Top 10 tips for raising a confident child
Every parent wants his child to be successful in future, and if you want to be so in this world, first YOU need to be confident. Nowadays there are a lot of guides on how to build confidence in your child, but does it really work? Before consulting such books, look at our list of 10 top tips, which will help you to raise confident kids.
1. Share in your child’s interests
There is rarely such a thing as a bad interest. If you see that your child is interested in something, let him tell you more. Listen carefully, and show your support. Don’t make him give up something he is fond of at the moment, because a child will see in you the 'bad guy' in the situation who made him drop this interest. Instead, try to find pros in his newfound hobby and maybe even try it out with him once. By doing so, your child will become more confident while feeling responsible for what he is doing.
2. Let your child make mistakes
Life is tough, and there is nothing you can do to save your children from all the danger that expects him. Many parents attempt to keep their children 'on a short leash' and avoid even the smallest scratch. Instead of doing so, let your child safely explore the world her from the very beginning. Keep an eye on her, but let her fall, scratch, fall in love, get to know disappointment – she will face it at some point, and going through it first with you there as a safety net makes a lifelong difference. If she understands how the world tends to turn from a young age, she will be practiced, strong and confident in the future when such things come around again.
3. Give an opportunity to choose
Based on their life experience, some parents decide what directions are best for their child. On one hand, it is a normal thing to do, but do not overdo it. At some point in life, your child should decide what he likes and what he wants to do. Give a kid a bit of freedom, which is essential for him, and for you as well. Remember, if you want him to be a responsible, confident and decent man, he must be aware of what it is like to make a decision on his own.
4. Give advice, but not an order.
Kids are not soldiers, and tend to do best when not commanded in what to do, but provided with simple options to decide for themselves among two healthy choices. If you see confusion or mistakes (which happen to us all) gently guide him in the right decision. Phrases as 'do, what I say,' 'because I know better' will only tend to alienate your child. Let your words be soft, and try to explain everything calmly - asking about the choices made, and allowing your child to express himself freely.
5. Be democratic
We were all children and teenagers at some point, and do well to remember what it was like. If your child wants to dye their hair, get a piercing, or do something you see as a little reckless, remember yourself at that age. Rather than being immediately judgmental, come up with solutions together. Forbidding things without talking them through, to gain mutual understanding, tends to only push teenagers into a deeper place of isolation from adults and hiding. Being openminded, and willing to hear our child - her thoughts and ideas behind this new endeavor - goes a long way in democratic decision making. She should know that her ideas are worth your positive attention - increasing confidence in her ideas and explorations along the way.
6. Treat a kid as an adult
It is said, 'if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.' Let's in stead think about this positively. To become a confident person, your opinion must be considered worthy. To increase children's self-expression, and gain feedback on their thoughts and opinions, speaking with those who are older - wiser, maybe - and who have more life experience is beneficial. With this in mind, allow your child to talk more with adults. It can be any trusted adult - your friend, babysitter, or teacher. Through this adult interaction and time with a trusted/steadfast adult figure, you will see positive changes. Moreover, a child's self worth will improve when he sees his thoughts, ideas, and opinions matter to someone and are heard.
A confident woman always plans her future so that she can be sure about it. Teach your child to plan and set goals for the nearest future. Start with something small - a baby step - like planning to complete that homework this evening, and then doing something she enjoys after it is finished. What would she like to accomplish this weekend? Next week? What can we try to work on each day for the next 30 days? Talk about and work on goals together. Create some of your own, and your child will gain confidence in her ability to plan and meet personal expectations, as well as gaining the flexibility to alter goals as needed.
8. Talk and share
One issue observed in families today is parents' inability to communicate effectively with their children. This means going beyond the simple questions - 'do you like supper?' 'where would you like to go?' and instead engage in interested conversation about your child's life from the very beginning. Listen to your 2 year old babble about his favorite stuffed animal. Become excited with your 3 year old to splash in puddles. Talk with your 5 year old about what you are reading in books. Showing interest, talking with (instead of talking at) and sharing little stories from your own life right from the beginning opens doors down the road. Your teen will be accustomed to these daily talks when you ask about interesting things in school that day, and desire to share life with you. Dialog works best when it is regular, and built right from the beginning.
Many parents are skeptical about becoming friends with their children. However, this is one convenient way to build a child's confidence. There can be healthy respect and equality within the family. You don't need to be the dictator or an enemy, - simply being a reliable person and his best friend goes a long way. Help him as a friend would, and don’t be ashamed to admit that you don’t always know something (you can learn together, ask Edubirdie for help). This approach of bringing up children can also teach you something new along the way. It is okay to learn from your children as well.
10. Love your child
All the previous advice won’t work unless you love your child. It seems very simple, but many parents do not even notice when they don't give enough authentic attention and compassion to their children. Don't ignore or put on the back-burner what you may not have a chance to express or do with your child in the future - always find a way to show them that you do care and there is nothing more important to than them. This may sometimes be the most difficult thing to do, but if you love unconditionally, this love will be returned, and confidence is grown in love.
About the author: Helen Birk is a loving mother, who wants to share her experience by writing and sharing her thoughts with the world. Her motto is: Our children: We give them roots so they can take flight.