and my kids excelled at everything, they’d be likely to develop an arrogant confidence. They might take full credit for their gifts and success. But when they see their weak points, they recognize their need for God. They enter a place where they can receive His grace and gain strength since God’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Awareness of their weaknesses leads to humble confidence. It can help my daughters see God as the bigger force at work and credit Him for anything they accomplish or overcome.

I want humble confidence for my daughters, but I wish there was a shortcut. I wish I didn’t have to watch them get knocked to their knees and pray they’ll make it back up. It toils my heart to see them struggle, but I find peace in God’s promises.

This verse is my anthem in trusting God when my girls face adversity:

“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.” – Psalm 46:5 (NIV)

woman-hand-desk-office Liked by Kari Kampakis

God has carried my daughters through obstacles in His perfect timing. The breakthroughs always seem to come when a breakthrough is needed most. And while I don’t enjoy watching my girls hit road blocks or mental blocks, I do love seeing the confidence they gain when perseverance pays off and they emerge stronger on the other side.

It’s natural for my daughters to doubt themselves, but I pray they never doubt God. God is working in them and for them, and with His help, they can cultivate a confidence rooted deeply in Him that enables them to serve their mission and positively impact the world.

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of my daughter. Thank You for allowing me to raise her, know her, and witness Your work in her life. Help me trust You in seasons of doubt. Give me faith that conquers all fear. Fill my daughter with Your peace and security, and grant me the wisdom to make choices that point to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related resources:

If you’d like to build your daughter’s confidence through God, you’ll appreciate Kari’s new book for teen & tween girls Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?. Filled with relevant insights, Biblical truths, and thought-provoking questions, it empowers girls through faith.

To learn more about Kari Kampakis, visit her blog, karikampakis.com, or find her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Reflect and respond:

What challenge have you watched your child overcome, and what did you learn about God, your child, and yourself in the process?

© 2016 by Kari Kampakis. All rights reserved.

Book Giveaway

likedcover In celebration of this book, we are giving away 3 copies of Liked! To enter, simply leave a comment letting us know that you’d like the book. I will draw winners at random and contact them by Friday. As always, you earn extra entries by sharing on your social-media channels. But be sure to let me know that you shared, so I can add your name to the drawing multiple times!

 

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Ronja Oksanen. If you’ve ever felt like you just aren’t enough (psst: we’ve all felt that way before), I think Ronja’s words will be a breath of fresh air and encouragement for you. Find Ronja here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer


  • Lois Flowers

    I saw something about this book just yesterday and would love to be entered in the drawing. I sometimes think God gave us math facts (and negative integers and slope-intercept form) to teach our kids (and their math tutor moms) to rely on Him. 🙂

  • Ann Hart Knutsen

    I have a 16 year old niece. This would be a perfect book for her. Thanks for making us aware of it.

  • Vikki Nay

    I did almost everything wrong raising my children. I would love this book to help my grandchildren. Thanks.

  • Karen

    Would love a copy of this book! This is such an important topic, now more than ever!

  • I have been so thankful for the quiet confidence that my boys have lived their way into. Clearly, all the “credit” for this goes to God, because I still struggle with negativity and insecurity on so many levels, and my example has been inconsistent, but He is faithful.

  • phoward336

    I’d love to win this! I have a 12 year old daughter and these issues are starting to invade our life!

  • Connie

    I would love to win this book to share with my daughter & daughter in law. They could really use this to help my granddaughters grow into confident adults. They are now age 11 & 7. Already witness them struggling with their confidence. As always, thank you for your blog posts. I love the encourgement.

  • Connie McCord Bjorklund

    I would love to win this book to share with my daughter & daughter in law. They could really use this to help my granddaughters grow into confident adults. They are now age 11 & 7. Already witness them struggling with their confidence. As always, thank you for your blog posts. I love the encourgement.

  • Kelly Lenius Radotich

    wow…wish I would have had this book about 40 years ago! I think it would be very helpful with my own daughter!

  • A much needed book for these times!

  • Dreama Billups

    love the topic – can’t wait to give this book to my niece !

  • Mary

    Learning that our identity is in Christ and that is all the approval we need is a daily lesson for me. There are so many competing voices that pull us away from the truth that is found in Christ. This book would be a beautiful blessing and one that needs to be shared.

  • Oh, boy, you ask a tough question! The hardest journey I’ve had with either of our daughters has been our youngest daughter’s journey through mental illness. At first, we thought it was just a case of negative self-view and we tried to help her gain confidence. But that didn’t help. We sought counseling and even ended up admitting her to a crisis center. That didn’t help. We tried tough love. That didn’t help. After almost losing her (she was living in an airport and had a one-way ticket to London with no money in her pocket and no debit card in her wallet), we finally found a diagnosis after her uncle convinced her to return to the west coast with him. She spent ten days in a mental health hospital and started medication for bipolar disorder. Knowing the balance of when to act and when to advocate and when to let her struggle required enormous amounts of prayer. I don’t know that we did it ‘right,’ and the recovery has provided plenty of challenges (mostly for me and my fear of ‘Oh, no! The medicine isn’t working and she’s going off the deep end again!’). But parenting, more than anything else in life, requires prayer and submission and more prayer.

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  • Meghan Weyerbacher

    What a great ministry! I am feeling the same here, Jennifer. My eight year old is struggling with reading still. She will be nine soon and is down on herself about the level she is at. There are other things too and we have been praying for direction on how to best help her. Prayer is key, but as a mom I want to dooooo something, and that something never seems like enough. But I have to remain hopeful and fixed on the good. I need to read hopeful things and people who are going through what we are going through and maybe fill up on how they overcame some obstacles. Testimonies are priceless! Thanks for being you, friend and allowing Kari to share here!

  • Darby Savasta

    Thank you for your inspirational messages each day. I have two daughters who both struggle with confidence and self esteem issue. Being a single mother it is not the easiest to go it alone and I have found lately that if I give my fears and stresses to God, he helps me get through these worries. Thank you for the passages, I have started a prayer wall and will add these next to my prayers for my daughters strength. Thank you Kari and her story.

  • Caroline Osborne

    Hi! I loved this post & would love a copy of the book!

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  • Heather

    I would love to have this book…I have a preteen daughter!

  • Cristy

    I am very interested in this book. My daughter turns 13 on December 17th and I would love to read this with her. ☺

    • Cristy

      I also shared this on Facebook.

  • Susan

    Where was this book 5 years ago!!! My granddaughter will be 20 soon and struggled so. She read Annie Down’s first book years ago and it helped her a lot. LIKED is so needed in this competitive world. Jennifer, I am watching “This Is Us” – per your recommendation – they sure do cover the issues, eh? xo

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  • Deborah

    I’d love to read this book!

  • jade from Henibean

    This last month I have watched my other children deal with the passing and funeral of their dear sweet sister. It’s heart wrenching for a mother to not only deal with your own grief at such a time but also to watch and wait and anticipate how each child will react so that the appropriate support can be given. Amid the anticipation of support needed, I have been surprised and humbled to realize that my youngest daughter has often been the one there to console me, to give wisdom, a hug and a shoulder to cry on even amid her trials.
    I have no doubt that my heavenly father is lending her strength (and me) to get through these tough times with the comfort that only He can give. God is raising a strong generation amid all the other worldly turmoil going on but they are also in need of much nourishment and strength. This book would be a blessing to her. x

  • Amanda Stephens

    I would love be to have this book! I shared this with my friends in hopes that this book would give them courage in trying to raise daughters in a world that seems so far from God.

  • Darcy

    Would love a copy of this book for my daughter for Christmas! She will be 12 in February and in 7th grade. We do our best providing what we can at home but middle school can be rough.

    • Darcy! You are one of the winners of this book. Please email me your mailing address at … jdukeslee @ gmail . com ! Yay you!

      • Darcy

        Yay!!! Thank you for this awesome gift! I can’t wait to wrap it up for my daughter for Christmas. <3

  • Debbi

    What a God send this book is! I would LOVE a copy for my 14 year old who struggles with being “liked” on social media..

  • Tina Marie Baughman

    I’d like to have a copy of this for girls I work with at our church.

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  • Jennifer,
    I would love a copy of this book because this book’s message and prayer resonates. I keep praying for wisdom and this book seems like it would help. Thank you!

    • Hi Dolly! You are one of the winners of this book. Please email me your mailing address at … jdukeslee @ gmail . com ! Yay you!

  • Katelin

    I would love a copy of this book. Such a huge struggle in today’s world.

  • Shauna Blaak

    Hi Jennifer! I’m new around here. Thanks so much for creating such and amazing platform for writers like us! I would love to get a copy of this book. With 4 teenagers (2 girls and 2 boys), identity and confidence are high on my watch list!
    Shauna Blaak (#62 today)

  • Would love to get a copy of this book to share with my daughter who is raising two girls. Also shared on Twitter. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Gigi

    I’d love to have this book for my daughters.

  • Denise

    I would find this book a blasting to share with my sweet daughter. ❤️

    • Denise

      BLESSING not blasting. Oops!

  • Julie Loos

    This looks like a helpful book for moms! I have 5 kids and I would love to learn more about this!
    Julie

  • DeAnne H

    I accidentallly stumbled onto her blog and love it, I would love a copy of the book! I have an 11 year old daughter and so much of what Kari has written on her blog has been helpful! And now I’ve accidentally stumbled onto yours, can’t wait to read up 🙂

  • Kim

    My daughter read Kari’s first book; I would LOVE to read this one!

  • Christy

    I would LOVE to have this book. My daughter is 5 months from turning 13 and I see myself in her so much. She lacks so much confidence! Her grades keep slipping and I am trying my hardest to help but I feel like everything I say goes in one ear and out the other.

    • Hey Christy!

      You are one of the winners of this book. Please email me your mailing address at … jdukeslee @ gmail . com ! Yay you!

  • Lauren

    I would love this book! My daughter is only 4 but I want to encourage her as she struggles and pray she comes out confident!

What a catch (and a keeper). 21 years today. 💍❤️🎣 ift.tt/2s1ljmK pic.twitter.com/3a62JW7wNu