How to Raise a Self Confidant Child
Building a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence is a priority for most parents, but sometimes it’s tough to think of ways to help kids feel proud of themselves. Here are dozen steps toward a more confident child.
8 Steps to Raise a Self Confidant Child
1. Give your child plenty of opportunities for increasing independence and responsibility.
For example, even a very small child, with supervision, can choose which fruit to buy at the grocery store, and a child who is a little older can go retrieve the milk while you’re in another part of the store.
A young teenager can plan a meal, list the ingredients and do her own shopping while you shop for other items. An older teenager can drive to the store and be given the responsibility for selecting and paying for groceries.
2. Give your child the opportunity to deal with changes in routine.
It takes some measure of self-confidence to deal with such changes as a school day in which the schedule has been altered. A child who can learn flexibility will not be thrown when put into a new situation. Try switching the order of the bedtime routine, weekend activities, etc.
3. Show appreciation for your child’s gifts and accomplishments.
For example, display that clay candy dish he made in school on the coffee table; suggest sending a great spelling test to grandparents; take snapshots of a child in the school play, frame them, and hang the photos where they can be seen by everyone in the family; frame art work and make a gallery of each child’s work in a hallway.
4. Don’t set kids up for failure.
If a child can’t run well or catch a ball, signing him up for a Little League team is not going to help. However, if that child is interested in art, sign him up for a class, and meanwhile work on those physical skills at home.
A girl who can barely draw a stick figure will not enjoy art classes at the local museum; let her play soccer if she likes instead and continue to develop her small motor skills for drawing at school and at home.
5. Let your child hear you passing on her opinion.
“I thought those striped pillows might be a little wild, but Maddy noticed how well they go with the rug.”
6. Show your child that the family files contain a folder with his name with important information about him (immunizations, report cards, and so on).
Encourage your child to add papers he feels are important to that file.
7. Avoid comparing your child with others–including siblings–whether less or more able than your child, but do compare them with themselves.
“Remember how last year you couldn’t read, but now you can!”
8. Give your child genuine compliments based on attitude, behavior and accomplishment; make these more of a priority for you (and your child) than praise for physical appearance.
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