Confidence is a fragile element. It takes time to build but can be demolished quickly. It’s important, when raising children, to know when it’s necessary to step in and back off. Children learn when they are faced with obstacles to overcome and when they experience success. While it may be difficult for parents to identify the difference between appropriate support and helicopter parenting, it’s an important balance to identify in order to assist a child’s development of self-confidence and resourcefulness.
Parents and guardians must recognize the difference between controlling and coaching. A parent must show their child support so that they can develop the skills to master a task. Controlling parents tend to take over instead of taking action which steals the opportunity to learn from their child. Instead of overruling your child, try to do things with them so that confidence is built. It’s okay that from time-to-time, a child does fail and fall down because this prepares them for reality and helps them develop problem solving skills. Overall, confidence is not built upon perfection. Constant interventions will only provide a child with a false sense of confidence because when they’re faced with a task, without their parent, then they’ll no longer possess the determined nature.
It’s important for children to find their independence at any early age. Most parents, especially if it’s their first child, find it difficult to step back and encourage without experiencing a severe amount of anxiety. However, allowing your child to learn early on will allow them to build the skills necessary to be determined and stay focused no matter what challenge is presented. However, it’s crucial there be a balance to regulate the challenges because they should be age appropriate and be manageable. Offering structure is key, but failure administered by the parent/guardian should never be part of the equation. Parents should allow their children to learn important lessons but they shouldn’t set them up to fail for the shear experience of failing. Not only will placed failure take away from a child’s confidence but it has the potential of harming a child’s relationship with their parent.
Never shy from encouragement because every human being needs to hear positive words to keep them motivated. Encouragement helps provide a foundation for a child’s inner voice. Teach your child phrases that will help them they stay motivated. Mantras like: “Practice makes progress!, “If you don’t succeed, try, try again!,” and I “I think I can, I think I can!” are simple phrases little ones can memorize. Those mantras will be an automatic internal comfort to encourage and motivate them when they make a mistake. Unfortunately, if parents do not implement positive reinforcement such as mantras then when an error is made a criticizing internal voice will take over and further push their disappointment downward.
Strive to maintain a positive attitude as a parent because your child will pick up on your aura and embrace it into their own daily life. Learn to praise your child for doing a good job and let them know when you’ve witness their hard work pay off. It’s important to focus on the efforts they’re making rather than the results. Positive feedback will help your child work on the elements that are in their control. And then as a parent it’s important to model the positive behavior so that it can be emulated. Studies have shown that positive self-talk can help an individual accomplish difficult tasks and overcome things that were deemed as impossible.
And allow your child to express their feelings even if they’re not always positive. It’s important to practice empathy when your child experiences frustrating situations. Communicate your compassion and listen. Children are just like adults in the aspect that sometimes talking about feelings is the best therapy to overcoming challenging periods. The feelings of competence and understanding are empowering and can be the biggest link within your child’s foundation of confidence.