Christine A Howard

Creating Confidence Within Your Child

Today, many people are suffering from the effects of low self-esteem and low self-worth.  Indeed, therapist’s offices have never been so busy, than in the modern age where many people recount tales from childhood – often blaming their lack of self-esteem and confidence on poor parenting.  As a parent, it is important to create confidence within your child.  

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Achieving Inner Confidence

With this in mind, modern parents are much more aware of the impact childhood experiences have on their littles ones as they grow up.  Most of us are aware of the the long term impact their childhood will have on their long term emotional development and well-being.

When we talk about confidence, it’s important to realise there are different types of confidence.  We have both inner confidence and outer confidence.  Inner confidence is what many people associate with a sense of self-esteem.  On the other hand, outer confidence is what most people would consider to be assertiveness.

Then, there’s also the idea that some people can be ‘overconfident’.  In truth, nobody can have too much confidence.  What often happens when people have too little internal confidence, is they go one of two ways. Either, they become shy and introverted or they overcompensate for their lack of confidence by putting on a mask of external confidence. If this happens, your child may be perceived as arrogant.

It’s important to note that arrogance tends to come from a lack of self-worth and self-acceptance.  Therefore, while it can be tempting to view ‘arrogant’ children as annoying spoiled brats, we shouldn’t jump to this conclusion.  Instead, it’s good to acknowledge that underneath the surface, they’re just doing the best they can to cope with the feelings they have.

Now, when it comes to your own children, there are certain things you can do create more confidence and higher levels of self-esteem.

STABILITY

A sense of stability and certainty is imperative.  The majority of issues stem from an unstable childhood where things were disruptive – either practically or emotionally.  In this sense, providing a solid sense of “home” is important.

When it comes to “home” many people focus way too much on the external aspects of their home and neighborhood.   You might be concerned with the safety of the neighborhood or making your home inviting. But creating a secure home is much more than getting the right garage door openers or double glazing panels.  It’s also more than good schools and safe parks nearby.

At its core, the concept of home is a feeling and an emotional state.  Simple things, such as having a bedtime routine that remains consistent can create a sense of home.  Having a family pet that greets your children each time they return from school is another great way to feel like home.

In this sense, stability is more to do with providing emotional stability rather than practical stability.  Alhough the practicalities of keeping a roof over your family’s head, is of course, just as imperative.

Finally, children from stable homes tend to feel more confident and sure of themselves.  The term insecure suggests a lack of security and stability. Bear this in mind, if your child is displaying the signs of insecurity and lacking confidence.

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MAKE THEM FEEL HEARD

Many “naughty” children often act out as a way to get attention.  This often stems from a place of not feeling significant enough to their parents.  And sometimes they miss those times where even a little burp would get bucket loads of attention.  Naturally as your child gets older, this has since stopped.  Your child still needs to know that you notice them.

As children get older, and particularly when they reach their teenage years, a lot of children don’t feel validated. They don’t feel their opinions or preferences matter.  Your child may even feel that her views are not “heard”.

If you want to create confident children then it’s important you validate their feelings.  Make sure to offer the time and space that is necessary to allow them to feel heard and understood.

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

Again, children are often attention craving beings.  Many parents will give much more attention to something they have done wrong – rather than something they have done right.  In this sense, children quickly learn that to get the emotional “reward” of attention, they just need to do something naughty.

Now, they might try, at first to do something positive in order to “win” your attention – yet, if that doesn’t work, they’ll often try something more negative in order to provoke a reaction; or, in the alternative, will become an overachiever that operates from a place of needing to do more and be more in order to gain their parents love.

In either case, this  is not a recipe for confidence.  You therefore want to focus on rewarding the positive.  Try ignoring the negative, as much as possible.  You may even do this to the extent that you uphold boundaries but don’t give into the negativity.  Make sure your child feels “good enough” by congratulating them for the little things, and the big things, where they become conditioned to achieve something positive in order to receive the attention they crave.

ENSURE SOCIAL STIMULATION

The more variety children are exposed to, the more confident they tend to become as they quickly become adept at relating to different people and circumstances to what they are used to, and this ability to adapt to and accept ‘different’ situations and cultures creates a significant amount of confidence in children.

This is particularly important for children that are homeschooled, as whilst there are many benefits to homeschooling it’s imperative your child socializes with his or her peers in order to expand their ability to “relate”.

If you notice, confident children are those who can get on with others and relate harmoniously.  Often, this comes from good role modelling, yet you cannot teach your children everything they need to know – sometimes, they have to go out and experience things for themselves.

ENCOURAGE FAILURE

Failure is taken by many people as a negative, almost ‘dirty’ word, yet it’s only those who are confident enough to fail and get back up that make it in life.  If you consider anybody who has tried to accomplish something magnificent, their journey is punctuated with failure after failure – until finally, they make it.

Encourage your kids to fail, and then use the feedback they received as a lesson that helps them correct their own course.  In this sense, failure is a fantastic teacher, after all your child would not be walking right now if you discouraged them from failing.  Doing so will increase the confidence within your child.

Creating Confidence Within Your Child

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