As parents, we want to see our children successful and capable of handling the challenges in life. Each individual is born and nurtured differently and grows up with a distinct personality. However, confidence is a key element of a strong personality which impacts a child’s ability to take decisions, interact with peers and tackle harder things in life. The key question is what emanates confidence and what can parents do to help boost self-esteem in their children. Here are four tips for parents eager to help their children become more confident.
Give them your time – Children need your attention and time. While you may be cooking and cleaning for them, it is just as important to spend quality time together. Firstly, this will instil a sense of importance in them. For younger children, this will be mostly playtime. Give them your complete attention during this time and encourage them to take small decisions within the game. To be able to think for themselves and then take decisions will help them grow up as confident individuals. For older children, quality time may mean playing a board game together or discussing a book, school or any other topic of common interest. Again, the child will need your focus and your undivided attention to know their interests matter to you. A strong foundation of self-worth directly impacts an individual’s confidence.
Give them work to do – Starting from a young age, trust your child with small tasks and house chores. Giving them responsibility and encouraging them to complete a task will again help inculcate self-esteem. Once they complete the task, acknowledge that the child completed a feat and praise them for their effort. In case they are unable to complete a task, encourage them and offer advice to enable them to finish the task instead of stepping in and carrying it out on your own. This holds true for children of all ages. Assign them responsibility according to their age to help them learn about accountability and to give them the confidence that they can do anything if they put their minds to it!
For more ideas, watch this interesting video for ideas about age appropriate tasks that your children can help you with.
Ask for their opinion – A confident individual is never afraid of voicing personal opinion. In order to give your child this confidence, begin asking for their opinions from a young age. It can be something as trivial as deciding what to watch for a family movie night or where to eat out on a weekend. When children learn that they can effectively contribute through their opinions, they will become more confident of speaking out what is going on in their minds. It will also help in establishing a healthy two-way communication between the parents and the children.
Encourage individuality – No two people are the same. We all know this for a fact, yet when it comes to our own children, we find it very hard not to compare them with their siblings, class fellows or just any other child their own age. The underlying thought might be to give them an example of someone better and to motivate them to improve. However, experts believe that this may just have the opposite effect and tell the child that you think they are not good enough. There are many ways to help a child improve, and comparing them to others is just not one of them!
As parents, we are all striving to do the best for our children, yet none of us is perfect. This is why it is important to know that it is never too late to start fixing a problem. If you feel you haven’t done enough so far, it is time to step up. Children are quick learners and they will amaze you by responding well to changed habits and parenting techniques.