Since the moment we are born, we start to form a definition of whom we are. Our interactions with our primary caregivers is the first experience that shapes our self-image. Afterwards, the world is constantly feeding us with ideas about ourselves. Because in early childhood, we don’t question what we are told, so we end up believing everything that is communicated to us through words, body language or hints.
A person’s confidence levels as an adult are greatly impacted by the level of confidence they had as a child. That is why is important to start supporting the healthy development of self-esteem in our children.
What can parents do to help their children feel confident?
1. Making time for your child.
Someone once told me this very insightful statement: children spell love like this: T.I.M.E. It is important to always make time for your children no matter how busy you are. Showing that your child comes before everything else is an excellent way of building a child’s sense of self-worth.
2. Minimize criticism.
Being too hard on children threatens their self-esteem because they feel that they cannot get anything right. So focusing on their strengths helps them feel more confident.
3. Be a role model.
One of the personality traits that your child will learn from you is your level of self-esteem. It is important to always communicate to them that you believe in yourself. Never talk negatively about yourself in front of your children and remember that young children may not always understand if you are joking.
4. Watch out for bullies.
Being a victim of bullying may be one of the most destructive experiences to one’s self-esteem. Watch out for signs that may reflect that your child is being bullied. A few examples of behaviors your child may exhibit while being bullied may be: suddenly refusing to go to school, anxiety, fear and negative self-talk. If you notice any of those signs, dig deeper to know their sources.
Moreover, It is important to start creating experiences that help build confidence. Always show them that you believe in them. Encouraging your child to try new things is an excellent way of building their confidence and showing them that you believe in their abilities to accomplish something. Getting your child out of their comfort zone gradually will show them that you believe that they can do anything.
One of the most satisfying things for a child is to overhear their parents while they are telling other people about their child’s accomplishments. This makes them feel they their parents are truly proud of them which positively reflects on their self-esteem.
Accepting a child for who they are is crucial. When parents make their children constantly feel that they are not up to their expectations, a damage in their self-esteem occurs. Parents are supposed to be a source of continuous approval and affection. Truly accepting your child’s strength and weaknesses helps boost their confidence and makes them happier and more successful.
Last but not least, is when parents are truly involved and they share a child’s interest, this increases the child’s sense of self-worth. It shows that the parent actually finds the child interesting and worthy of their time and attention.
In conclusion, your child might be suffering from low levels of self-worth and self-confidence but it does not have to be that way forever. Without the building block of confidence, your child will likely feel incompetent once it is time for them to experience the real world. Without the capability of approaching unfamiliar people or taking on new tasks, people can suffer in life.