By: Debra K. Waranch, LCSW-C
We all aim to have happy, self-reliant and confident children. But is there a formula, a path to follow to ensure your child’s road to success?
While this isn’t an exact science, there are skills and tools that you can give your children, over time, to help provide them with knowledge and therefore confidence. But first, let’s start with looking at ourselves as parents. We need to be aware of our past, our values and our beliefs. It’s important to be able to go-with-the flow and continue to work on who we are and what we believe throughout our years of parenting…which means always and forever… as it never ends!
HOW TO GUIDE YOUR CHILDREN TOWARDS FEELING CONFIDENT:
- GIVE the respect and space they need to grow and become their own person. Allow free time to play, explore and enjoy the activity rather than the reward. Through the enjoyment of learning, a child will develop. Control will sap anyone of confidence, force them to second guess themselves, and eventually give up and become unmotivated.
- TEACH Perseverance. If it doesn’t work, try it again. This is an essential trait and value for building a healthy and confident child.
- BELIEVE in them and encourage trying new things. As they branch out with activities and friends, they will learn to expand their comfort zone (and so will you). Allow them to feel some discomfort and don’t rush in to solve all their problems. Doing so says, “you can’t do it” or “you’re not capable.”
- TEACH problem-solving-skills early. This way they will have tools to reason things out. Many children give up and look to you, the parent, to solve things for them. How will they ever learn if they are not given the opportunity?
- ENCOURAGE them to find resources that can answer their questions. A great tool for kids is to ask themselves the following questions: What can I do to find solutions to this? Who can I go to help find the answer to this question? Where can I find this resource?
- TEACH new skills and give them chores in the home. This enables children to build confidence and also develop life skills.
- ENCOURAGE giving to others. Show them by example. You could volunteer together, help a friend, a neighbor etc. This allows a child to feel useful, needed and helpful to others.
- COMMUNICATE effectively. Teach them how to express themselves to you and to others. Set a good example with your own people skills and they will learn to speak up for themselves and others.
All of this takes daily awareness and practice. By giving your children the tools they need to succeed in the world, they will feel and act confident throughout the many experiences they encounter.
Debra K. Waranch, LCSW-C
Because children don’t come with an instruction manual, JCS offers a variety of programs, services, and supports for parents and families with children of all ages. Click here or call 410-466-9200 to learn more.