One might say that the most important job a parent has is to help a child develop confidence. Of course, this might not be as important as clothing, shelter and emotionally nurturing a child. However, if the effort to prepare them for life, it’s absolutely going to be a priority. Teenagers are often the most insecure and unsure of themselves as they stand on the border between two worlds. One might be the world of childhood, of play and fun – the other the world of adulthood, responsibility, heavier academic requirements and the slow (or sometimes incredibly fast) march of puberty.
In order to fulfill your role as a parent, developing confidence is the most important means to help them through this. It can also help them begin a new start to life, something that should help them build themselves from the start. Some people are unable to build this confidence until later in life, and they often feel terrible about how long it has taken them. While it’s good they do, as a parent it’s likely you’d consider nurturing confidence in a young teenager to be the most positive time to begin your efforts.
This is something you might not want to overcomplicate. We’d recommend the following six methods to ensure that this is achieved in the manner you most hope it will:
It’s essential to ensure your child has productive hobbies. We’re not talking about playing video games (although some of those can be educational,) or allowing them to watch television all evening. Consider something novel and fun that only they might be interested in, and this could be something very rewarding when effort is applied. It might be taking them to a martial arts class twice a week could help them learn the benefits of discipline and hard work, with tiered progress in belts that offer a new method of relating to their personal defense, and even help them learn a culture they might not be aware of.
Hobbies build character, and they help a child find excitement in the world around them. It doesn’t have to be something that’s intensely ‘productive’ on the surface either. It might be you teach them the love of cooking, or you take them to a sailing club, or a crafts club, or how to paint, or a dance club, or anything that takes their interest. Let them try things, and don’t feel frustrated if they don’t adapt to something immediately. Not everything will be for your child, and sometimes the thing that does might be out of left field. At least with a hobby your child will always be learning practical life skills, and become a better person as a result.
Childhood is not a job. However, bringing a little responsibility to it can help your child feel a sense of agency, and competence. After all, they will not be children forever. Some people are afraid of children ‘growing up too fast,’ and this is a valid concern. However, people often think of this in the wrong way. Matters that you should be worried about are your children being exposed to media a little more mature than they are, or being introduced to sexual themes or ideas that seem so prevalent in the marketing of today. You shouldn’t be afraid of your child experiencing agency however.
Sometimes, bringing a small pet into the home such as a gerbil or a hamster can be the perfect method of allowing them to care for something under your supervision. This can help them feel competent, caring, and nurturing. It might be you have them clean their room from when they are around 11 or 12, and of course tidy up the parts they might have missed. It can be as simple as having a child make their bed in the morning. These little things allow a child to never feel forced to do a job, but contribute to the household and in the process bring the character they might need.
Your child needn’t wear the latest threads and the coolest gear. However, sometimes a hand-me-down can do quite a lot to impact their confidence. Children need their own identities, and sometimes being handed one through cost-cutting can impede this. This isn’t to disparage low-income households that might need to do this in the least. Running a family is hard, and can be quite cost intensive.
Once in a while, if you have the means, it can be fun to help your child with clothing they can be proud of. For example, treating them to a cool beanie, or a piece of jewelry, or some awesome light up shoes can make them feel as confident as they should be. Clothing does often speak to our confidence level, so ensuring this is well considered can be vitally important. For this you want to find quality items that could last a long time. Nickis offers some excellent choices through their collection online, so be sure to check it out.
Children are of course small humans. They often haven’t the experience that you might have, or the war stories you proudly wear. They will, in time. However, this does not make them any less smart. The intelligence of a child might not culminate in book smarts, but in the ability to question things, to directly communicate, and to find humor in the silliest things can be absolutely refreshing.
This means that you need to treat what they say with a degree of seriousness. The world to a child is new, interesting and extremely curious. As such, they will often express this. You might learn a thing or two. Simply dismissing them for being silly or odd can often take away from their beauty of expression, and this can harm how they choose to express themselves in future. Of course, that is a tragedy, but it must be considered if you hope to avoid it.
With these simply efforts, building up the health and confidence of your child will begin from a very young age.