We all know that it is important to build confidence in children, but in the last few years, there have been numerous debates regarding the proper way to boost self-esteem. Needless to say, free praises will only spoil a child and they will not encourage them to work hard for the things that they want. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t praise your child, but do it when they do something extraordinary. For a healthy self-esteem, there are other, more effective ways to raise a child’s confidence.
1. Start early
A baby will be on a journey of self-discovery from the moment that they come into the world. They start with exploring their bodies, displaying emotion, learning their name and so on. As they start speaking and understanding, the sense of self begins to be impacted by what happens around them, and this is the perfect time to start building their confidence. During this period, it is acceptable to praise the child for any accomplishment, no matter how small. You can also boost their confidence by associating them with heroes. You can buy them costumes so that they can dress like their favorite heroes, or you can make them the heroes of their own story. You can find personalized story books for kids online, featuring your child’s name and picture. Not only will a personalized book make a child feel like a hero, but it can also be a great tool for nurturing an early love of books.
2. Let them take healthy risks
Accomplishing a difficult and risky task is a great way for a child to build a healthy self-esteem. This doesn’t mean that you must allow your child to engage in dangerous activities, but don’t rescue them every time that they get a little hurt or when they could have their feelings hurt. Let your child make choices and deal with the consequences of their actions. This is also a great way to teach them to take responsibility for their choices.
3. Ask them to help with the house chores
Young children are more than happy to help with house chores, as these activities make them feel like grown-ups. However, chores can also be great for letting children demonstrate their competence, and for making them feel useful. You might not be tempted by the idea of letting a toddler help you with the cooking or the house cleaning, but even a small task can have a great impact. Moreover, you should get children used to house chores as early as possible, as when they grow older, they will no longer see chores as fun activities.
4. Encourage their passions
A common mistake that most parents do is trying to force productive passions onto their kids, and discourage unproductive activities. However, it can be really rewarding to encourage a child’s interests, whether we are talking about sports, video games or any other hobby. This will show your child that it is ok to take pride in their interests, and work hard to be good at what they like.
5. Support them during rough times
No matter how hard you try to build a child’s confidence, there will always be moments when their self-esteem will drop. However, try not to make such a big deal of these moments. Make sure your child understands that your love is unconditional, and that it is ok to fail from time to time, as long as they don’t give up on their goals. You can also remind them of all the times they succeeded, so that they remember that they excel in numerous ways, and that there is no need to feel bad over small failures. Moreover, make sure your child pursues age appropriate goals, so that they can have a real chance to actually reach their goals.
6. Offer healthy praise
As we already mentioned, free praise is not a great way to raise a confident child. In fact, free praise can actually raise arrogant kids. The trick with praise is to use it according to the level of work that a child puts into a task, and the level of responsibility that is appropriate for their age. Don’t praise a child for making their bed, as this is an effortless task, and it is something that all kids should do. But if your child works hard towards a goal, make sure to acknowledge their work in a supportive way.