As parents we all want our kids to be happy, successful with healthy habits. But how can we ensure that they get there? The secret is to build their self confidence. A child with a healthy self confidence is likely to be more resilient to the insults and injuries that are a part of life. A confident child is also less likely to be vulnerable to emotional problems, self harm or other harmful tendencies. When your child is confident he or she will learn to know their individual strengths and weaknesses and can learn from other people without feeling threatened or bullied by them.
Nurturing your child’s self-esteem may seem to be a huge responsibility as after all a feeling of self-worth lays the foundation for your little one’s future as he or she sets out on their own. Every parent knows that self-esteem is a fleeting feeling. Sometimes we feel good about ourselves and sometimes we don’t. As parents our goal should be to teach our children the art of resilience and faith in his or her ability to handle life’s challenges.
Lets see some ways in which we can try and achieve this in our children.
7 Tips to Instill Self Confidence in your Kid
Be his or her Model: Always remember that you are your child’s first role model and he or she is likely to pick up most of their foundation beliefs from you. It is fine to have your own opinion but be careful of what you are teaching your children through your beliefs. When you, as a parent, demean any group of people based on their looks, how much money they have or even their sexual orientation you are only teaching lessons in hate to your child. A confident child is likely to be more inclusive, feel compassion for all and not judge or demean those who are different from them. Be careful of your behavior with others when you are with your child. Try and be more inclusive and compassionate of all. Teach them through example how to deal with failure and rejection gracefully. Teach them that struggles and failures are as much part of life as success and rejection or failure is actually a golden opportunity to pick yourself up and try afresh instead of losing sleep over.
Teach Good Manners: It is very important to teach your little one the importance of having good manners from the very beginning to help build his or her self confidence. Knowing how to properly address and speak to a person, shake hands, use of cutlery or even the correct way to set the table can boost your child’s self confidence. Having good manners helps your child feel more confident and good about himself or herself because he or she feels they know how to treat others with respect and carry themselves in the world. Teach your child the importance of having good posture and maintaining eye contact. Give visual examples from people in the street. Remember to implement what you are preaching to them in your daily life also as your child is always watching and listening to you. So you yourself say “Thank You” to people who assist you and each time make sure to tell your child to do the same.
Drop the Excessive Praising: It is okay to praise your kids for a job well done. But excessive or false praise can push your child into incompetence. Self esteem or self confidence comes from the feeling of being competent. No matter how much we try we cannot praise our kids to competence. Developing competence takes time and effort. By over praising your child you maybe lowering their need to push themselves further. Praising your child all the time can have one of the two effects – either they start thinking they are perfect (over confidence) or they try to be perfect all the time causing them to set impossible standards. Remember praising your child all the time might be setting them up for a very bad let down later on by creating an egomaniac who thinks he or she is perfect at everything when they are not.
Help them Trust Themselves: As a parent our first instinct is to always protect our child but we need to remember that its not always healthy to create their paths. In fact, running to rescue your child at all times could make him or her feel incapable as a person. When your child is telling you of any problem don’t jump into your problem solving mode at the get go, first just listen to them. Let them come up with what they feel is the correct way to deal with the situation. If it doesn’t work out and they come to you for help then guide them, but do not ridicule their methods. Allow your little ones to make mistakes but assure them that they are good persons even if they make mistakes and that you love them. Help them trust their own choices. Let them choose what clothes they want to wear – yes it might lead them to wear funny combinations but they will be confident in his or her choice.
Open your Home to Their Friends: You maybe the most powerful influence on building your child’s confidence, but you are not the only one. He or she will be picking up influences from friends, teachers, the media and more. Don’t be an overbearing and spy on your child but make your home comfortable enough for them to spend time in. This will let you keep an eye on any rude or impolite behavior displayed by any of their friends and use it as a lesson in how not to behave for your child.
Let your child take healthy risks: To build self confidence your child must take chances, make choices, and feel responsible for the choices that he or she has made. As a parent you have to learn to stand back and let them take these healthy risks. Instead of molly coddling your child by providing them with solutions before they even reach to the problem stand back and let them learn on their own. This will make them more confident in their own problem solving abilities. You don’t want a child who looks to you for all their questions – small ones as a child and then bigger ones as they grow older. This makes them feel in-confident and incompetent as individuals.
Encourage them to Pursue their Interests: Let your child develop his or her own interests. You can provide them options but do not force activities that you feel would make them more confident on them. Encourage your child to explore interests that attract them but make sure that they follow through to completion. Make sure they understand that the point is to stick to the task till completion so that they can feel the rush of accomplishment instead of leaving it midway which would encourage escapism and tendency to procrastinate.
Remember that your child looks to you for all their early developmental stage. As a parent you need to understand that to build self confident, healthy and happy children you yourself need to embody positivity and happiness in your life. Make sure that the moral behaviors that your kids are picking up on from you are the ones you want your kids to copy. Remember that your kid sets his or her moral standards by watching your choices and hearing your casual comments. So refrain from making casual oversteps such as making your child lie for you, let your child sign hir or her name even if you have done all or majority of the work on their homework projects, drive faster than speed limit with your child as a passenger. These seemingly small gestures can lead to shaping your child’s moral standards and self confidence.