You probably noticed when your self-esteem was at an all-time high. You felt good about yourself, and you knew what made life worth living and how to be happy with the person that is me! But have you ever thought about why kids seem so confident in some areas but not others?
Many adults can tell from a quick interaction or glance if a child has low “self” esteem because they will often appear sadder than other children their age. We all know how it feels when we’re feeling down. We may not want to try new things or talk about our achievements with anyone because deep inside, there is a little voice that says, “no one will believe me.” The thing is, kids have low self-esteem too! And like adults, they need someone else believing in them for success and happiness just as much if not more than their friends do, so why don’t you start by being on the phone buddy list?
Kids with low self-esteem tend to be critical and hard on themselves, feeling they’re not as good or capable as other kids. They also think of the times that have failed rather than when they succeed, which leads them to have little confidence in their ability to do things well.
How to develop self-confidence in your child?
We all know that self-esteem can start as early as babyhood. However, it develops slowly over time, and it’s a process, not an instant award for being perfect! Self-confidence starts with safety in your life – feeling loved and accepted by parents or caregivers. Then, receiving positive attention from them when you try new things, like creating something new in arts and playing some new game, etc.
As kids grow, they may find themselves doing things and trying out new experiences to increase self-esteem. For example, suppose a child is allowed the freedom of exploration without any judgment or criticism from others. In that case, I believe they will come away feeling more empowered about who s/he is and better equipped for life’s challenges ahead! So you want your kid to be self-confident? Here are seven ways:
1. Baby steps
Self-confident children are confident even when they’re not excellent at something because they know that doing new things is about taking small steps, not being perfect! Let’s get real here – even adults get less than satisfied with themselves when it comes to the things we do every day, like work and chores! So what makes us think kids will take life in stride? Most of them won’t unless you make sure they see your struggles too. If you do things like wait patiently for your turn while others rush ahead; or cook spaghetti without burning it once or twice (or three times), then kids’ self-esteem will become more resilient over time.
Being self-confident means being comfortable with your own company. It’s not all about being the best at everything you do; it’s more about accepting who you are rather than trying to be all things to all people.
3. Focus on Strength
We all have the natural ability to be good at something. Take advantage of your strengths and avoid focusing on weaknesses if you want kids to feel confident about themselves, which leads them to act better! Treat your child as if they are already self-confident because s/he deserves it! And when you ask your child how her day was, make sure that you are truly interested in hearing all about it. The more you speak with each other, the more your child will believe in their own worth.
4. Remember Good Days Too!
When discussing their days with your kids, don’t only ask them about what went wrong. Ask them about their successes, too, like how they made a new friend at school or got a high score in a math test. Don’t compare children’s stories with each other either; no one likes to feel left out or as if s/he can’t measure up to what someone else has done. Instead, simply encourage them to talk about their feelings and thoughts, being there for them as a supportive listening ear.
5. Praise the Effort, Not the Child
We all want our kids to do well at school, so tell them how proud you are of her effort rather than just commenting on how smart s/he is! That way, your child will feel like s/he could do even better if s/he tried harder and learned from the process of trying! Self-confidence is built upon a sense of achievement which can happen when kids are allowed to build on what they know instead of having someone else tell them what to learn, how to learn it, when to learn it, etc.
6. Be Positive about your Child’s Abilities
Suppose you want your child to hold himself in high regard. In that case, it’s important to be encouraging and complimentary instead of negative when describing what they are good at. With so many kids these days facing academic challenges in Singapore, this is even more important than before.
7. Focus on Physical Ability
Self-esteem is also boosted when kids are allowed to explore physical activities like yoga, karate, swimming, and so forth. These kinds of activities build upon physical capabilities that improve a child’s self-image and their ability to deal with the kind of setbacks that inevitably come up in life.
Conclusion: Try these tips and see for yourself! There are no hard rules for raising kids other than following your heart and nurturing their well-being however you think is best. Kids who feel happy, loved, and cared for are bound to grow into confident individuals.