Human mind at birth is a blank slate (Locke,1689) which means no child is born with a preconceived notion about failures or rejections. What leaves them defeated and let down in the quest of achieving milestones is a serious issue to ponder upon! Let’s explore few tips on how parents can give them the right environment and experiences to build their children’s self -confidence.
Parents are the super heroes and heroines in a child’s life, so be cautious in what message you give them
“Actions speak louder than words”. Firstly, parents need to be calm and should stop being anxious about the child. The child who observes his/her parent being tensed about certain situation (for eg: exam, competition etc) leads them to associate such events as dreadful. Instead, parents should show confidence in their children which in turn help the child to trust in their capabilities in overcoming any hurdles in their life. Empowering a child to believe in them is key to self-confidence.
Do not use fear as a strategy to make the child to perform well
Some parents in order to motivate the child to study or to stop any unpleasant behaviors use either physical punishment or threatening as a strategy. This in the long run might create some sort of anxiety towards such situations. Anxiety in turn results in deteriorating the self -confidence of the child. Motivate children to give their best in anything that they do which helps them to keep trying and to improve their confidence. Suggested strategies to modify a child’s behavior is through positive or negative reinforcement. (will be explaining this concept in the coming week)
Teach them to compete with their own self
Do not compare or force the child to become like somebody else, instead encourage them to be unique and develop their own identity. Make your child aware of the fact that no one is perfect and hence aim of their life should not be to become Mr / Ms perfect. Instead they should be inspired to compete and challenge their self without giving up. This will help them to believe in their potential to become the best version of themselves.
Give the child the steering of their life
Parents should be able to mentor their child instead of managing their day to day life. Your child should be given the space to take his/ her independent decisions. When the child is given freedom to choose, they will become responsible for their failure or success via which they learn to confront any risks in their life. If parents are giving do’s and don’ts the child will become too dependent on the parents such that they will lose the confidence in themselves.
Discuss with your child and help make small achievable goals
Make a list of attainable tasks that the child can do independently like making his/her bed, buying something from the shop, learning something new etc., based on the interest of the child. This will give the child a sense of achievement and self-worth.
Give constructive feedback and acknowledge the child’s work
When the child accomplishes something even if that is small, first appreciate him/her for the effort they have made. Then give honest feedback on how they did and how they can improve next time. Do not start with criticism which will put the child down as well as restrain from appreciating beyond what they deserve which at times gives opposite result.
Parents have the power to make or break a child by giving them the right understanding and nurturing. Self- confidence is a crucial attribute that has a direct impact on the child’s overall well being. If it is not developed, the child tends to be self- critical and are at a risk of developing psychological problems like depression, anxiety, guilt etc. Lets hold hands together to help our kids to create positive impact in our society with utmost confidence.