Raising Confident Kids
Raising children is an ongoing journey that never ends. Parents will be the guiding light and back bone well into their children’s adulthood. Kids follow in their parents’ footsteps blindly, especially during the early stages of their lives. Their formative years are shaped by their parents’ actions and words. That is why it is vital to support the development of a child’s personality in a positive and encouraging way at all times. Confidence doesn’t come naturally to all children. Some are born with it, while others need help finding it and strengthening it. But we must always remember that with raising kids, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every child is different and special in their own way and no one can know their real feelings more than their own parents, so be confident that you are doing your best and what is for the best interest of your child. Nevertheless, it takes a village to raise a child and in that spirit, here are some tried and tested ways to help instill confidence in your child:
- ACCEPT YOUR CHILD AS THEY ARE: This is the most important element of raising a confident child as it begins with the parents themselves. Before we can teach confidence and self-acceptance, we must truly accept our children and their shortcomings and be encouraging at all times. Any doubts you have as a parent will be felt by your children, so try your best to offer them a sense of security and acceptance at all times.
- OFFER ADVICE/ NOT COMMANDS: Children are very intuitive when it comes to their parents. Constant commands can result in a confrontation where the child tests the boundaries of what they can get away with. Parents can eliminate that by changing the narrative and offering advice as opposed to orders and threats so the child feels confident in making their own decisions. Children need direction and life-lessons to prepare them for different situations and develop their ability to distinguish between what is good and what is bad for them. Parents are educators in their own way, and they teach children principles and values on a daily basis in every minute of their lives.
- INSPIRE BODY-IMAGE POSITIVITY: This is an integral element of a child’s confidence, especially in our world today where the media plays a more accessible role in their lives on a daily basis. Trying to measure up to an impossible standard created by toxic body images and expectations can be truly harmful to a child’s perception of themselves and their comfort in the way they look. It is vital that health is valued more than weight and that parents provide a positive example of comfort in their image and a focus on being healthy rather than skinny. Offering balanced and nutritious food, encouraging movement, getting enough sleep, and avoiding words like “diet” are fundamental behaviors in creating a positive body image feeling amongst children.
- MISTAKES ARE OK: Parents are not the only source that affects children’s actions and values. Their environment and peers and the media influence kids in many ways and they are bound to make errors in judgement. The important thing is to view this as an opportunity to help direct the child and educate them about the right choices for them and their wellbeing. We all have good and bad inside us, and we all make mistakes. Children need to know that they can’t always get it right and mistake are part of the journey. Scolding children whenever they make a mistake is detrimental to their self-confidence. On the contrary, parents should use the mistakes as a learning tool for the future and show their children how they can improve from them
- ACKNOWLEDGE EFFORTS: It is crucial for parents to appreciate the efforts made by their children, regardless of the outcome. They should be encouraged to try everything and never feel embarrassed if they hit or miss. This plays a major role in building their confidence as well as pushing them to strive for more.
Children will fail at some point in their lives, like we all do. They won’t always get what they want and they might get disappointed at times, but if they have confidence in themselves and their capabilities, they will be able to get back up and achieve their goals and dreams.
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