As parents, we spend countless hours trying to make sure that our kids think, say, and do the right thing. How often, though, do we take time to ensure that they have the self-confidence necessary to actually follow through on those positive behaviors?
Here are 5 simple – yet effective – ways to make sure that you are raising your child with enough confidence to successfully handle all of life’s challenges.
1. Teach your child to be a good communicator.
Communication is everything. It allows us to be fully understood, thus leading to a greater sense of self-esteem. Teaching your kids to express themselves clearly and concisely will allow them to become master communicators.
They will then be able to handle pretty much all situations they encounter, both as children and eventually as adults.
2. Stop telling your child “good job” for every achievement.
This one might sound a little confusing. After all, telling them “good job” is a positive thing, right? Well, yes, it is.
But that particular form of praise is much too generic. Your kids deserve a little effort if you are going to try to give them credit. Your child’s achievements, no matter how small, are very important to them, so they deserve you replacing “good job” with specific compliments.
This method of praise also reinforces the fact that you really are paying attention to everything they do.
3. Show your child that what they are doing really is important.
It is sometimes easy to dismiss what our kids are doing. We can act as though we are genuinely interested, but if we are not, they will notice. As you can imagine, this can negatively impact their confidence.
To prevent this type of deflation, get down on your child’s level and treat what they are doing as you would any other important task. If you want to convey to them your interest, take the time necessary to ask them questions about what they are doing.
Dive into the things that take up their time. Doing this will prove to them that you are truly interested in not only them, but also the things they do.
4. Teach your child to create their own goals – and then help them follow through.
One of the most important things we can do for our kids is to teach them how to create achievable goals. Whether they are short-term or long-term, goals help foster focus, determination, and pride.
Discussing with your son or daughter what types of goals are worthy of their time and attention also helps instill in them a sense of perspective. They can glean from the process what is worth pursuing, and what is not.
Remember: it’s okay if your child sets a somewhat lofty goal. I’m a supporter of dreaming big, so let them reach for the moon.
5. Model for your child how to handle failure and rejection.
At some point in their life, your child is going to fail at something. How they handle it will be due in large part to how they have seen you deal with your own failures and disappointments. Be open and honest with your child about the times that you have experienced rejection or failure.
Even more important, show them what it means to be positive, determined, and resilient. Doing this will go a long way towards teaching them how to overcome even the most painful times in their lives.
Unfortunately, we can’t prevent our kids from encountering these negative situations. But we can rest assured that we have instilled in them the type of confidence necessary to survive and thrive during life’s most difficult moments.