Many psychologists agree that confidence is one of the most important traits of successful people. If someone doesn’t have confidence as a child, they’ll likely avoid challenges as adults and they’ll be afraid of solving problems by themselves. If you want to build healthy confidence in your children, follow these ten steps.
Be an Example
This may sound like the biggest cliché but it’s the first important step of raising a child. Your child sees you as their first ever role model – they’ll want to be just like you and so they’ll imitate what you do. That’s why you shouldn’t do anything that you don’t want your children to do. If you promise something, always keep your promise. If you tell them they shouldn’t lie, don’t do it either. If you want your child to keep their room tidy, try to keep your own things in order.
Reward Their Effort
Some people say that the journey is more important than the destination. If you see that your child is trying to achieve something, try to teach them that the effort they put into it is just as valuable as the end result. People who are active and enjoy the work they put into things will be less likely to see their job as a chore and so they’ll show better results.
Don’t Criticize. Motivate!
Don’t make your child feel ashamed if they try something and fail. Nothing will demotivate a person quicker than criticism of their hard work and efforts. Treat your children’s failures as ‘building blocks’ of experience. Remember that putting up consistent effort will give them more confidence than a few short moments of success.
Offer New Experiences
Psychologists claim that it’s the job of every parent to present their children with new experiences. If your children want to try something new, such as help you with cooking or sleep at a friend’s house, let them do it. It will help them better handle new experiences in the future.
Set Realistic Goals
You should never try to project your own unfulfilled dreams onto your children. As we’ve mentioned, children try to imitate their parents, so it can be expected that they won’t rush towards the goals and plans which you yourself couldn’t reach. Don’t expect them to be perfect in every aspect. If you try to push back their childish nature and unique personality just so you can have the perfect child, you’ll rob them of their confidence instead of building it.
Don’t Abandon Your Demands
Children rarely want to give up their free time in order to pursue some kind of goal or talent. They want to have fun and that’s normal for a child. It’s up to the parent to make sure that their time is reasonably divided between fun and responsibilities. Even the youngest children need to understand that in life, we first need to take care of our responsibilities before we can relax.
Don’t Make Excuses
Have your child’s back, but don’t make exceptions or excuses for them. If you try to solve every single problem for your child, you’re not helping them in the long run. The problem will be gone, sure, but they won’t learn how to stand up for themselves. This isn’t a solution and definitely not something you want to teach them. It may lead to children becoming too comfortable or even lazy. Confidence goes hand in hand with the bravery to stand up for oneself and solve problems without the help of others.
Don’t Show Fear
It’s normal that every parent fears for their child. Despite that, try not to show your fears too much. Children are very perceptive and they’ll pick up on it. If they see that you’re always afraid, they may think that you don’t trust their ability to look after themselves.
We understand that the endless stream of questions your children ask every day can get tiring. You should still try to answer and try to engage their curiosity. Like this, they won’t be afraid to ask questions later in life and they also won’t be afraid of people they meet. Children who get answers to their questions are also quicker to learn because they were allowed to widen their knowledge already.
Life’s Not Fair
Everyone comes across injustice in some point of their life and you have to prepare your children to face it sooner or later. Teach them that success doesn’t always depend on their efforts alone. Of course, also explain that it’s important to trust in their skills even if they’re unlucky – it will teach them to be flexible in various life situations.