Creative Child

10 Things Parents of Confident Children Know to be True

by Deborah Song

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3. They let their kids lead. Sometimes the job of a parent is to sit back and let your child do the leading. Parents of confident children provide plenty of opportunities and pay attention to cues, but they allow enough space to let their kids discover what their passions are, what they’re good at, and where they want to go. Then they support their kids by equipping them with the right tools for success.

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4. They let their kids be kids. Childhood is that rare precious time you’ll never get back. While it’s important to teach your child to work hard, parents of confident children also incorporate a rhythm of work and rest so kids have time to relax, get adequate sleep, run around, daydream and just be kids.

5. They understand their kids are not a reflection of who they are. The insurmountable pressures that many kids face today result from parents who project their own identity and self-worth on their children. If their kids perform well in school or on the field, it gives their parents something to brag about. But parents who can make the distinction between who their child is and who they are produce much less of that toxic pressure sure to suppress the motivation in kids.

6. They understand they can’t control their child. Let’s face it. We can’t really make our kids do anything. Not in the long term. We can ground them, or bribe them but these efforts only elicit short-term results. You can shove vegetables in a toddler’s mouth, but you can’t make him swallow it. This seemingly sense of no control might drive some traditional parents into a hyper frenzy. But parents of confident children understand that while they can’t control their child, they can influence him, which takes time and patience. Instead of demanding results, they hold their kids accountable with consistent and results-oriented disciplining. They are able to do this in part because they leave room for errors; they know perfection is impossible.

7. They focus on effort more than reward. Parents who praise their kids’ efforts teach their child to hone in on the controllable aspects of life. These kids become much more effective because they don’t waste their energy stressing. When kids are less stressed, they also learn to enjoy the journey more.

8. They teach their kids to give back. A child whose confidence is solely rooted in accomplishment will likely become arrogant, which is really the antipathy of true confidence. Real confidence stems from knowing you have the ability to do good on behalf of others as much as for yourself. Kids who have made it a habit to give back develop a sense of empowerment.

9. They have a win-win mentality. Having a mentality that everyone can win is a true sign of a good leader. Having a win-win mentality means you care about other people and want them to succeed, but you also believe in your own abilities. You know how to compromise, be happy for others and share recognition. You neither become a doormat for people to step on nor the prideful person who seeks only to outperform the next person. Parents who model this behavior teach their kids through example to have a win-win mentality.

10. They see their child’s weaknesses as opportunities. No child is perfect. Every child has challenges. But instead of focusing on what their child can’t do, parents of confident children focus on what they can do. By adopting this viewpoint, one mom, Jennifer Ash, was able to take her focus off her son’s dyslexia and focus on his creativity. When Jennifer’s son, Max Ash, came home from school with an art project everyone was copying in his ceramics class, Jennifer decided to celebrate his invention, a mug with a basketball hoop, and help him market it. The Mug with a Hoop is now sold in retailers like Nordstrom nationwide and Max is now the chief creative officer of his very own company MAX’IS Creations. With every challenge there is a silver lining. And for Jennifer, she very much believed that Max was able to think outside the box not in spite of his dyslexia but because of it, as many people with dyslexia like Albert Einstein have been known to do. Max’s pain point became one of his greatest advantages, largely in part because he had parents who helped him see it this way. 

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of worklifeparent.com, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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