Parents often end up taking wrong steps in instilling a sense of confidence in their kid’s mind. And such errors from parent’s side can have an enormous impact on the way the child thinks of himself/herself. Children’s mind in the early stages of their life is like a blank piece of paper, where whatever is said, seen, or heard by them sinks and stays with them forever. Hence, it is very important for parents to instill the right behavior in their child that will make them confident in their lives.
Let’s look at some of the ways that parents can help children have a sense of who they are, which would ultimately result in boosting their self-confidence.
- Do not belittle your child’s aspirations, instead help them dream more:
I have seen many parents, who always question their kid in front of others asking, “What do you want to be, when you grow up?” and when the answer comes out to be something lesser than what the parents wanted, they start belittling the child’s aspiration. This behavior has a negative effect on the kid and ultimately the kid stops voicing his/her opinion.Instead, parents can help children by actively listening to what they want and try to help them achieve that.
- Comparing to others will do no good:
Your children are unique being, and comparing them to others would never help in anyway. It will be stuck in that mind that no matter what they do, if the other kid does a little better they will be chided. And they stop feeling good about themselves or hate the effort that they’ve put in. However, if parents celebrate these little victories of their children, without comparing, them or their results with that of others, they can see that the child begins to gain confidence.
- Let them make the choices:
Letting your child take simple decisions, like what to wear to an occasion, can help them be accountable for all the consequences that follow. It in fact makes them understand that whatever they’ve decided they need to be responsible and cannot push it over to others.
The moment parents start allowing their kids take decisions, this decision making habit would inevitably carry forwarded in the future, however, if being left alone, children will wait for the instructions rather than stepping into a situation and fixing it by themselves.
- Avoid negative criticism:
Be careful while criticizing your kids. The criticism that makes the child feel negative about him/her will only result in anxiety and they feel ‘that they are never good enough’. Parents should avoid using words such as ‘you’re good for nothing’ or ‘you can’t achieve anything in life’ as these will only result in low self-esteem in your kid and they will think they cannot take any decisions about their life.
It is parent’s responsibility to understand that nobody is perfect and even if the child fails to make proper decisions, one has to be supporting enough to understand their imperfections. The key here is to never make your child feel ashamed of his/her decision.
- Give them responsibilities:
By assigning small tasks to your children and giving them a pat on their back helps tremendously in building confidence in a kid. It is the sense of achievement that they get in accomplishing these small tasks,that let them feel good about them. Once they start finishing the tasks, they can go further and help parents in household chores, being part of decision making etc.
Just by letting kids know that their voice and opinions matter, they tend to be more open to the challenges that come their way in life.
- Let them fall, Let them fail:
Being happy about your child’s success and celebrating it is one of the easiest ways to make your child feel confident. However, while dealing with failure parents need to be super careful. Every year we see children giving up their lives because they couldn’t succeed academically.Parents shouldn’t let their child be so sensitive about failure, instead tell them that failure is part of life and they need to learn from it and bounce back. This is the time when they will need you the most and you being by their side will make a lot of difference.
- Support their interests:
Many a times a hobby picked up by the child doesn’t survive till their teens, and it could be because they lost interest or the parents didn’t want them to continue anymore as it ‘doesn’t contribute’. If it is the former then hobby could be changed however, if it is the latter then it is because of lack of support from the parent. Let kids try out various options till they settle on whatever they like and are willing to stick to.
- Never stop them from expressing themselves:
Often we ‘shush’ kids when they want to express their ideas or have a question.The moment we ask them to stop they tend to think that their opinions and questions are just not worth it. And they stop expressing their feelings, and theyare bottled up to such an extent that they start isolating themselves from others.
Love your kids unconditionally. And this is THE MOST important thing you can give your child. A hug from a parent, few kind words from them, pleasant behavior is all what kids crave for. Remember it’s never the material things that make them happy, or make them confident. It is the knowing that they have moral support and that there is someone who can understand them that makes all the difference. Parents need to say to their children that their love will never change and is independent of what they want to become. Let them bewhat they want to be andyou will see wonders!