Creative Child

5 Ways to Give Your Child Confidence

by Rebecca Eanes on Jan 9th, 2017

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Let Them Do What They Can Their Own Way

We can undermine a child’s confidence by insisting they do things our way. They may not tuck the corners of their sheets in just so, style their hair the way we’d prefer, or pick out a matching outfit, but where possible, it’s best to allow them autonomy. NYT best-selling author, Rachel Macy Stafford, beautifully makes this point in an article titled The Manager in My Home and the Five Words that Changed Everything. When she stopped managing her children and allowed her child the simple act of brushing her own hair, things took a positive turn. What can you allow your child to do her own way?

 

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Encourage Them to Master Something

Does your child start and stop activities? Do they lose interest or quit when it starts to get challenging? This is not uncommon, but when children do this enough, and they begin to feel incompetent. While I don’t believe in forcing children to continue something they have no real interest in, I do believe in being a cheerleader and encouraging them to press on when things become challenging and not be so quick to give up. If they’re always quitting, they’ll never master anything, and mastery builds confidence and self-esteem. By building mastery, they learn they can accomplish their goals through perseverance and determination and are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment when their goal is reached.

Let Independence Unfold – Don’t Force It

As we have learned more about child development and the nature of attachment, we know that independence cannot be forced but rather naturally occurs when the child has first formed a strong attachment to his mother or caregiver. When we try to force a child to be independent before he is securely attached or before he is developmentally ready, we can actually foster more dependence which lasts much longer than it would if we were to simply let it unfold. Of course, we can also hinder independence by being too controlling when they begin to show signs of autonomy beginning around the age of 2. They assert themselves with “no” or say “me do it,” and we may reprimand them for saying no or tell them they’re not yet old enough to pour the milk, thereby hindering their naturally developing independence. We need not force it; we must only get out of the way and allow it to happen.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.

 

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