To have a confident child is one of the greatest gifts in life we could ask for. When our child knows and truly embodies the ideal mindset that sets the sky as the limit, they are unstoppable. They’re most often a lot happier, too. Sometimes, we do everything we can that we think will help our children to remain confident and sure of themselves. And while we can only do so much, external circumstances also play a big role in a child’s self-concept. From school bullies to the typical tribulations of life, there will always be people or things that test your child’s love for themself. This article is inspired by a renowned transformative life coach, Rivka Malka.
So, how can we help our child to be confident? Can we really make that big of a difference in their self-concept, attitude towards life, and work ethic, amongst other things? Of course we can!
Consider Your Compliments
Don’t praise when a child does something they must do, simply thank them for doing what you asked of them. Children can get accustomed to hearing “good job” and they may have a hard time realizing when their accomplishments are really worth celebrating. It’s important to praise your child when they do something hard, but it shouldn’t feel like overkill. When we receive compliments less often, they feel more genuine and become more meaningful. When we praise our children for being average, or even less than average, how could they ever be motivated to do better?
Push Them and Make Them Work
Making your kids work is something that will develop their character for the rest of their life. Keep pushing their limits and raising the bar. Show your child that they can do hard things. Support them and keep moving forward. They will soon realize that they really can do hard things. This will help them realize that they can take on any task.
Require them to contribute to the household. Parents often want to provide the perfect space for their children to thrive. While there is no such thing as perfection, there is no harm in making your child do chores around the house and helping to maintain the house. This gives them a sense of accomplishment, importance, independence, and necessity. It teaches them from a young age that if you want something, (like a clean house,) everyone will have to work as a team and make it happen, together. They will not only be proud of the skills they develop from an early age, but it will remind them that they are important and have a lot of value as a person.
Love Their Ideas
Children have wild imaginations. They come up with crazy ideas that they absolutely cannot wait to share with their parents. Maybe they want to throw a dinner party for their friends. Maybe they want to learn how to sew and talk about designing their own fashion line. Children come up with the craziest ideas that pop out of their heads as fluidly as waterfalls flow.
When our child presents us with something completely unrealistic, and frankly ludicrous, we have a choice. We can simply dismiss them, or we can nurture them. We can help them grow into confident adults who never fear sharing their incredible ideas. Expose your child to a wide variety of activities, and encourage them when they find something they really love. Kids who have passion feel proud of their expertise and are more likely to be successful in other areas of their life.
When You Say Something, Mean It.
It’s no understatement to say that we have all been disappointed at one point or another. People say they will do something, and they never do it. We make pinky promises only to be betrayed. Our parents tell us that something will happen, and it never does. When our parents promise us something and then fail to follow through, no matter the reason, this not only builds resentment from a young age. It tells your child that it’s perfectly okay to make a promise and “forget about it.” It teaches your child that they can never truly trust you because the words you say hold no power behind them.
Following through with your promises and keeping your word to your children also effectively teaches them about cause and effect. It shows them that when they do a particular thing, the world will respond in tune.
Embrace Your Child’s Talent and Help them Explode It
When our children are young, we do our best to expose them to a large variety of activities, hoping that they will find a connection with one or two, and it will blossom into a lifelong passion. If your child becomes deeply involved and interested in something, you must nourish it, accept it, and make them feel excited about it.
All children have talents, and not all of the talents will be something that need to be paid for. Many talents are small and can be applied in day-to-day life. Examine your kids' talents and help them apply them to all areas of life. The talents don’t always have to lie in sports or music. Your child may be an impressive organizer or someone who loves to draw.
Accept Them As They Are
See your kids for who they are. Meet them where they are. Embrace their quirks and teach them that it’s okay to make mistakes. Kids need to know that It’s okay to fail and it is normal to feel sad, anxious, or angry. When you truly accept your child, you can never do them wrong, and they will know this. They will truly feel it. Our reality as parents can be completely different from ours. Open yourself up to your child, and allow them to be who they are, as they are.
-The Math Genie team