Building your child’s confidence and self image is an important part of raising a child. Self image can be defined as a child’s view of himself and his strengths. If a child is comfortable with his self image, he will have confidence in himself. A foundation of self confidence is key to a child’s success in his adult life. In their childhood years, a parent is the main source of building a child’s self worth or self confidence. Here are a few ways you can develop your child’s self confidence.
1. Avoid negative self talk: Children learn by watching their parents. Hearing parents berate themselves will make children do the same. Talking badly about yourself can reinforce a low self esteem. Hence avoid talking negatively about yourself and stop your child from doing it as well. If your child talks negatively about himself, give him evidence to prove the opposite or give them meaningful compliments. Also avoid calling your child names to shame him as these are likely to stay ingrained in his mind.
2. Celebrate uniqueness: Don’t make your child feel like he has to live up to the standards set by siblings or peers. Further, do not pressurize them to fulfill your dreams. Recognize your child’s strengths and celebrate his unique abilities. Help them develop their talents and set their own standards for themselves.
3. Let your child make decisions: Empower your child by allowing them to make decisions about simple things like what game to play or what to eat for dinner. Make them feel that their views are valued and thus teach them to be an active member of the family.
4. Let them work things out for themselves: Spoon feeding your child makes things easier at the time, but in the long run can have a negative effect on their self confidence. Be patient and let your child try and do things for himself. As he meets and overcomes new challenges, his confidence will grow. Give your child age appropriate chores to do around the house. This helps build responsibility and a feeling of competency.
5. Be genuine about your praise: Children are highly intuitive and can tell the difference between sincere praise and something being said merely for the sake of it. For example, if your child has made a drawing, instead of simply telling your child that he is an artist in the making be more specific and praise his choice or colours or ability of colouring within the lines.