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How To Help Your Child Develop Self-confidence

Dec 20, 2007
Self -confidence is a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities, judgment, and value. Some children seem to be born with a lack of self-confidence. Others develop a low level of self-confidence from poor interactions with peers and family members. Regardless of the cause, you can help your child build a healthy level of self-confidence.

Genuine Praise and Encouragement

Children view themselves through the eyes of others. They see what they believe others perceive. Your opinion of your child's actions, abilities, appearance, and judgment significantly affects your child's self-image.

Parents often speak without thinking. Statements such as, "You'll never get it right," or "Don't be so stupid," may seem harmless when spoken, but they send a negative message to the child that contributes to a low self-image. Words are very powerful.

Build your child's self-confidence by providing frequent, genuine statements of praise. Tell your children they are special, that you love them even when they fail, that they are beautiful with bed-hair and a shiner from a missed fly ball. Every parent has feelings for their children, but few communicate them to little ones enough.

Encourage your children to strive for their goals. Tell them you believe in them. Let them know you love them and support them - no matter what.

Instill a Sense of Belonging

Show your children that they are important to you by including them in many areas of your life. Ask your daughter which color looks best for the new carpet. Ask your son what he thinks of going to Alaska for the family vacation. This shows your children that you value their opinion and judgment and that what they think matters.

Take off the Training Wheels

It is difficult to watch your children struggle in life. That struggle prepares them for adulthood. You must allow them to fail and make mistakes.

Provide added responsibilities and challenging, age-appropriate tasks. This communicates to your children that you believe they are capable of doing what you ask and trust them to handle the situation. They will never learn to ride that bike unless the training wheels come off.

Encourage Positive Thoughts

If your child constantly thinks he is below others and of lesser importance, his self-confidence suffers. Thoughts determine actions. In order for your child to act in a self-assured manner, he must believe he is valuable.

Correct your children when they speak negative comments, such as, "I can't do anything right," or "I look fat and ugly in this outfit." Back up your reprimand with a strong positive statement to counteract the negative thoughts.

Model Self-Confidence

Children learn a great deal by watching the role models in their lives. Parents are the first and most important role models. Do not put yourself or your spouse down in front of your children.

It also helps to place an emphasis on relationships instead of physical appearance. Do not stay home from a family outing because your clothing fits poorly or your hair is messy. This sends an unhealthy message to impressionable children.

Building self-confidence in your children is possible. With words of encouragement and praise, opportunities to contribute to important decisions, new experiences, and positive role modeling, your children can develop healthy levels of self-confidence.
About the Author
Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our great selection of furniture for kids and classic toys. Visit www.TheMagicalRockingHorse.com today!
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