Abena is a writer and entrepreneur. In 2016, she took the plunge and moved from the UK to Ghana, West Africa.
Raising Confident Kids
Raising confident kids is hard enough without having to worry about their self-esteem.
It's even more complicated if you're dealing with a child who has low self-confidence.
As a parent, you are the most crucial role model for your child. You have to set an example of what confidence looks like for them to grow up with it. It's not enough to tell them they're great at everything because that doesn't help their self-esteem when they struggle with something new.
This post will give you twelve tips on raising confident kids by modeling confidence yourself and providing unconditional support for their goals.
#1- Be Consistent
Kids learn from watching us.
If we don't show our children consistent behavior, then they won't know what to expect.
Some parents always say things like: "You can do anything!" or "Don't let anyone stop you!" These statements make children feel invincible. They gave them hope that no matter what happens, they could overcome any obstacle.
These statements also help them develop a strong sense of self-belief.
#2- Don't Let Them Play Alone
Parents should never leave their kids alone while playing outside.
Children need adult supervision, so they aren't exposed to dangerous situations. When you play together as a team, you'll both enjoy more fun.
Plus, this teaches your child responsibility. He needs to understand he cannot just run around all day long. He must work alongside his friends to accomplish tasks.
#3- Give Them Space To Grow Up
Children need time to mature into adults.
As much as possible, try to avoid forcing them to act older than they are.
Instead, please encourage them to take risks and explore different interests. By doing this, they'll gain valuable experience which will prepare them for adulthood. Also, giving them space allows them to become independent thinkers.
They'll begin to think critically instead of blindly following rules.
#4- Make Sure They're Safe
Safety comes first.
Always keep safety in mind before allowing your kid to go anywhere.
For instance, if you live near busy roads, teach him how to cross safely. Teach him where to walk and where not to walk. Show him how to use public transportation. And above all else, teach him how to stay safe online. There are many dangers out there today.
Your child shouldn't face those dangers alone.
#5- Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries means setting limits.
Parents often forget that children still want freedom sometimes.
So, be sure to explain why certain behaviors are unacceptable. Explain why some activities are okay, but others are not. Then, stick to these guidelines consistently.
Otherwise, your child may get confused and start misbehaving.
#6- Teach Them Responsibility
Teaching your child responsibilities early on sets her up for success later. She learns she has to follow through with commitments. She knows that actions have consequences. In addition, teaching her responsibility gives her a feeling of control over her life. That leads her to be confident because she feels capable of making decisions.
#7- Encourage Independence
Encouraging independence isn't easy.
But, it's necessary.
We've grown accustomed to being dependent upon other people. However, learning to rely solely on ourselves takes practice.
Start small by encouraging your child to complete chores independently. Once he masters one task, add another until he becomes completely independent.
When he starts working toward goals, praise him for every step along the way. This encouragement builds his confidence. Plus, it makes him realize he can achieve anything he wants.
#8- Help Them Learn From Their Mistakes
We all make mistakes.
Sometimes, we fail miserably. Other times, we succeed beyond expectations. Either way, we learn from our failures. The same goes for our children. Whenever they mess up, remind them of the lesson learned. Remind them of the positive outcome. That way, they'll remember the mistake was worth making.
Learning from mistakes teaches a child to be confident because they know they won't repeat the error. And even they do, they'll feel better knowing they tried.
#9- Model Good Behavior Yourself
Kids look up to us.
If we don't behave well, then neither do they.
Therefore, parents should always strive to be good examples. Be kind to everyone. Don't yell or scream. Keep your cool no matter what happens. This attitude shows your child that anger won't solve problems. Being calm helps diffuse stressful situations. So, whenever possible, try to avoid arguments. Instead, talk things out calmly.
If you must argue, choose words carefully so as not to hurt anyone's feelings. Also, never hit someone. Even though physical violence might seem justified, hitting hurts more than it solves. Besides, it sends the wrong message: "I'm stronger."
When arguing, focus on solutions instead of blame. For instance, say, "You did this? Why didn't you ask me first?" Or, "Why were you upset? We could work together to find a solution."
When you see your child getting angry, take note. If you notice signs of aggression, intervene immediately. Otherwise, let them vent before trying to reason with them.
#10- Show Your Love Through Actions
Show love through action. When your child does something nice for someone else, let him know. Let him see you smile. Give him hugs. Tell him, "Thank you!" These simple gestures show your appreciation for his kindness.
#11- Have Fun Together
Have fun together! Play games. Go outside. Do things that bring joy to both of you. Children thrive off of laughter and smiles.
#12- Keep Trying Until Success Happens
Don't expect perfection right away. In your quest to teach your children to be confident, don't push too much. Instead, focus on building skills slowly. As long as your child makes progress each day, could you continue to encourage him? Eventually, you'll help him reach his goal.
In conclusion, confidence can only come from within. A person cannot fake confidence. They either feel it, or they don't. No amount of external factors can change this fact.
So, take time to build your confidence so you can pass it along to your children.