Sometimes we tell our kids that we don't believe in them, even when we think we're telling them we do. It's crazy, but when we talk about our fears, or our concerns, our kids often get the message that we don't have faith in them.
Take a negative report card, for example. When we get upset, and yell, and demand better performance, we think we're sending the message that we expect much better – so that means we believe in them, right? But the truth is, all our kids hear in that situation is our fear – more like, “I thought you could do it, but I guess you can't, and I'm afraid you're never going to be able to.”
If you believe in your kids, and focus on what you know they can do, instead of focusing on their deficits – well, frankly, they're more likely to start believing in themselves, too.