With every passing day, it seems like our mainstream culture becomes more complex and, therefore, more difficult to navigate.
As adults, it’s tough to keep up with the top news stories, stay in the loop at our kids’ schools, maintain a thriving business, and support a loving home. If we’re having trouble keeping everything straight, can you imagine how our children must feel?
Of course, kids don’t have the same concerns as grown-ups, but there’s no doubt that they sense when things are veering out of control. In turn, it’s up to us to guide them through unpredictable times and boost their confidence along the way.
When we nurture autonomy and self-esteem in the younger generations, we’re empowering them so they can intelligently deal with future situations – whether good, bad, or in between.
10 Tips For Raising Confident Kids
Be specific when giving praise
Do we praise our kids too often? I’d argue no, but perhaps we should be more mindful of the words we use. What do I mean? Well, if your child is last to finish a race, you shouldn’t tell him how proud you are that he lost. However, you should express your admiration for how hard he tried.
Be sensible about setting goals
Your child tells you she’s going to be the first woman to walk on the rings of Saturn. You admire her choice of a demanding and daring career, but you know this will never happen. What do you say?
There’s no sense in completely bursting her bubble. You can help her to succeed by breaking down her lofty goal, and creating smaller, realistic targets that are actually within her grasp. For example, ask her how she plans to become an astronaut and if she can acquire some of the necessary skills now.
Speak the words you want to hear
Kids are like sponges; they soak up what’s happening around them and then use this information to determine their own behavior. Therefore, think twice about the words you use around children. Give yourself (verbal) credit for a job well done, compliment yourself on a work in progress, and occasionally laugh off your mistakes. When kids see that perfection isn’t the be all and end all, they’re more likely to stick with a difficult project to the end.
Be patient with mistakes
Kids can’t help but make mistakes, especially when they’re learning a new skill. While it can be frustrating to watch a child fail over and over again, it’s important to stand back and let her figure stuff out on her own. When she finally accomplishes her task, you’ll appreciate the tangible sense of confidence and the terrific boost of self-esteem.
With so much going on around us, it’s easy to get distracted. But when it comes to your kids, it behooves you to tune in. When your child has something on her mind, encourage her to share her thoughts. Most importantly, when she’s ready to open up, be ready to listen.
You may not be a thrill-seeker, but what if your child thrives on adventure? Don’t let your own hang ups get in the way of your kids’ exploratory nature. Instead, support new experiences and applaud your child’s effort when he strikes out on his own.
When your little one asks to do something, let her give it a shot (even if it’s easier for you to do it yourself). You may need to show her the ropes, but then step back and give her space to try. Within a safe environment, children are curious and self- confident when attempting new skills.
Be loud when necessary
When you see something amiss, don’t hesitate to set it right. Show your children that there are times when it’s appropriate to say “no,” or “leave me alone.” Reinforce that their safety and comfort always matter and they have the right to speak up for themselves. Always.
Ask to learn more
As long as your child is making smart, safe choices, your support makes a huge difference. Whatever your kid is passionate about, even if it’s the polar opposite of what you expected, be open-minded and ask to learn more.
Children thrive on unconditional love. To that end, be sure to let your little one know that she is loved beyond measure and that you will always care for her, even when she makes mistakes.
We need confident kids
We know that the future will demand a lot of our children. With this in mind, it’s our job as parents and caregivers to do all we can to raise curious, kind, and confident kids. This doesn’t mean we should skip over the care-free days of childhood and put our kids on a fast-track to adulthood. Instead, we need to treat each day as an opportunity to impart hard-won wisdom and to lovingly urge children everywhere to live up to their potential.
Samara Kamenecka is a VA specializing in SEO and content creation, based in Spain. When she’s not exploring the city with her husband, their two kids and their dog, she’s busy blogging about everything from toddler toys to time-outs over at www.tinyfry.com. You can also find Samara on Pinterest.