Watching your children grow is one of the most rewarding experiences we get as parents. We all hope for our children to be happy, healthy and grow into independent, competent adults. While this may be the desire of every parent, getting to the end goal takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. In order to grow a happy and healthy child, start by fostering an independence and confidence that can help them avoid many of the pitfalls of adolescence. A confident child is less likely to become depressed or despondent over bullying. They are more likely to accept themselves and others as just fine and dandy just the way they are, and they are better able to cope with some of the hardest parts of being a kid and teenager. Here are three ways to build confidence and get your child on the way to being happy and confident adults.
Model Compassion and Acceptance
Compassion and acceptance of differences is one of the most important values you can teach your child. This doesn’t mean you are teaching them that they have to accept another’s belief or way of life as their own, but they should respect that person’s right to be different if they choose. If you model compassion and acceptance of those that are different, your child will learn to be compassionate themselves. Even a simple comment degrading someone’s clothing choice or questioning the choices another makes lets kids know that you don’t respect that person as they are. Children may think if you don’t accept others, you may not accept them at some point in time. Teaching compassion and acceptance is always a good way to teach children to be confident in who they are and also allows them to acknowledge others without fear of consequences.
Don’t be a Helicopter Parent
Prepare your kid for the road, not the road for your kid. There is profound wisdom in that statement. We naturally want to protect our children from things that may hurt or disappoint them. However, teaching children to trust themselves and to deal with disappointment in healthy ways is a much better use of your very limited parental time. Confidence is built by learning to accept life’s disasters and things that make us unhappy, by digging ourselves out of the proverbial hole we have dug, and learning how to correct our own mistakes by taking responsibility for our actions. Do anything less for your child almost ensures unrealistic goals with every increasing stress and anxiety as adulthood doesn’t turn out the way they were assured by you that it would. Don’t be a helicopter parent.
Chores and Responsibilities
Children should have age appropriate chores and responsibilities within the family structure. Having to be responsible for a chore gives children a sense of accomplishment and importance which leads to increased self-confidence. As they get older and their responsibilities increase, so do their privileges and sense of importance to the family structure.
Building confidence in your child is generally much easier than you think. By taking easy steps to foster compassion, responsibility and confidence, you are more likely to have children that become productive and healthy adults. Try these three ways to boost your child’s confidence today.