How to Build Confidence in Your Child
If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would often hear this question being asked by parents during interviews:
What a great question. I mean who doesn’t want a happy, healthy, confident child?!???!?! …. & it seems to me that confidence is 3/4 of any “activity” (e.g. developing social skills, learning a new sport or skill, school success, etc.).
Anyway, I was thinking about all of the things that I have told parents over the years… and guess what? It’s all just common sense … it’s nothing that those very same parents could and would not have told me themselves had the tables been turned … which, when you think about it, makes good sense.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CHILD:
(A) LOVE & ENCOURAGEMENT
- Love them.
- Praise them.
- Encourage independence.
- Encourage a strong, “contained” sense of self-worth & confidence.
- Get to know them: Their friends, games, music, TV shows … who they are, what they do, what they love …
- Set the stage for a great life … Be firm, be realistic & then : Laugh. Smile. Play.
- Provide structure. Set boundaries.
- Be consistent.
- Keep promises.
- Discuss your values, set your rules – state/explain your expectations – review them often.
- Provide rewards & consequences when necessary.
- Be yourself.
- Be a role model for your child.
- Teach independence.
- Teach responsibility.
- Teach “stick with-ed-ness” e.g. When first you don’t succeed that’s OK, just try, try again.”
- Teach self-control.
- Teach right from wrong.
- Teach respect (personal & for others).
- Teach problem-solving skills and decision-making skills.
- Teach and model good conversations skills and active listening skills.
- Teach them that there are things in life that they have control over and can change, and there are those things that they simply must accept.
… opportunities to see new things, meet new people, try new foods, etc.
… a safe, secure environment (emotionally, physically … you know the drill ;-)
… opportunities to take risks.
… opportunities to learn new skills.
… opportunities to practice new skills.
… push a little when appropriate … be never too much.
… opportunities for success.
… opportunities to learn from mistakes … and to be OK with that.
… choices for your child – but never too many. Always remember that you are “the boss”.
- Be warm. Be firm. Be silly.
- Be serious. Be honest. Be realistic.
- Be empathetic. Be patient.
- Be an explorer.
- Live, laugh, love, learn ….
- Be yourself!
- They are great, and so are you!