Praising Your Kids Effectively
 

7 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

Develop a healthy self-esteem

By Focus on the Family Singapore | 30 October, 2018

Many parents worry when their children lack the motivation to learn. They also wonder how to encourage their child to build deeper relationships and develop better interpersonal skills.

There are numerous confidence-building workshops we can send our children to. However, they often only help in a superficial manner and may not fully address the issue fully. A more effective way would be to help our children develop a healthy sense of self-esteem.

Here are some things we can do to build our children’s independence and confidence.

1. Affirm them for their effort

Don’t exaggerate by telling your child that they are the smartest or most good-looking child around. Affirm them for their effort and not just the outcome. If your child has done well in a test, try saying “The way you understood and answered the questions was really great!” instead of “You’re an absolute genius!”

2. Never label them negatively

Our children do not become more resilient when we are sarcastic or critical towards them. Even grown-ups would not like to be labelled stupid, clumsy, ugly or bad. Words can hurt and they cut deeper when negative labels come from us, their parents.

3. Resist the urge to compare

Focus on each child’s strengths and refrain from comparing them with their peers or even siblings. Constantly comparing them breeds insecurity and may make a child feel underappreciated. It negates whatever positive affirmation you have been giving and encourages unhealthy competition. Help your child be the best version of themselves.

Constantly comparing them breeds insecurity and may make a child feel underappreciated.

4. Empower them to make age-appropriate decisions

When we allow our children to make age-appropriate decisions, we are communicating to them that we value their opinions and trust their choices.

For the really young ones, start off by giving them two choices so they do not get confused. Ask them if they would prefer one outfit over another. For older kids, encourage them to explain themselves if they disagree with something. Allow them to negotiate boundaries. This allows our children to make wise decisions confidently as they grow.

When we allow our children to make age-appropriate decisions, we are communicating to them that we value their opinions and trust their choices.

5. Refrain from rescuing them

Resist the urge to swoop in and save your child from every uncomfortable situation. Barring situations that are life-threatening, it is alright to let our children learn from their actions. Let them face punishment from a teacher when they forget to bring a book or fail to complete their homework, instead of rushing down to school with their book for them. Give them a chance to work things out on their own, as they grow.

6. Show that failure is not a sign of weakness

Help them understand that it is perfectly fine to fail at something. What’s more important is how we learn and recover from it. Let them know it’s normal to feel disappointed and be there to talk through their emotions with them.

Seize opportunities to share your personal experiences of failure. Describe how you felt and the thoughts you had, as well as how you overcame the challenge and moved on. Model for them that failure does not need to be feared but can be accepted when it happens.

7. Spend quality time with your child

Find pockets of time to give your child your absolute attention, to do what they like doing, and explore their interests. When we give them our full presence, they understand that they are valued and important to us.

It is never too late to change our parenting styles. Even small improvements in the way we relate to our children will impact them for the better, no matter how old they are.

© 2018 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.

This article was first published on MindChamps and republished with permission.

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