As a parent, there are some things that you see in your kids that will always make you love them no matter what. Other people may find this odd, but you like the way your child laughs out with that unusual snort, tucks her hair behind the ears, or just even enjoy watching them sleep. You accept them for who they are even through their faults. But what if your kids do not feel the same way about themselves? What if when they look at the mirror, they see a person whom they cannot be proud of? This is a simple case of lack of confidence.
Why Confidence Matters
Confidence should not be misunderstood as bloated ego. Being confident means the ability to see one’s self as someone competent and capable. Is it really worth building one’s own self-confidence? Consider these benefits:
1. Better communication skills. People who have low levels of confidence have the tendency to fail when it comes to communication. Great communication skills are valuable whether you are talking to someone in school, your teacher, and with your peers at work, as an adult.
2. You become happier. A person who lacks confidence is prone to certain physical, mental and emotional issues. Examples of these are stress, depression, and unhealthy eating habits. In comparison, a confident person who is able to connect with other people without any problems will not suffer as severely.
3. You are satisfied with who you are. Being confident makes you happy in your own skin. You will not try to change who you are just because other people are expecting you to. The clothes you wear, the way you walk, or any disability that people think you should be ashamed of – you become comfortable with these and you are able to maintain your peace with yourself.
4. You trust yourself more. A decision is usually touted right or wrong based on its outcome. But some people are afraid of making decisions after experiencing a failure. Confidence will let you choose to at least try and decide to do something, rather than choose not to, out of fear of possible disappointment.
5. It makes you hit your goals. You will have a sense of feeling that you can do anything that comes along your way. Being able to trust in yourself allows you to push the boundaries, even when the odds seem against you.
6. People see you in a better light. Positive energy makes other people want to be with you. If you have confident kids, they won’t have any problems making friends in school. And when they become adults, this could give them an edge in their social circles and at the workplace.
How You Can Build You Child’s Confidence
Don’t wait for them to be fully grown up before building their confidence. Start early for better results. Here are some tips on how to raise confident kids:
1. Point out their best qualities. Comparison is what usually makes people, young or adult, see themselves as less competent or beautiful. They see other people and then end up belittling themselves when they think that what they have is not as worthwhile, as what the others have. Physical beauty for one is considered prized in a society that’s run by appearances. What to do about it? Mention their best qualities and talk to them about how these are something that they could be proud of too.
2. Let them overcome challenges on their own. Confidence is not just only about knowing that you are good. It’s also about the grace to stand up and try again when you just experienced disappointments. Rescuing your child always is equivalent to raising him to be overly dependent on you. Let your child fail and accept that it happens to everybody. Failures are not all bad news. It strengthens people and every lesson learned can also be considered a great victory.
3. Encourage making decisions early on. The ability to decide on something at an early age compounds the thought that you are indeed capable of doing something now, without the help of Mum or Dad. One way to do this is by giving them choices. Should your youngster want to wear her red spotted dress or her green striped shirt with shorts. This may not seem like a significant decision, but small stuff that gives children the feeling that they are in control is honing their ability to make decisions on their own.
4. Nourish their personal gifts. You know how you are proud about your own accomplishments whether this is your knack for being the best Mum in the world or having been recently promoted at work? For kids, a skill or a talent is just like that – an accomplishment that they could be proud of. Let them do these often, and enrol them in special classes, if you can afford it.
5. Spend time with them. Of course, they are just kids. They need you to be there in order for them to feel secure. Those who spend time with their parents, or with other adults, are said to be more confident than those who don’t. Set aside some time where you and your child could simply spend some quality time together.
6. Help them create dreams. Don’t consider dreams as empty fantasies. For kids, this is them visualizing their future. Encourage you child’s natural inclination to pretend-play, independently and with others. Join your child some of the time, and both of you could pretend to be doctors, scientists or entrepreneurs.
7. Be a positive mirror. Although children will promise themselves that they will not imitate the negative characteristics of their parents, many still end up doing so. If you want to have confident kids, then you too should be confident first. It can be something difficult to do at first especially when you have been without enough confidence since you were a kid, but it’s not impossible.
Their eyes twinkle, their laughter full of happiness, and their chins held high say they know that they can accomplish everything they put their minds to. Raising kids that are confident not only makes you feel proud, it can also give you the extra comfort, knowing that they are able to take care of themselves, when you are not there to decide for them.