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Early learning starts from home, particularly from parents. All children do, in their later life depends on how they have been treated in their early years. Whatever you will teach your child now will be a part of their personality in the coming years. When it comes to building self-confidence like Steve Jobs it is vital for every human being. Without confidence, attaining our dreams and goals can be the most difficult task. Confidence helps us stay strong during our hard times and helps us to keep trying despite failures. Hence it is essential that you motivate kids from an early age so that they can become confident adults.
Be an example
The majority of the time, children learn from their parents through modelling. They do what they see their parents do and most of their life’s actions and reactions depend on what they have seen their parents do. According to Jerry L. Wycoff in his book Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking:
“Parents must model the kind of behavior they want to teach. They must also communicate their values in ways that make the values as important for their children as they are for themselves.”
Therefore use modelling to inhibit confident social behaviors in children. They will be motivated when they see you being strong and confident. They will observe you keenly when you will be making decisions and how determined and confident you are about them. Your confidence will motivate kids to believe that if they become confident they can achieve their goals too. Hence the first step in teaching in motivating your child to become confident is to show and not tell. Your words will go in vain if they don’t see you doing what you preach them to do.
Don’t ridicule your kids
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make in destroying their kid’s confidence is to ridicule them. Calling them names when angry, insulting them in front of other people and never showing satisfaction in whatever good they achieve. These kinds of behavior, when shown by the parents do not motivate kids, and instead can make children suffer from low self-esteem.
Children are innocent beings whose mind are extremely gullible. They can be molded in every way as a child. When parents ridicule their children it imprints their mind to not feel good about themselves. Instead of insulting your children for the wrong they do, try to divert their attention to positive activities and achievements. In Changing Children’s Behavior, John D. Krumboltz give examples of how to deal with disruptive behavior by children with cases and suggests alternatives rather than ridicule them. You are free to show disapproval for any disappointing behavior, but do it in a way that will not make them feel inferior.
Praise your children often
Let your child know when they do something great. In the book If I Knew Then What I Know Now, the author Richard Edler mentions how much validation of a child’s existence is important which can be done by often appreciating them. Applaud for them when they pick their plates after dinner, hug them when they clean the dishes, take them for an ice cream when they achieve good marks.
These are very small acts, but they make a huge difference in the lives of your children. We humans are known to be the social animals who are always in need for a social appraisal. To be accepted by others, we go through great depths just so that others may like us. So why not appreciate them for all the good things they do and help boost their confidence.
Spend quality time
According to AskDrSears.com, play gives your child the message ‘You’re worth my time. You are a valuable person.’ With our lives becoming so fast paced we have forgotten to spend some quality time together. Quality time strengthens the relationship between you and your child and this further helps to build your child’s confidence. By spending as little as 20 minutes a day of the quality time you can motivate your child to turn into a confident adult.
In Lawrence Cohen’s book Playful Parenting the author suggests to use play as an activity to divert their curious minds rather than disapproving them. You can do this by asking your kids to help you in the kitchen making it out as a game or when you see them playing with their toys or gadgets, join them to add some fun to the game.
Motivate kids to have autonomy
Help them develop their autonomy by letting them do certain tasks in the house. Let them polish their skills by giving them independence in certain house chores. Don’t be worried about them breaking glasses and cups, if they show interest in carrying them, let them do it according to their strength. If they insist on cleaning the garden, let them do it. If they say they want to learn to operate the lawn mower, teach them how to do so. Of course, you have to be careful about what is age appropriate for them, but as long as they have the strength and mind to do a certain activity let them do so. Each time they will complete small tasks their confidence will be boosted, thus helping them end your child’s anxiety.
Discuss your day’s plan
It is healthy to discuss your day’s plan with your children so that they know they are in the loop. Along with that, it also prompts children to discuss their day’s plan which may even turn into life goal discussions and problem discussions. Children will not always open up to about their problems, but when they see you doing it they will also take an interest. When children learn to open up at an early age, it makes them confident to discuss their issues later in life as well. Also, instead of imposing what your children should be doing it is better to let them explore their life goals. Starting from the small things, don’t tell them what they should do the coming day rather sit with them and ask them what they would like to do. Give them prompts regarding their assignments and homework so they are aware of the tasks they are supposed to do immediately.
Allow your children to guide you
Sometimes we use the parental authority for all the wrong reasons. It is good to guide your children, but along with that, it is also good to let your children guide you sometimes. In Young Children’s Behavior: Practical Approaches for Caregivers and Teachers, Louise Porter is of the view that children like to take charge, it is up to you to give them that responsibility comes with consequences (positive or negative). You can take small situations and ask your child to guide you with it.
For example, you can give them a budget for the weekend night meal and ask them to decide on what they could order that would be enough for your family to eat. When looking for directions, ask your child to explain the GPS system. Moreover, when you go out shopping sometimes it is okay to let your child decide what they want to wear.
Parenting is a tough job and parenting children to become confident and responsible adults is the toughest job. But your hard work and handy parenting resources like these can make it possible and you are the only one who can motivate your kids to become confident adults.