Raising confident kids is not as easy as one might think. There are so many factors that go into nurturing this mindset that it is easy to overthink the process.
The one thing to remember is that parents are their children’s first teachers, and in that regard, they are the ones who reinforce good behavior. So how does that translate into teaching children how to be confident and secure little people?
Here are some tips for doing just that:
1. Let them do it.
It is so hard to watch children struggle through something, whether it’s tying their shoes, building a LEGO model or solving a word problem, but it is important that they develop the skills necessary to reason through the problem.
Without their own logical deduction system in place, children will depend on their parents for even the most mundane tasks for longer than they should.
2. Scale back the praise.
This may sound cruel, but praise, just like anything else, can feel empty if it doesn’t fit the action.
As children get older, they can tell when they are getting and exorbitant amount of praise for something that doesn’t require it, and they begin to tune it out. This backfires when they do a good job on a difficult task – they may not hear the genuine praise given at the time because they have become desensitized to it.
3. Choose optimism over pessimism.
Showing a child that there is a bright side even when they are having trouble helps them to readdress their thinking patterns and reactions to stressors. This is helpful if the child becomes distraught when things don’t go their way.
4. Display the rule of choice and consequence.
Letting children make their own decisions is difficult. Parents often feel concerned that their children won’t be happy with the outcome of some of the decisions they make. That is a fact – sometimes children will decide on a course that will disappoint them. But children must learn that their actions have consequences, and the best place to do so is at home.
Instilling confidence in children is one of those difficult parental jobs that continue on for years. Parents play an important role in their child’s future behavior, and by addressing concerns like these early, children have a better chance of adjusting to life’s challenges.