A self-confident child is secure, happy and has a strong sense of self worth. This is certainly something we all hope for our children to achieve- a confident child can more easily develop into a healthy adult with high self-esteem. Building a child’s confidence takes years of dedication; not very child is naturally self-assured. Fostering this attitude in your little one from an early age will lay the foundations for a happy life.
- Practice positive parenting. Instead of nagging your child and pointing out their flaws, make a point of reminding them of their strengths. Praise your child when they do something well and compliment them when they display good behavior.
- Be a confident role model. If you struggle with your own self-esteem, your child may pick up on your emotions and reflect them back at you. Work on your own issues and try to model positive thinking on a daily basis.
- Don’t be a pushy parent. You may believe that excelling in sports will make your child feel better about themselves, but don’t pressure them into a certain activity or hobby that they’re not truly interested in. Allow them to explore activities that they enjoy and praise them for their successes in this area.
- Allow independent play. If you have a toddler, it may be tempting to plant yourself next to them at all time to assist them while they play. While it’s great to join in some of the time, you should also allow your child the chance to play independently.
- Don’t micro-manage. Give your child the chance to make their own decisions. Once they’re old enough to dress themselves for school in the morning, let them pick their own outfits (however wacky they might be) and give them the opportunity to pick out what sandwich fillings they’d like for their lunches this week. This will give them the opportunity to discover their own tastes and preferences, with you guiding them quietly in the background rather than calling all the shots.
- Pay attention to your child. It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to slip into the habit of staring at your phone while your child watches TV and generally not being as present as you could be. Children flourish when they’re given love and attention, so make sure that you’re present when your child needs you to be.
- Let them figure it out. Don’t jump in to save the day whenever your child is struggling to understand how a new toy works or trying to put together some Lego pieces. Give them the time and space to work things out for themselves and only jump in if they’re getting extremely frustrated.
- Don’t make comparisons. Constantly comparing your child to another child, whether it’s a friend or sibling, can be hugely damaging to their sense of self worth. Treat your child as their own individual person and help them to understand that you love and appreciate them exactly as they are.