It's safe to say that I have a confident child. She pushes both her boundaries, and my buttons, on a daily basis. Whether naturally wary, or a daring button pusher – all children seem to be born with an unquestionable confidence. The question is, how do we, as parents, help them keep it? Here are five ways you can encourage your confident child – without losing your mind.
Confidence within yourself: I know that we all have "mom guilt" over even the tiniest of things, all "good" moms do. You ARE a good mom! Having satisfaction in yourself will also shine through outwardly on our children, as they mirror us. Positive affirmations mean a great deal in helping to build ourselves up. They're relatable, they make perfect sense and that's one way to be less self-doubting. How can we really expect our children to practice building confidence and to just magically have it, if we don't?
Show them that you care: Basic human love, respect, and companionship revolves around showing an interest in your child – asking questions about what they enjoy, what they've created, and what sparks their own interests. To get down on your child's level is majorly important, because what they're exploring and experimenting with what matters to them, and that should matter to you as their parent. Eye contact in conversation is a perfectly engaging starting point, even for parents who find themselves shamefully bored while playing with their children.
Let them make mistakes: You cannot save your kids from all the dangers in their life. Keep an eye out, but let them fall down, and let them face disappointment. It goes a lot further for them to experience these realities with you there as their safety net in the beginning. With practice and time, they will learn how to better overcome life's difficulties on their own. Children do need our guidance, though it's okay to let them jump in a puddle, or climb the obstacle on the playscape at the park for the first time.
Give opportunities to choose: It is important to accept that at some point, your child should decide what they like and don't like. It is not only essential to give them freedom, but also for you as a confident parent. If you want your child to be responsible, level headed. and confident, they first must grasp what it's like to make decisions on their own. Go ahead and let them wear their favorite princess dress, superhero outfit, or just let them choose their own regular outfit for the day. You would be surprised at just how much confidence they will build from such a simple act of choice. By allowing options, it will open doors for kids to learn independence, while also building their self-esteem by you showing that you trust them.
Finding friendship with your child: I know a handful of parents who scoff at the idea of combining friendship with parenting, but it's truly one of the largest confidence boosters for you and your child. It's very possible to keep an equal balance within your family – having a mutual, healthy respect for one another is key. You don't need to be an enemy to your children, nor a commander. To be reliable, trustworthy, and their best friend can go a long way. Your child will learn to confide in you in ways that being a dictator over them wouldn't allow them to.
It is often hard to remember that children are human beings, much like ourselves. It can often be hard for them to express themselves in ways that make sense to us as adults. Helping them to buld their confidence can go a long way toward teaching them healthy self expression, and self love.
What are some ways that you help your child build confidence? Share with us in the comments!