Raising Confident Children – Step Back And Don’t Do It For Them
Note: Some good advice for parents in this article. For more ideas, see our Free Stuff page for 6 Reports with ideas for increasing your child’s confidence at home.
Confidence comes about through experience – Experience comes about by doing it yourself.
Don’t do it for them – step back and allow your children the opportunities to get the experience for themselves.
School age children need all the confidence they can muster. They are away from you for many hours each day. Who does the thinking for them then?
The biggest problem with under confident children comes from parents who do it all for their kids.
Many parents believe that their job in good parenting is to look after all the many physical needs of their children. Sometimes it just doesn’t occur to parents that they could do with stepping back a bit and encouraging their children to do more for themselves, have more responsibility.
How can your children cry, “It worked! I did it! Come and see what I did!” if your habit is to do it all for them.
Build their self esteem.
Children need all the opportunities you can give them.
Take a long look at all the things in your daily routine that you just do by rote for your children and see what you could change.Effective parenting is always a balancing act.
Yes, children need to be children, but they need to be raised towards independent thought and action as well. Getting the balance right takes thought and consideration, but the payback is wonderful.
As you allow your children to plan, decide, and act from their own sense of confidence, you are providing them with opportunities to say look at what I can do and to know it and experience that thought deep with in themselves. That is confidence.
Set up these opportunities regularly
Have them make their own lunches, make their own beds, do their own room cleaning.
Have them be more responsible.
In other words, have them look after themselves more and be party to their own planning and decisions.
They can, you know, they really can. And they will thank you for it in large measure when they are older.
Show your children that you trust them – Build their self esteem.
How? By giving them the opportunities to do trustworthy things.
Have them work alongside you in the kitchen so they become familiar with cooking and cleaning up. Then suggest one evening a week, or month when your school age children have the responsibility for the evening meal – the planning, the cooking, the serving and the cleaning up.
Plan outings together, showing them all that needs to be taken onto account. Then have them take responsibility for planning a day of family activity on the weekend.
Talk through the routines necessary for getting off to school each day, and then have them take more responsibility for their own planning. This is a necessary precaution in case of parental illness or other interruptions to your normal family routine anyway.
These are only a few of the many ways your children can be encouraged in their own self confidence.
Don’t solve your children’s problems for them
Instead, see the problem as an opportunity for learning and growth and set them up with the chance to overcome the problem themselves.
Many parents allow their children to avoid reasonably challenging situations so they won’t be inconvenienced themselves.
Your children know when you will bail them out, and when you aren’t being totally honest, and they will muster their skills to have you rescue them. Call yourself out when you know you are doing this.
It produces fearful, timid children who lack confidence and decision making skills. It’s hard to think of loving parenting as over-parenting or over protective parenting, but the line is crossed so easily and is often hard to go back on.
Encourage risk taking in your children Self esteem tools come through communication.
Have lots of open-ended conversations with your children to help them question how they would cope with different situations.
Sprinkle you speech with open ended questions – use the six starting words.
How, Why, What, Who, When, Where.
Engage in conversations that begin with –
* What do you think will happen if you do that, or don’t do that?
* How would you handle it?
* Where would you go?
* Why would you suggest that?
* When do you think that’s appropriate?
* Who would you ask?
This encourages your children to think for themselves.
Listen to how you speak to your kids – do you tell, or do you suggest? Do you talk or do you listen?
If you set up situations for your children to practice their confidence with, you are also giving yourself opportunities to commend them for their thinking, their actions and their attempts.
Make the most of these.
Get into the habit of telling them:
I noticed today that you were easily on time.
I noticed how thoughtful you were.
I saw you really thinking carefully.
Reinforce their confidence by noticing, by consideration, and by listening.
Thank them for their input into your family life.
Let them know that you observe, respect and consider them.
Help them to reach upwards towards their best potential by giving them opportunities for practice.
Raising Confident Children – Don’t do it for them!
Editor Consistent Parenting Advice.com
I believe that being a consistent parent is both vitally important and totally necessary to ensure a happy family life. However, becoming a consistent parent is rather like trying to push water uphill if we are not consistent within our selves. This website addresses HOW to adopt a firm, clear, consistent parenting approach, while enabling you to enhance and increase your emotional well-being.
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