Parenting is more than changing diapers, buying clothes and feeding children. We teach them to talk, walk, how to play and how to interact with the world. Children don’t come with a one-size-fits-all personality. Some children are shy, some outgoing, some hyper and some naturally quiet. Creating a balance in your children to be self-confident without being a braggart or worse, a bully, is a tough job. We as parents strive to teach our kids balance and self-confidence is best learned through realistic encouragement and avoidance of unrealistic expectations.
While it may seem an easy concept to grasp, teaching self-confidence is not as easy as it appears. There are many nuances that go into the self-confidence equation. Too much praise when not earned can inflate their ego and cause serious disappointment when they meet with real failure or teach them entitlement. Not enough praise and encouragement can create self-doubt and loss of interest.
There are many activities that you can perform to help your children learn self-confidence right in your own home and to develop a healthy self-confidence and accomplishment.
Plant a Garden
This activity provides multiple learning opportunities for your children. You can teach the principles of gardening such as tilling the soil, fertilization, seed planting, watering, weeding and pruning. As the garden grows, the children will be required to think critically in order to resolve issues that may arise like bugs, hungry critters and disease.
Teaching the basics and letting your child loose in the garden to grow their own plants will either result in an acceptable crop or it will end with a failure. As a parent, allowing the outcome to happen based solely on the effort of the child is the lesson learned. The base lesson is that with hard work and perseverance, there is a positive outcome. However, a lack of effort will produce a failure. This is tying their actions or motivations to an outcome they have a large amount of control over.
Making a Family Meal
At an acceptable age, teaching your child how to cook is a normal event. Allowing your child, with appropriate supervision, to plan and cook an entire meal for the family teaches them responsibility for more than themselves. The accolades received from the family will help boost self-confidence. This applies to baking too. Box cakes are easy to make and will create a real sense of pride to see it rise, take it out of the oven to cool, the decoration and presentation thereof is all important in the confidence building activity. These are tangible results that can be seen and shared with others.
Almost every parent has said to their children “money doesn’t grow on trees” at some point in our lives. While it is not fair to burden a child with the family budget, it can be turned into a positive confidence building exercise to give your child a grocery budget, help them survey what needs to be bought and take them to the store to purchase the items. This not only helps to horn the life skills they would need in future; it also lets them take on responsibility and develop self-confidence in doing something bigger than them for the good of the family.
Allow your child to initiate play time. When they are in control of the activity, this installs leadership skills and makes kids more confident. Follow their rules and encourage their imagination. In the same vein, find their skills and promote them. If you have a skilled artist, enroll them in classes and be honest with their praise. Post pictures of their artwork on your social media and read the responses. The same applies to music and sports. Each child has a talent and when nurtured properly will raise their self-esteem while teaching important life skills.
Building self-confidence is not as easy as it seems. It is a balance act every parent has to manage to teach children realities and at the same time – confidence.
About the Author
Carter Morgan is a devoted family man with a hands-on approach. When, he’s not enjoying the wonderful moments of being a husband and father, he is practicing his trade at John Moore Services.
Photo Credit: Flickr