Every parent wants their child to be successful, happy and well-liked. And a lot of that has to do with having self-esteem and the ability to be comfortable and competent. However, raising your kids to be confident is easier said than done in today’s day and age. Most parents think excessively praising their kids for every little thing they do will help them build confidence. But this actually does more harm than good. Praising your child for doing the bare minimum can lead to them overestimating themselves and becoming arrogant. This doesn’t mean you can’t cheer your child on when they do something challenging or congratulate them when they learn to do something by themselves. But raising confident kids takes a lot more than making them feel like they are constantly winning at life. So, if you want to raise a child who will be confident no matter the situation, then we’ve got a few pointers for you. Read on to know them all!
1. Step Back
The best way to build your child’s self esteem is to help them become competent so that they know they can take on the world. This means that parents need to learn when to step back and allow their kids to take risks. They need to learn how to make smart choices and stick to the decisions they make. Which means that you don’t run after your kid if they want to try the monkey bars or step in to rectify a situation when they are trying to salvage a school project at the last minute. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when you learn a new skill or do something by yourself. Don’t rob your child of these joys and lessons.
2. Don’t Over-Praise Them
Many parents take offense to this statement, but a little bit of constructive criticism is good for your child. Allowing them to believe that doing basic tasks is an accomplishment will do no good for them. In fact, all it teaches your kid is to lower the bar for themselves. Over-praised kids don’t push themselves beyond what is required of them. They miss out on exploring their full potential as they never leave their comfort zone. Self esteem comes from feeling loved and secure. But it also comes from being competent, that is, knowing how to do things. And this takes time and effort. Besides, wouldn’t you want your child to feel secure enough around you to make mistakes and learn from them? And wouldn’t it be nice to not have to walk on eggshells around your child? So do your child and yourself a favor and stop over-praising them!
3. Give Them Autonomy
Are they going to do things as good as you? No. you’re a fully grown adult and not someone your 5 year old should have to compete with. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t do chores or make decisions from time to time. Let them pick out the vegetables they would like to try out for the week when you go grocery shopping. Let your kids learn to do their own dishes, laundry and clear up their playroom. Teach them how to dress for every season and let them pick out their outfit for the day. It will be far from perfect, but that’s not the point. Allowing your kids to make age appropriate choices will help them feel independent and powerful. This way when they grow up they won’t feel the need to consult another individual before they do a task.
4. Encourage Them To Pursue Their Interests
Many parents want their kids to play a specific sport or instrument for their prestige and to fulfill their own childhood dreams. But these things never last. Either your child will go along and hate the activity or they will just drop out as soon as they can. What you really should be doing is introducing your little one to many different activities so that they can naturally gravitate towards the activities that intrigue them. Take them to pottery or furniture making classes. Let them paint with their fingers or take prosthetic makeup lessons if that’s what they want to learn how to do. Sure, these activities may not land them a college scholarship. But our hobbies and interests do not have to bleed into our professional goals. The main lessons your child learns by following their interests is to stick to what they started and cultivate new skills that contribute to their growth as a person.
Raising a child with self-esteem and confidence doesn’t have to be a chore. All you need is to give them a few tools, some space and a loving home to come back to. Let them fall on you for support but let them venture out on their own. We’re sure that your little one will grow up to be a wonderful individual indeed!