Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
Developing self-confidence is an important part of leading a happy and healthy life. So, naturally, as a parent, you might be wondering what you can do to help your child in this regard. As it turns out, there are plenty of things that you can do to help, and I have outlined a few of them below.
Instead of going through each day instructing your child on exactly what they should do, try giving them choices. For example, when it’s time to play, you might ask them what they want to do, instead of making the decision yourself. You might even let them make the decision on what the family should have for dinner from time to time. Though in this case, it can be a good idea to give them a few options to choose from rather than leaving it as an open ended question.
Making decisions, and then watching the outcome is a great way for kids to build self-confidence. It’s also good practice for later in life when there can be big benefits to be decisive.
When you have an infant, you need to do everything for them. Newborns are indeed quite helpless. However, as your little one grows into a toddler and enters childhood, it’s important to begin encouraging them to do things for themselves. It might be faster if you get your child dressed in the morning. But, by giving them the opportunity to try and dress themselves, you are giving them an opportunity to master a new skill and build self-confidence. There are plenty of other things that small children can do for themselves as well. They can put away toys after playing, go find a book to read before story time, put their plate in the sink, and many more large and small tasks. As they get older, you can begin to give them age appropriate chores, so that they are able to make a bigger and bigger contribution around the house.
As a parent, it’s natural to want to gush over your children. But, it’s a good idea to make sure to keep your compliments fairly well aligned with reality. For example, if your child starts banging the keys on their toy piano, you might say wow, if you keep practicing, you might be a really good musician someday. But, you don’t want to say wow, that’s the best song I’ve ever heard. Kids are pretty good at detecting whether or not you’re being sincere. So, offering up false praise is unlikely to help them gain confidence.
Children are learning new things every day. But, as they master new things, they are bound to make mistakes. That’s just a part of growing up. For some kids, this can be quite upsetting, and can even hurt their self confidence. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s important to teach kids that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Even Mommy and Daddy. So, the next time you forget to pick up something at the grocery store or botch the dinner that you’re trying to prepare, be sure to point it out. By saying whoops, I made a mistake, and also keeping your cool, you can drive home the point that no one is perfect.
Your child’s self-confidence can have a big impact on their life. Children that are more confident often do better in class, sports, and interacting socially with their peers. For that reason, it makes sense to spend some extra effort helping them to develop self-confidence from a young age. This can pay off in a big way for year and years.