Every parent and carer want to raise happy confident children. At Psychology, Counselling and Wellness Centre, we often work with families who are worried about their children’s confidence and how it will affect them in the future.
There are many things to do as a parent and carer of children of any age to build and develop their self-assurance.
Jobs, tasks, responsibilities – they really love it!
This could be as simple as helping to cook a meal or looking after younger siblings. As they fulfil the task at hand, children experience increases in self-worth and confidence. They feel they have an important role to play within the family.
It’s important for children to understand that it’s normal for everyone to face challenges, including their parents and carers. Children need to understand that no one is perfect. By sharing your own thoughts and feelings will help your children realise that it’s OK to be vulnerable and to hare your feelings with your loved ones.
What do you think?
A great question to ask your children to let them know you respect their opinion and let them know their thoughts and feelings matter. Children will feel respected when you ask for their views.
Giving your children choices, they will learn how to make decisions and take responsibility and grow confidences. They have little control over most things in their lives but you can allow choices such as having a bath or shower or doing homework before or after playing outside.
You know the saying “you learn something new every day”. Children need to be reminded that by continually learning new skills which take effort, they are making progress. It does not have to be perfect, but by practicing and learning each time, we will improve. Praise the process and the hard work they are putting in, not the result.
Give achievable goals
Support your children by giving them achievable goals for their age and ability. You wouldn’t ask a two-year-old child to tie their shoe laces on their own, rather brushing their own hair might be a better task to try.
They are watching you
Little eyes are watching and observing everything you do. Be kind and respectful to others especially in front of little people. Show your children your own confidence in your own abilities and talk positively about yourself. Having a positive mindset especially in front of your children will help them to adopt this mindset too.
Be interested in their passions
Sometimes watching the same YouTube clip repeatedly can appear to be a waste of time for us as parents and carers. But its important to encourage our children’s passions, no matter how annoying they might be! As a parent, show interest and maybe even try them out for yourself.
Celebrate all achievements, great and small. This will make your children feel good about what they have achieved and how far they have come and will be more likely to take on challenges down the track.
And by celebrate, we do not necessarily mean a party! Come together as a family and celebrate with a visit to the park or a night in with their choice of movies and popcorn.
Be sure to celebrate your own achievements too, so your children can acknowledge the progress you have made at work or in your personal life.
Learn to help and think of others
As parents and carers, it’s good to help your children see the bigger picture in life. The world around us means that we all have responsibilities and commitments like work and school. Teach your children to make a difference and to be kind to others.
You should encourage your children to do things independently from a young age to boost their confidence. This might be helping to make dinner and measuring out the ingredients for you. You will need to be patient as it will make the task at hand often slower (and messier!) but they will thrive by learning to something by themselves. Over time, this will give them a greater sense of responsibility. Aid and guide them with the task rather than just simply doing it for them in frustration.