Every parent want their child to be confident and self-reliant. A confident child is ready to take on new challenges, try new things and handle failure.
According to Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist and author of many parenting books, an child who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they are scared to failing or disappointing others.
Here are 10 simple ways in which we as parents can encourage and support our children to feel capable and tackle new tasks.
1) Unconditional Love
This is a no-brainer. A parent’s unconditional love is the building block of a child’s confidence. A child who know s/he is loved no matter what will always be more open to new challenges and experiences.
2) Free Play
Free play without constant adult monitoring is one of the best ways to allow children to try new things, take risks and explore.
Do not fall prey to booking your child’s every free hour for some class or engagement, where they just learn to follow instructions. Free play teaches them to lead and follow, find ways to solve problems and much more.
3) Do not be a helicopter parent
A helicopter parent is one who hovers over his/her children all the time. They take too much responsibilities of their children’s experiences and, specifically, their successes or failures.
They are too focussed on making sure children are always protected and do not face any unpleasant situations.
This never allows kids to make their own decisions, take risks and fail. Too much hovering makes the children to have low self-esteem, low coping skills and high level of anxiety.
4) Allow them to make their own decisions
Continuing from the previous points, when we allow children to get away from our shadow and play independently, they also learn to make their own decisions.
They decide whether they should try the new ride, try those monkey bars which seem too difficult or if they want to jump in the rain puddles.
All these pave the way for them to be more confident and make their own decisions.
5) Appreciate effort irrespective of the result
This is very important. Imagine a scenario. A preschooler brings his/her art work to a parent, which does not look like anything. the parent wants her to improve it and gives her suggestions to make it better. Our intentions are undoubtedly good and we want our child to do better, but the child does not receive the same message. To them, the effort was not good enough for the parent.
We must always appreciate effort even if the result is not as good as we hoped for.
6) Encourage curiousity and questions
How often do we tell children to stop asking unnecessary questions and simply listen to what is being told! We are unfortunately breaking our kid’s spirit and confidence. If this happens repeatedly, children start doubting their choices and hesitate to ask questions even at school.
7) Teach them to handle failures/ Resilience
Parents are the first teachers for their kids. It is parent’s responsibility to teach the children that success and failures got hand in hand. No failure is final till you give up. So, we must let our children to fail and recover from that failure. It serves them well once they grow up to be resilient adults.
8) Celebrate imperfections
Never impose perfection on kids. Nobody in this world is perfect and we must not pressurise our kids to be perfect all the time. Every child is unique because of their imperfections and we must celebrate whole of them.
9) Offer help but not too much
It is natural to want to help our kids when they are struggling with something. But kids learn through trial and error and when they fail at something, they realise that it is OK to stumble and start over again.
10) Limit screen time/ internet time
Screen time and now internet time is detrimental to children’s overall growth. It limits their imagination and does not allow their creativity to grow. Of course, sitting indoors cooped up in front of a computer is going to isolate them from real world leading self-esteem and confidence issues.
These are some simple, workable tips that all parents can keep in mind while raising their kids. Do you have any more points to add to this list. We would love to hear from you.