Childhood is an incredibly important time in all of our lives. Although we may not always realize it, our childhoods can affect so much of our adult lives. When we’re growing up, we learn so much from the behavior of the people around us. We gain life lessons and confidence from our parents, from friends, and from other trusted adults. Unfortunately, bullying, absent family members, and other situations can keep us from gaining this confidence as children.
If you are a parent, you know that there are things you want to be different in your kid’s life. You want to make sure that the mistakes that were made in your childhood won’t be repeated. Being a parent is incredibly challenging, but it is also a great way to truly invest in someone else’s life in the most positive way possible.
If you notice that your child lacks confidence, there are a few things you can do as a parent to help them regain a sense of self, power, and pride in who they are.
Here are a few ways to reinforce confident behavior and thought patterns in your child.
- Celebrate success at home. If you want your child to be confident in the world, teach them to be confident at home. This is a space where they should feel safe, wanted, and loved. At home, they can explore who they are and what they want to become without fear of negative reactions or put-downs.
As a parent, you can teach your child confidence at home by giving them tasks they will succeed at. These don’t have to be easy tasks by any means; your child should be given chores and other assignments that challenge them and allow them to grow.
When they are accomplishing a task, resist the urge to intervene. Your child should be allowed to see that they can accomplish things on their own, with you in a supporting role cheering them on. As their tasks get bigger, they will have the confidence built up in themselves to know that they can do it.
- Encourage new activities. Your children should be able to pinpoint new activities they would like to be involved in and allowed to expand their horizons. Kids pick up a lot as they grow; they are pushing boundaries and getting to know the world around them. As they gain confidence and skills in a variety of areas of their life, they will feel better equipped to handle new situations in their life.
Rather than be overwhelming, trying new things can be a great way to bond parents and kids and get them to see the incredible variety that is possible in their life.
- Celebrate your kid’s unique sense of self. Everyone is different, and that is what makes us all special and diverse. Your child is developing into who they are, and they have strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else. When you see their strengths in action, praise them. This gives them positive reinforcement and confidence in the things they find themselves enjoying and being good at. They can begin to see these strengths in themselves and go after skills and hobbies that make them feel successful and fulfilled.
Remember, childhood is a time for growing, exploring, and changing. Kids are challenged by the very act of growing up, and it can be frustrating as a parent to watch your child struggle at times. However, these struggles are what make them into the confident, successful adults you know they can be.