Building self-confidence in kids should be a point of major concern for parents as a confident kid sets out to make a mark for himself in the world as he grows. Make the kids believe that they can achieve whatever they want and their parents and teachers are standing with them for support.
Building self-confidence in a child is not all about praising him/her. Praising too often does more good than harm. It is a matter of fact that any mum feels proud or elated when their kids achieve even the tiniest of milestones. We as moms do not want to do anything to hurt our kids’ self-esteem.
Every time, your son/daughter is about to fail at a given task, it is a natural tendency for you to run into the spot. And then try rescuing the kid from facing the embarrassing consequences of failure or misdeeds. But this approach cannot help your child become competent enough to face the competitive world of today. The below points will help you understand the fine points of confidence-building in kids.
Stepping back a little doesn’t mean you completely ignore what your child’s interests are. It simply means you are giving ample opportunities for your child to learn, unlearn and then take responsibility. Your kid might be a two-year-old tiny tot. But you can allow her to spill the food on her clothes or across the table. She will finally learn how to eat well sans the mess.
Again, here you don’t want to give praises just to make the child feel happy at that point in time. Rather, you are trying to build competence in your child to face the world in a confident manner. Stepping back and observing what your kids are doing can instill confidence and help them perform better.
You can praise your kid once in a while. But make sure you do not praise the kid at every given opportunity. As a parent, you will have to set the standards high. Elevate the bar so that your kid can perform better and even out beat the best.
Nurture the kid and make him feel loved or secure. But make sure your kid learns how to tackle risks earlier on. He/she needs to try, keep failing and bounce back again. This way, the child takes efforts towards reaching accomplishment goals to perfection.
If you keep praising the kids all the time, they think that they are super perfect. They become egomaniacs who cannot take stern comments from teachers or peers in a light-hearted fashion.
We are not asking the child to emulate a superhero or a brave cop by doing things out of the way. But the child can be encouraged to take age-appropriate risks. In order to build the competency level at par. You will have to encourage the kid to take bolder risks, play with chances and then take accountability for what he/she has done.
A simple illustration can prove my point. At a cultural event, there was this mum of a two-year-old kid named ‘Philip’. He tried carrying a huge can of pop candy. The mom neither praised him nor ran to his rescue. She just wanted to observe his actions. As expected the boy did drop the large jar of candy on the floor. At the same time, he immediately called upon a waitress and did his bit to clean up the mess as well. This way, you need to allow kids to take chances and then resolve the situation. This can instill a greater degree of self-confidence in your children.
Personal choices are one’s own only when the girl reaches eighteen or nineteen years old. That is the biggest blunder most of the parents make. This way, the child barely knows how to decide between the good and the bad.
You will have to support the kid to make personal choices right from the age of two. The kid will have to choose between hats, mittens or coats for winter. This way, he differentiates the clothes he has to wear for winter. And those he would don for the summers. Hence the habit of making personal choices is a very good self-esteem builder in your child.
Again, if you wanted to know how to build self-confidence in a child, keep it simple. Offer specific or action-driven praises and do not praise for the heck of it.
Most of the parents try doing everything on their own. This is for the simple reason that they do not want to physically strain the kid. Why don’t you help your child do the household chores? Like chopping vegetables, making the beds or even cleaning up the car?
This way, the child learns to take responsibility and becomes more independent, capable enough of taking higher responsibilities down the line. It also allows them to see that you are valuing their inputs and that their efforts help in creating something for the home.
It can be through the levels of an educational video game or helping the kid through laps of swimming. The kid must complete or accomplish the given tasks on hand. This can leave the kid with a sense of achievement. It can also develop a sense of responsibility or accountability in case the tasks are not completed as per the expected norms.
Your active involvement or participation in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities can help boost the self-esteem of a child.
Here, we are speaking about pepping up levels of confidence or helping the kid build resilience or self-esteem. The least we can do is to discourage the spirit of the kid. Active learning brings with it a string of disappointments, failures or struggles. Hence, make sure, you do not unduly discourage the kid when it fails or struggles through.
You can give a pat on the back, stating that the child could still do better. Encouraging words or phrases can go a long way in building the self-confidence levels of the kid. Struggles and failures develop resilience and stronger spirits in kids if encouraged properly. Thus, the kid works harder to do better in the next upcoming feat.
Thomas Alva Edison failed to produce the incandescent light bulb 200 times before finally making one. On asked what he achieved from the failures, he said “I found 200 ways how not to make a bulb. I just had to find one way to make a bulb”. That is the kind of back up your kid needs to be provided on failing.
As a parent, do not tend to sound over-competitive. Albert Einstein spoke clearly only when he was 6 years old and his teachers said that he will not amount to much in life. He is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the century. Hence, it is not the age but character that needs protection.
Give unconditional love to the kid and keep saying that the kid can become successful one day. Do not talk only about performances on the report card or taking part in lead games. Try to be spontaneous with the emotional sentiments of the kid as well.
Playing games with kids helps to build confidence tremendously in kids as per research. The game can be physical in nature or a board game which allows them to show their talent. You might want to give a good try in these games and maybe lose in end. Winning makes kids hungry for more and they would soon be asking for more.
This is how cats train their kittens. They bring in half-dead rats and make their kittens go for the kill. The achievement of finding their own food motivates the kittens to stand on their feet and go out in the world.
This strategy is followed eve in the game of cricket. When a batsman is out of form and not scoring well, ballers deliberately give them juicy full toss or half volley to make them take strokes and build their confidence slowly.
Involve your kids in the family decision-making and ask for their advice. Listen to their opinion and ask questions, about how to go about specific things. A small step like this makes kids realize that their opinion and voice is valued. This makes them wanting for more to contribute and soon you will see a confident child growing up.
These are beautifully laid out steps on how to build self-confidence in a child.
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-- Study Spectrum
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