Kids growing up in the world today will face a lot of challenges. There are many things they need to learn as they grow up in this world, and many challenges they will face. One of the biggest challenges they face is building their own self confidence. A child with a high self-confidence will have a greater chance of overcoming any challenges that present themselves. If a child is confident in themselves, then their fear of the unknown will not be nearly as great as it would be if they were unsure of themselves. As parents we can contribute to our child’s development of their own self-confidence even at an early age.
Building confidence in infants and toddlers can be easier than in older children at times. Infants and toddlers react well to positive reinforcement. With a child of that age, positive reinforcement can be as simple as a smile and a clap. When your infant or toddler sees you clap for them, quite often they will mimic the behavior and do a little cheer for themselves. Reinforcing positive behaviors in this manner will help your child build their self-confidence at a young age. During their young developmental ages you will also learn a lot about your child. You will discover that they react differently to different styles of positive reinforcement. While increasing self-esteem is relatively easy for infants and toddlers, it gets more difficult as your child ages.
Older children will face more challenges, and ones of different types. This is when parenting becomes more difficult. We can’t always solve all our children’s challenges, but we can help as much as possible. Remember how you watched and learn your child grow and develop during their infant and toddler years? You can do the same thing as they get older. Remember, your child is an individual and not every solution in a book will work on your particular child, adjust them to meet your child’s personality. As you watch your children you will know what they do well, and what they struggle with. Help them with the items they struggle with to build their self-esteem but do not spend so much time on these trouble areas at once that your child gets frustrated, it will only result in their esteem dropping.
As you learn what your child needs to build confidence in start to develop activities to help them improve. Don’t expect huge gains in each session when working with your child. The key is to get an overall progression towards improving their self-esteem. It’s even possible (actually likely) that in some sessions your child will have a setback, don’t be disappointed when that happens. Set realistic goals for your child, as they reach each goal that will help their self-esteem increase as they will realize they reached a goal. It might even be a good idea to establish a reward for reaching certain levels in advance. If your child has a repetitive setbacks, reanalyze what their difficulties might be and create a new game plan to help them improve their confidence.
Finally, in older children such as teenagers there can be a back and forth conversation. Ask your child why they think they have a low self-esteem and what they think will help improve it. Make sure you listen to your child, as their ability to express themselves is a gift that will help you in developing a plan to help them overcome their confidence challenge. Just because your child is older and can express themselves effectively does not mean their confidence challenges will be less significant. As a matter of fact, the teenage years can be the most challenging for your child. The key is to listen to your child and to work with them. A lot of times this will require adjustments mid-stream and other changes in approach just like with younger children. The difference here is your child can help you know if you are succeeding in helping them.
Self-confidence is not something that children are born with, it is something that is developed. A child can’t develop self-confidence and a high level of self-esteem on their own, they need help. As parents you are their biggest advocates in helping them establish this confidence. Other people that can help include teachers, coaches, friends, and relatives. After a lot of effort by both yourself and your child along with other individuals the reward is great though, a well adjusted child with a high level of self-esteem that will help them throughout their life.