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As parents, we want our children to be confident and secure with themselves. A healthy self-esteem and self-confidence has been linked to better results in developing healthy relationships, achieving goals, and general well-being. So what can we do to raise confident kids? Read on!
1. Give Your Undivided Attention
Avoid communicating while your eyes are fixed to your text messages, or with grunts from behind the computer screen. If you are unable to give your undivided attention, let your child know by saying, “I’d really love to hear EVERYTHING you have to say, so give me a few minutes to finish this up and I’ll be able to give you all of my attention!”
2. Give Age Appropriate Responsibilities
This will help your child learn that he is an important, contributing member of the family with abilities others can count on.
3. Acknowledge Her Emotions
Validate her feelings instead of trying to tell her she shouldn’t feel that way. Encouraging your child to accept her emotions including anger, sadness, disappointment, and frustration as normal, will help her respond to her feelings and face the world with a healthier view.
4. Let Children Have Time Alone
This is important in the development of their independence. Alone time empowers kids to enjoy freethinking as well as encourage self-sufficiency. Kids who learn this are able to face time on their own without feeling sadness or panic.
5. Praise Specific Efforts and Accomplishments
Celebrating your child winning first place or getting straight A’s is wonderful, but it’s just as important to acknowledge that she’s earned her victories because she practiced daily without fail or studied diligently all semester!
6. Discipline to Teach… Not to Hurt
Explain to your child the lessons behind the discipline, instead of only expressing your anger and leaving him with a punishment. You want him to understand WHY the choices he made were poor so he will know how to make better decisions if faced with something similar again. Punishment alone will simply encourage him to hide it from you next time.
7. Allow Your Child to Solve His Own Problems
As difficult as it can be, it’s important that we do not immediately jump in and rescue our child when he’s faced with a challenge. Kids are smarter and more creative than we give them credit! Yes, offer advice, but honor them if they choose to try their own way. Let them know you have confidence in them to figure things out. This will encourage them to problem solve and build stress coping skills!
8. Avoid Shaming Your Child Over His Struggles
We all have strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important your child understands that his struggles do not make him a bad person. Identify and praise his strengths, then without judgment, help him find solutions to overcome or cope with his challenges. Give plenty of emotional support.
9. Be the Source of Calm Confidence
When your child panics or looks at you with fear, it is critical that you do not reflect fear back at them. Show them that better decisions and superior performance can be achieved by stepping back, taking a deep breath, and maintaining a calm and clear mind. Remember to praise your child’s effort regardless of the outcome.
10. Admit and Apologize When YOU Make Mistakes
Teach by example. Show your child that making mistakes is a part of the learning process for everyone. Mistakes do not equal failure if a lesson is learned, because what we take away from it can be used to make us better, smarter, and stronger. Remember, YOU are the key to raising confident kids!