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However, in today’s demanding academic structure, it is not easy for a child to maintain a good confidence level, from competing nursery admission to weekly school tests, today’s child goes through numerous examinations, almost every day in his/her life and he/she is being judged both at home and outside. According to child psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo, oral communication alone by parents is not enough to build confidence in kids, she shares some important parenting tips that will help parents in this area:
1. Allow your child to make decisions:
When your child gets the chance to make choices from a young age, he/she will build confidence in their own judgement. Just consider the age of your child and set their decision-making parameters accordingly. Like, you may ask your 4 years old son or daughter what he /she would like to have in breakfast, an omelette or fruits or chapattis, instead of asking a broad question like “what you will have in your breakfast”, which they will likely to give you an answer either from their imagination or from their list of yummy foods (generally cake, chocolates or junk food).
2. Avoid always rescuing your child
For parents, the desire to prevent their child from getting hurt, feeling discouraged, feeling upset or making mistakes is natural, but when parents intervene, say if the parents go to their child’s school and pressure the cultural teacher to take their child in dance team (which he/she was not selected) then parents are doing something which is not right.
From terrorism to natural disasters, there are a number of traumatic events that constantly hurl themselves at us. Given the amount of stress it causes an adult, imagine how a child can process this information. Often traumatic events that occur in childhood can trigger phobias and anxiety disorders that last a lifetime if not dealt correctly.
Each child responds to trauma in a different way depending on the circumstances and their age and personality. What is common is that all children turn towards their parents and teachers for support in these situations. Hence, it is important to understand how to help your child deal with traumatic events.
Here are a few steps you should follow:
- Provide comfort: The first thing to do in a traumatic event is to reassure and comfort the child. Reinforce your child's sense of security by following a normal schedule and maintaining regular eating and sleeping habits. Encourage your child to talk and ask questions and discuss the situation with them in a way appropriate to your child's age and concerns.
- Accept their needs: Children show the need for reassurance in different ways. For some, it may be the need for extra physical contact in the form of hugs while for others it may be ensuring that their favourite teddy bear is with them constantly. Be patient with children and indulge their needs in such situations.
- Limit the amount of information available: Media often magnifies a traumatic event making it all the more difficult for a child to apprehend. Children can often be mislead or frustrated by media coverage of a traumatic event. Thus, it is a good idea to limit the use of television, radios and internet. As far as possible do not let your child watch the news alone.
- Stay in touch: If your child goes to school, his or her teacher is the parent figure at school. Stay connected with your child's teachers and the other adults in their life to monitor changes in behavioral patterns.
- Create distractions: If left alone with nothing to do, a child's mind will dwell on the trauma. Encourage them to find a hobby to cope with the negative emotions. Music and art are two good outlets for stress. You could also play board games, read or play outdoors to distract them.
- Get professional help: Sometimes you may need help to deal with a traumatic event in your child's life. If your child shows signs of behavioral changes, academic problems, emotional outbursts, anxiety, depression, insomnia or social withdrawal; you should consult a professional counselor.