Earlier this week I was asked how to give a child a decent confidence boost. The short answer is to parent from a limitless place of love. Of course that seems a bit tad vague so I’ve listed four different ideas below.
1.What to say to them. “You are so amazing!” Celebrate the positive. Everyone responds well to encouragement, so make an effort to acknowledge the good things your child does every day within his earshot.
2.What to do with them.
Let your child make mistakes and discover ways to solve problems on her own.
Really listen to your child. Most parents find it very easy to tell their children what they want but have a much more difficult time listening to what their kids want and need. To truly hear your child is to understand not only what she is saying but also what the underlying message is and to understand her needs.
3.What to say to yourself:
“Not only is he/she a gift from God, but I am raising someone’s future friend, husband, wife, boss.” I have to be mindful of who, and what I expose my child to.
4 What you should be doing for yourself. Keep in mind you are your child’s first mirror. Parents are the psychological mirrors which children use to define themselves; to figure out who they are and how they fit into their world. This is because an infant is born without a sense of self and parents help create his first images of who he is and what his value is in the world. As children get older and their world becomes bigger, they discover more mirrors, such as friends, relatives, teachers, child care workers. However, for better or for worse, it is the parents who create the foundation for a child’s sense of self through all of their experiences, especially words and actions.
Yes, we want our children to be happy and confident. But that confidence must grow from the inside to be real and resilient — if we try to confer confidence through praise our kids will be on shaky ground whenever challenges arise. Build them on a solid foundation based on encouragement, exposure, patience and a ring pass not.
Other notes on the subject:
“Shortly after the birth of our eighth child, I was overwhelmed with two babies in diapers and the needs of four older children at home. My stress was reflected in my face; I was often not a happy person. Fortunately, I recognized what I was showing of myself to my children. I did not want my children growing up believing that mothering is no fun or that they caused me to be unhappy. I sought help, fixed my inner feelings and polished my mirror so that my children could see a better image of themselves.”