It doesn't take long for even the most self-assured child to feel the pressure from peers. Even if not a negative word is said, doubt can set in. Take the time to boost your child's self-confidence in tangible ways. A strong sense of self paves the way for accomplishments, creativity, and positive relationships.
- Lead by example: If you are constantly berating yourself, or shying away from challenges, chances are your child will do the same. Embrace who you are instead of always wishing to be different. This means stop comparing yourself with everyone. Even if by your measuring stick you are "better than" so and so, this example will only lead to insecurity.
- Look at your child: Focus on your child. Look them in the eye when they are speaking. Disengage from electronics to really give undivided attention. My sister in law does this beautifully, not only with her own children, but all the nieces and nephews. Her whole being seems to light up and shines directly into the person she is listening to. While I do not have that down pat, I am making an effort to look and really listen.
- Say something positive: And then say it again. Notice what your child does well. Make a note of what they enjoy and be ready to encourage them with these truths. For example, my son is a natural born leader. Over the years I've not only seen his skills in that area grow, I have mentioned specific positive things I have noticed. Leadership skills, mechanical skills and compassion are all areas I have pointed out in my kids that might have been overlooked, or pushed aside with negatives.
- Bounce back: Confidence is not all about being on top of your game all the time. Healthy self-esteem involves knowing how to manage feelings without letting them crush you. Sadness and disappointments happen. Remind your child they will feel better again. Chances are you will have the opportunity to model this for them from time to time! Knowing they are capable of bouncing back from problems does a lot more to boost confidence than a perfect life with no hiccups.
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