(Kathryn Kvols shares 5 easy ways to boost our children’s confidence)
What would you be doing right now if you truly believed in yourself?
As parents, we want our children to feel good about themselves and feel fulfilled as adults. Here are five things that we can do to improve self-esteem and confidence in our kids.
1. Celebrate, honor and nurture your child’s uniqueness.
While honoring your child’s uniqueness sounds simple, it can sometimes be difficult – especially when your child displays qualities that you may not be fond of. As humans, we tend to encourage the things we agree with and to discourage the things we don’t like.
Since most children strive to please us, we must be careful not to discourage the true spirit of the child. By steering our child away from what they love to do, we run the risk of harming their fragile self-esteem. There are many people who are not happy in their work today because they are doing what they think their parents want them to do, rather than what would make them truly happy.
2. Use parenting methods that encourage personal responsibility.
Try to avoid the autocratic parenting tendency to just tell your child how to do the task. Let him figure it out on his own and you will take a big step towards not stifling the spirit of the child. Methods such as motivating through guilt or controlling through threats and punishment can act as roadblocks to close relationships and a healthy self-concept. Instead, help to improve their self-esteem and confidence:
- Offer children the opportunity to make decisions that deem appropriate
- Give them time to express their opinions
- Allow them to develop their leadership abilities without interference
These tools will help you show your children how to think – not what to think.
3. Model and teach your children the value of contributing.
Being helpful can make us feel truly valuable and improve our self-image. The more your child finds their value by being helpful, the more support your child will receive from society. Find ways to include your child in projects:
- Assign them small tasks you know they can handle
- Include them in age-appropriate ways
- Ask their opinion about how to do something
- Ask them how they think they could help (you may be surprised at the response!)
4. Instruct your child to be proactive.
It can be extremely discouraging to feel powerless. One of the best ways to empower your child is to explore together many solutions to a problem, go through possible consequences of each solution, and choose a solution that serves the interest of everyone involved.
5. Impart to your child the importance of valuing what he thinks and feels about himself over what others think of him.
When children start to think that another’s opinion is more valuable than theirs, they lose their sense of self. A great toll is taken when children give up who they are in order to be liked by others.