Teaching children how to be confident in themselves requires balancing
a few contradictory ideals, but if done well, it leads to children that will
learn the value of hard work, and the value they place in their skills.
When it comes to raising confident kids, parents need to find the right balance between a few conflicting ideals: discipline vs. growth, encouragement vs. safety, correction vs. exploration, and so on and so forth.
It’s not easy raising a child to be a functioning and positive member of society, but child psychologists have a few tricks up their sleeve to help parents bring the best out of their child and have kids who are confident, smart, and secure in themselves:
You Don’t Always Have to Reward Effort, But You Should Always Appreciate It
Parents often mistake appreciation for reward, which isn’t always healthy. Children who are raised with reward regardless of winning or losing often develop entitlement issues when they enter adulthood.
If a child fails in school, encourage them by getting an online tutor service. If they lose a football game, encourage them by showing moral support during training. Know and understand your child’s love language, and speak it fluently.
Instead, choose to show your appreciation for your child through words of encouragement, affection, and constant support despite their failures. Yes, achievements should be rewarded, but efforts should also be encouraged.
Practice Makes Perfect, But it Also Builds Competence
Perfection should be the goal of any endeavor, but teach your children to also understand and appreciate the competence they build through practice. Sometimes, in the pursuit of perfection, we fail to see just how far we’ve come along since we’ve started, and gently reminding your children of this fact goes a long way to making them feel secure in their talents.
Teach Them How to Self-Learn
Every parent wants to teach their child the best way to do things, but overdoing it leads to reliance, which in turn, hinders their ability to be confident in their own skills. Teach children how to learn things on their own, how to put in the hard work, and that their skills are more than enough.
When a child learns to slog through hardships, they learn to appreciate effort, which in turn, allows them to experience the joy of reaping the benefits of hard work.
Allow Them to Be a Child
In our quest to raise a positive member of society, we often forget that our children are just that: children. Allow your child their moments of childishness and immaturity, and encourage them to play and blow off steam. Yes, that means video games and playing with their friends. Sometimes, learning through play is one of the best ways to teach children important lessons that they’ll learn on their own.
Encourage Challenges, And Support Them When They Fail
But perhaps one of the most important lessons a child must learn: failure is an option, and in a lot of cases, it’s a necessary step towards progress.
Yes, getting straight A’s is the goal, but teach them how to get there on their own, and that the occasional B or C in their report card isn’t something to be afraid of. Rather, it’s an opportunity for improvement. If they lose a game, allow your child to feel bad, but also remind them that their failure isn’t something to be ashamed of; it’s an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and do better next time.
This is a contributed post.