Undeniably, mothers want to raise children who are confident, assertive, strong, and compassionate. That is why we read books on how to help our kids be that person growing up, so they can rise above their problems and face the meanest person with a kindness that kills (as they say).
“For the most part, the parents are on the right track with firm boundaries, negative consequences for poor choices, positive rewards, and looking at the motivation behind the behavior. These elements are essential to intentional parenting yet it is not enough. Instead, the small changes sometimes make the biggest impact.” Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC said. To make life easier for you, we have gathered some simple strategies and placed them here in one article. These are tips from child counselors and mothers themselves who have successfully helped their children survive and thrive.
Tips To Help Raise A Confident Child
- Encourage him to set realistic goals or goals that he can reasonably achieve. When your kid has just been accepted to the football team, it’s perfectly okay for him to dream of eventually playing in the Olympics. However, if he doesn’t make it to the high school varsity team and yet he still thinks he’s going to be a star player in the Olympics, then you need to help him focus on more realistic targets for himself. Guide him into creating short-term goals that he can fulfill in a year or two. Achieving these short-term goals will boost his self-esteem and enable him to be accepting of his strengths and weaknesses. Remember, “Each child learns and grows at his or her own pace,” says Jaclyn Shlisky, Psy.D.
- Show your child you love him. Sometimes, when we are so caught up with work and other adult activities, we tend to forget that our kids don’t only need to hear how much we love them, but that they need us to show it to them. Apart from his favorite dog or toy, love is the most precious gift you can give him. You may shout at him for something he’s done wrong, but always remember to give him a hug and explain to him why he was reprimanded. That is unconditional love, and it strengthens the foundation for self-esteem in your child.
- Be a model of positivity and self-love. The easiest way that a child learns how to love himself is by modeling it yourself. When your boss calls and tells you that you got them a big client, you tell your kid you did a great job at work. Even in the home, if you successfully cooked the pasta perfectly, smile and let him know how proud you are for it. This way, when he does something good in school, he’ll learn to tell you about it, consequently building his confidence along the way. Let him feel the joy of celebrating each of your successes, no matter how small.
- Encourage him to join sports. Your child will experience his first victory and failure in the sport that he will focus on. Getting into sports is a great way to practice focus, strength of mind and body, and undeniably improve self-confidence. When he is seasoned in the sport he is in, then you know that at his age, he will be able to handle defeat and think of it as another opportunity to do better.
- Teach him to be resilient. Success doesn’t always happen at every turn. There will be pain, sadness, and frustrations. Instill in your child a versatile character that is able to say, “I’ll get through this. I’ll just try again.” Help them get over their frustrations by reassuring them that these are only normal and there is nothing he can’t handle. Perhaps you can sit with your child and talk about steps on how to do better, for instance, in an exam, or in a sport. This will improve his resilience and self-esteem.
It is important to remember that as parents, it is not your obligation to fix what has been broken in your child, but you have a role in arming him with the necessary qualities such as assertiveness, kindness, empathy, compassion and, of course, the self-esteem to face life’s challenges with grace and gratitude. “All of your child’s problems can be worked through with humor, goodwill, and perseverance. With proper parental support, even the most troublesome teens can become amazing people.” Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT said.