How to Raise a Confident Child: 7 Tried and Tested Ways
How can you help your child overcome shyness? What can you do when your child is being left out from the group? How can you make your children feel better about themselves?
There’s nothing more heart-breaking than seeing your child cry because their friends reject them or because they don’t want to go to school anymore.
So, what can you do about it?
Below you will find the tools to help improve your child’s self-confidence. These will help them make friends for life and become bully-proof.
These are examples of ways you can help your child. They will take time and full involvement from the child and the parent to become effective. However, in the end, they are life-long, lasting results worth the effort.
Let’s get on with it them, shall we?
1- Love your child
It may seem like an obvious one but the first thing is to give your child your unconditional love. They need to be aware and reassured of the love of their parents. Parenting is hard and you may think it’s obvious to your child that they are loved but it might not be the case, if, when you come back from work, you’re tired and tell them to go play or do their homework and don’t spend valuable time with them. They need to feel the love of their parents on a daily basis. Hugs and cuddles are very important. They create a reassuring nest for your child where they can feel the warmth and love of their parents. Make sure you hug your child every day and cuddle them before bed in the evening.
It’s understandable that you need time for yourself after a long day at work. The way to make it work for you and your child’s wellbeing is to take the time to explain that to them. Sit them down and explain to them that you need time for yourself from time to time. Make sure they understand you still love them and that it is nothing against them. It is simply time for you. This way you can establish me-time with your child knowing it is time for you and is not because you want to stay away from them.
2- Encourage them to be adventurous and try new things
When you’re a child, you are developing your sense of adventure and are so eager to try new things. This should really be encouraged in their youthful years. Trying new food, a new sport or a new craft can be very beneficial for them. The best way is to show by example. Why don’t you establish a challenge with your child whereby you try new things together? Go grocery shopping together and choose a new food you’ve never tried before. Check out the nearby locations on a map and take a road trip to some place new to both of you. If you’re on a budget, you can also visit a park in your town where you’ve not yet been. The important thing is to be adventurous together. Children are always learning by example. They observe and imitate how their parents behave.
3- Help them set realistic goals
When your child sets a goal, just as for an adult, it has to be SMART. Use the S.M.A.R.T. system with them, while making it fun. Set a goal that will use and enhance skills they already possess. It has to be achievable. Your child might not be as aware of what is at their reach. There has to be a clear way for them to know when their goal has been reached. You need to help them set goals you know they can achieve. Goals have a positive impact on a child’s life. Last, but not least, it has to be achieved during a set timeframe.
Watch this space to learn about goal setting for children – coming soon!
4- Awesome failures
Teach your child that it is okay to fail. Help them deal with failure. We cannot always succeed and be good at everything on the first try. This message must be clearly communicated to your child. The important thing is not so much to succeed but when faced with failure to actually learn from it and to do better next time. Dwelling on a failure is the default setting of most people. This only makes you miserable. It isn’t adding value to your life. Finding out why/how/when the mistake was made will give you the key to try again and be successful this time. When it is clear for you, it will be clear for your child. Again, it starts with you and the example you set. Be kind to yourself when you drop something or when you do a bad parking job. Create a habit of saying: “I’ll do better next time,” or “I’ll try again.”
5- Praise achievement
Make sure to always praise them when they’ve achieved something. They need to get the message. This is a success. They can be proud of themselves. One good way to make sure they remember their success is to keep track of them. Create a success bank with them. It’s a very nice activity to do together. You can also have one for yourself. This way you can interact and praise each other. To create a success bank, use a box as the physical bank. Every time your child has achieved something or overcome difficulties take a piece of paper and write it down. You can also draw something representing the success. Then place it in the box and when needed you can open the box and have a read through the different achievements.
On the other side, it is not good to overpraise your child. It’s actually a sure way to make them become unable to deal with failure. If they are used to being praised no matter what, they will not understand situations in which they are not. This can make things very difficult for them in school. For example, if a teacher gives them a low grade or doesn’t recognise them for a success, they’ve previously been wrongly taught they’ve achieved. Instead of giving them a sense of achievement, you’re making them feel entitled.
6- Be a model of self-love and positive self-talk
Children learn by observing their surroundings and their parents in particular. The message you pass along is not in what you tell them but how you behave. Children are sponges. They will soak up everything around them. You can tell your child that physical beauty is not the most important thing in life. But if on the other side, you spend most of the time talking about how you are not happy with your own physical appearance that is what they will hear. Don’t use negative self-talk in front of your children. On the contrary, try practicing positive affirmation in front of the mirror with them. It’s a very efficient way to pass the message that they can love themselves. This will encourage them to be more positive all around.
7- Practice gratitude
Learning gratitude from a young age is very important and as a parent you can help them create a gratitude ritual. Practicing gratitude can be done through journaling but for children I recommend sharing this moment together. A ritual I recommend is when you put them into bed, together, list three to five things for which you are grateful today. This way you can practice mindfulness together and this is a positive way for them to finish the day. This will teach them gratitude and to focus on the good in their life. This exercise has a powerful effect on the mind. It makes them sleep better. They also become more positive overall as a result.
These are my personal choices, as I tried and tested the efficiency of each one of them. They are powerful tools that can have a tremendous impact on your child’s development. Again, this means effort, patience and time. Your child’s wellbeing and happiness is the reward.
Remember, children learn by example. Be the adult you want them to grow up to become.