Behind every child who believe in themself, is a parent who believed in them first– Matthew Jacobson.
How true. All parents want the best for their child and each one of them have their own ideas about parenting and how to raise their child. Apart from providing them with the basic necessities, I consider that the most important job of a parent is to raise a confident, self-reliant and empathetic child. If we observe closely, we see that a confident child is never afraid to try new things, explore new ideas and they work very well with groups or even independently. A confident child is never scared of failing; even if they fall, they rise and try again. They know that eventually they will make it. What more can parents ask for?
According to Carl Pickhardt, a famous psychologist, a “kid who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they are scared of failing or disappointing others”.
This can end up being a huge hinderance for them in having a successful career. Discouragement and fear are considered to be the greatest foes of confidence. Hence it is incumbent upon parents to encourage their children, instill courage and confidence in them, thereby preparing them to face the world and tackle every tricky situation life would throw at them.
Mentioned below are some ways that would help parents raise a confident child:
1 – Stop facilitating and try coaching
As a parent it is your job to coach your child so that the child can flourish and develop new skills. When your child attempts to do something new, do not try and “do it for him/ her”. Instead, do it “with your child”. This will help build confidence. Here, the parents need to let go off their anxiety and need for control which might seem difficult initially, but it is the right thing to do.
2 – Understand that a little appreciation can go a long way
It is important that parents show appreciation for even the little things that your child does. This reinforces the fact that you are paying attention and that is a great motivation for them to keep trying despite failing several times. With that being said, do not exaggerate. Do not try to compliment them on things that they are “supposed to do”. If you overdo with your compliments, the child might end up ignoring them.
3 – Encourage your child to make their own decisions
When a child gets a chance to make his/her own decision, it helps them gain confidence which would in turn enable them to make good judgements in future. But be mindful that they do not get full control. Instead, give them a few options, keeping in mind what you as a parent think would be best suited for your child and let them choose out of those. This can be termed as the most important or significant trait of a confident child.
4 – Do not rush to their rescue
Now this is probably the most difficult part of parenting! The protective instinct of a parent makes it very difficult for them to see their child go through some trouble or get stuck in some sticky situation. But the fact is, if you do their work for them or always try solving their problems, it will render them dependant on you or someone else. So, let them tackle their own problems. And if they still end up making mistakes, it is okay. These things might help them learn valuable lessons and will help them become confident. It is important that the parents don’t end up getting upset about these small mistakes. Your anxiety or anger tends to have a direct impact on the child’s psychological development.
5 – Do not compare them with other children and burden them with expectations
This is one of the most common thing parents end up doing, even if they don’t mean to; at least intentionally. Parents try to compare their child with other children and try to make them do things so that they fit in. Do not make that mistake.
If your child is not a straight A student, it is ok. A ‘B’ or a ‘C’ will do. Encourage them to do better but do not make it a compulsion. Let them grow at their own pace.
6 – Make your child understand that it is ok to fail
No one likes failure. Not even the grownups. But as parents, it is important that they make their child understand that it is ok to fail. They need to encourage their child to try again instead of giving up. Explain to them that with every failure there is a lesson to be learned and that they should remember those in the future. This would help the child gain confidence to deal with any kind of situation in life.
7 – Help your children find their passion
In today’s day and age, with so many options to choose from, it can be quite confusing for a child to determine his/her interest. When they see their friends do various things, they might tend to seem lost and sometimes might want to try almost everything. As parents, it is important that you be patient and encourage your child to try different things and find his/her passion. Be involved in the process. Talk to them, explain and point out what they are good at. Point out their strengths to them and help them develop those. This could give a huge boost to their self-esteem and help him/her be a confident child.
8 – Lead by Example
Yes, dear parents; do not forget this thumb rule. Well, it is known that schooling begins at home. So, make sure that you do your daily tasks, cheerfully, at least when the child is around. Encourage them to do little chores in the house. This will instill a sense of responsibility in them. When they see that what they do matters, it gives them a sense of importance and helps their self-esteem grow. Take pride in what you do and maybe you child will too! You are your child’s role models- at least until their teenage. Use this power to teach them how to think, act and make the right choices. When your child watches you succeed, they will be confident that they too will if they follow suit.
And finally, let your child know that he/she is loved no matter what.
Remember- “there is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one”- Sue Atkins.