A confident child grows into adulthood feeling secure about themselves. This happens because they were taught the fundamentals of self-motivation and assertiveness very early. Reports indicate that by age five, most kids have a healthy dose of self-esteem. Children have different personalities and are exposed to different environments and experiences that contribute to building self-esteem. However, as a parent, it is better to be involved a majority of the time. There are small but impactful ways to empower your young ones. Below are a few.
- Connect commendation and praise to specific activities
As parents, it is natural to want to heap praise on your child to make them feel good. However, child behavioral experts say targeted commendation makes more impact than general ones. By connecting praise or commendation to a specific activity, you teach your child to repeat those good behaviors. Doing this helps improve your child’s sense of self. It also creates an opportunity for them to learn that receiving praise is the positive outcome of an appreciated action.
Over time, this builds confidence in your child, and they can be proud of themselves. However, ensure that the enthusiasm to do a task is not overshadowed by a hasty completion. If that happens, a possible reason might be that your kids are only waiting for praise. They may not necessarily be paying attention to the task at hand. Confidence-building ties into responsibility, and these are two things you must focus on.
- Let them have their rooms, if available
Many households in the US usually move their children to their beds by the time they are toddlers. And by the age of five or six, most children have assigned bedrooms. The positive side of this is the sense of independence and responsibility it instills in children. Indeed, this will depend on the size of the house and the number of kids. And some parents may want their children to share a room.
Indeed, many young children may resist the idea of sleeping alone in their very early days. However, the need for privacy grows as they get older. As a reward for a smooth transition into a separate room, you can decorate the space with their favorite cartoon characters. If your child is a T-Rex fan, you can check out sites like dinosaur-universe.com for themed bedroom décor ideas.
- Encourage positive self-talk
These refer to reassuring and optimistic thoughts a person engages in with themselves. Reports have shown that children above age five start to compare themselves to their peers. For example, they might wonder why their friends can do something they cannot. Another critical area is the comparison between intellectual or academic abilities. Especially regarding subjects like Math and Science, children often compare themselves to others their age. As a parent, it will be advisable to start working on your child’s confidence. You can start by encouraging them to practice positive self-talk. Helping them acknowledge that people have different strengths and weaknesses can kickstart the process. While at it, it would be best to get your children to understand the harmful nature of negative self-talk.
Another way to ensure they do not engage in negative dialogue with themselves is to check themselves. Perhaps, as a parent, you have a habit of doing this, and your children might pick it up unconsciously. In other words, modeling your habits around healthy self-talk begins with you, and kids will gradually learn to become confident in themselves.
- Assign ‘special’ age-appropriate tasks
Another way to boost a child’s confidence is to assign age-appropriate tasks. For example, you can ask your kids that are old enough to clean their room. This starts with picking up toys from the bedroom floor and putting them into the appropriate storage containers. If they have clothing strewn all over the room, it would be good to assign your kids to pick them up. Doing this helps them feel useful and responsible.
Furthermore, it helps them realize that you trust them enough to handle these activities independently. Moreover, tagging the activities as ‘special’ boosts a child’s confidence and encourages them to exceed expectations. Other ‘special’ age-appropriate tasks to assign your kids include allowing them to help out in the kitchen under supervision. They can also help care for a younger sibling if they are old enough. Indeed, there are many opportunities to build confidence in your growing children.
Lastly, it helps to allow your children to express themselves with words and not with tantrums. Doing this builds healthy self-esteem, which is something you should aim for.