Yes! Everyone stands in admiration when they see a child who is confident. Sometimes you hear people say things like how I wish my child could be like that child. A confident child is one who believes in himself. Confident kids have good self-esteem and also grow up to become confident adults. A good self-esteem is a key to success as well as mental and social well being.
Recently I was at a church program and a group of kids welcomed everyone with callisthenics and choreographic displays to the admiration of everyone. And then to my dismay, a mother seated in front of me with her teenage daughter nudged her and said something like are these not your age mates, why can’t you do something like this? Oh, My goodness! You need to see the countenance of this young girl drop. I can’t remember if she ever remained her chatty self till that bit of the program was over. That brings us to the first point.
Stop comparing you children
I can never say this enough. Never compare your child with another child not even among your children should you do this. Yes there are certain things we observe in other children that we would love to see in our own kids but that never enough basis for comparison. This is a good launch pad for sibling rivalry and bitterness.
Commend your child when he does something good
Praise or commend your child for good behavior, hard work and remarkable achievements. However, you need to ensure that you don’t blow an achievement out of proportion lest your child becomes full of himself. You don’t have to praise your child for every small deed lest he turns into a compliment addict. On the other hand don’t let them run low on it as well.
Allow your child to make mistakes.
I know this may sound strange to some people but a lot of times parents want to do everything for their children because they are afraid they will not do things correctly. But it is better to allow them do things on their own while you as a parent supervise. On completion of that task, you can review the performance and point out how he can improve the next time. You’re actually allowing your child gain confidence because when he sees he was able to do something on his own, it spurs him on another time.
Be real with your child.
If you relate stories of how you were always successful to your child, you might be setting him up for failure. Remember, your child is a unique personality and it may be unfair to expect him to be as ‘perfect’ as you. While it is okay to let your child know about your different achievements especially if they are real in order to spur your child to greatness, it is also in order to let them know about your failures and how you overcame them. Your child needs to know how to turn adversity around to become an advantage. We all have failed before. Haven’t we? Life is all about ups and downs. So you need to be real with your child in this respect.
Confidence is not the same thing as pride
You need to create a balance between raising a confident child and an egoistic child. One way to do this is by teaching them to be team players and to acknowledge and praise others for their achievements. By this your child will not necessarily feel threatened by the success of others. Your child needs to know that he is no less a success just because children around him are doing well. A great way of teaching this to your child is by being a mirror of such attitude. We all know that some people do feel uneasy at the success of others.
Allow your child take some decisions for himself.
For example, instead of telling your 6-year old that you are having a particular food for dinner, you may offer two or three options and allow the child make a choice. You can even go ahead to ask the child why he has opted for one food over others thus encouraging critical or rational thinking in the child.
Discover and develop your child’s talents.
Because talents are areas of strength that have been naturally placed in every human being, they are easily able to excel in them. Success at one thing will likely build good esteem.
Work on your child’s public speaking skills.
Far too often, you see a lot of adults who are unable to communicate in public or are unable to stand before a group to make a presentation. Inability to speak before an audience will short change you. It is painful to have something to say yet you feel so afraid to come up to say it. In this part of the world there is a belief that a child must remain quiet while in the presence of adults. I think rather than do this to your child, you should rather teach him to observe some etiquette such as asking permission to speak and not interrupt others while they are speaking.
Love your child unconditionally
Build self-esteem in your child by loving him or her unconditionally. It is isn’t correct to demand that your child fulfills certain expectations before you show him love. Remember God commended or expressed His love towards us while we were still sinners. Your child needs to be aware of the fact that you love him just for being a person and not for what he does.
Spend quality time with your child.
Quality time is not just about the number of hours spent. If you are with your child all day long and all you do is yell at him, scold him, use derogatory words or press your phone all day (21st century mother), it is worse than not being with the child. Let your children feel wanted. Never allow your child to get the impression that he or she is a bother or a nuisance.
As a parent you need to work on your self esteem, particularly if you know you are a bit short in that area. There might have been things in your past that have resulted in your lack or loss of self-esteem. You need to admit that they exist, confront them. You might need to get the help of a professional such as psychologist or counselor. Until you heal from the emotional wounds of your past, you may be unable to do a good job of helping your child have a proper sense of esteem.
On a final note, protect your child from bullies. There is the likelihood that a child that is being bullied will have a low self esteem.
A mother,teacher,administrator, counselor and author. She is passionate about helping parents raise godly children in Christian homes.