In my previous blog, I indicated that self-confidence is extremely important in achieving success as an adult. But in order to have the confidence as an adult, you need to have had it growing up.
Developing a child’s self-confidence is something, as a parent, we need to consider as we are raising our child. It is a conscious effort and something that really needs to be thought about and implemented in your child’s life.
One way to develop a child’s confidence is not imposing unreasonable restrictions on your child. Being a strict parent with everything is not good for your child. I am NOT saying to ignore rules, structures, and/or procedures for behavior, but I AM saying that restricting them from things that are not reasonable or that will lessen their confidence is something that should not be done.
Believing what your child is telling you and really listening to your child is a good way to build their confidence. Do you think they are making up stories or exaggerating the truth with what they are saying? Do you think they are lying? Do you dismiss what they say? Really listening to your kids and having conversations with them will give them credibility which in turn gives them confidence.
Having your child control certain things in their life will also give them confidence. The mere essence of having them choose what they like to wear, the toys they like to play with, the sports (if any) they like, their talents and being able to express those talents all play a role in developing their confidence. If they do what they choose, achieve success and/or are happy with their choices, that will build their confidence.
Another simple statement to consider, which I hear all the time from parents is this: If a child says they are full when eating food (no matter if it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner), please do not control them by saying, “you have to finish your plate!” How many parents say this to their children? Why? How do you know they are not full? This is an unreasonable situation that not only tells them they do not know when they are full or tells them not to listen to their own bodies, but also gives them bad eating habits. If they say they are full, they are full. If they are only saying this to get something in return, like playing games or eating dessert, then that is a different situation. If they get what they want once they finish and then tell you they are hungry, then don’t have them eat before they need to do something else. They are eating to fuel their bodies, not eating as a reward or for a “prize” when they are done.
The same holds true for when a child is thirsty. I heard one mom say to their child, “you’ll get something to drink when we go back to the car!” It made me wonder, how long would that be? Their basic need for drinking shouldn’t be at your convenience. If they are thirsty, they are thirsty. Carry drinks with you, so it is accessible to you for when they are thirsty.
Please think about these circumstances, among so many more when parenting. Something so simple can help or hurt your child. Please think about it!
I will give other examples of confidence in my future blogs. If you have any questions about specific events or circumstances, please let me know.