Being a parent is not an easy task by any means. Like it or not, you have a pair of fixed googly eyes on you, tuning in to your body language and tone. They can often pick up on your habits and emotions, so when it comes to raising children, here are five ways to help build confidence and assertiveness.
It is common for most children to have moments when they go through different stages of life challenges to struggle a little with self-esteem or confidence. However, children can grow through these stages with the support of a parent.
When a child feels good about themselves, they like to experiment and try new adventurous things. They are not afraid of making mistakes and often excel in making friends and feeling like they are doing a good job.
Children with low confidence may give up easily or feel not accepted by others. They can be hard on themselves when they make a mistake; other kids may treat them poorly as they cannot stand up for themselves.
Signs of low self-esteem include a child being critical, focusing on negative aspects, or ignoring their achievements. This can bring about feels of anxiousness, shame, sadness, or anger.
Self-Esteem Development in Children
Self-esteem begins at a young age in children and develops over time as the child receives signals of attention from parents, feeling safe and loved. It can be the simple thing of spending time together, exchanging smiles, and attending to their needs.
Over-involved parents have excessive control over how their children are. This provides fewer opportunities for the child to self-reflect, and experience their own thoughts and feelings.
Confident children often feel liked for who they are, and generally have good thoughts about themselves.
Ways to Help Children Build Confidence
- Allow your child to take healthy risks and let kids make their own choices when possible
- Give them small tasks to help around the house
- Encourage them to pursue their interests and let them know they have your support
- Teach them the skills so they feel able to do things
- View mistakes as a time to learn and teach them to follow through with things
Raising Assertive Children
Being assertive is a skill. Being confident and knowing what you want can often be misinterpreted easily by sensitive people or others that struggle with expressing themselves. Children can be taught to acknowledge and identify their feelings and desires. It is vital children know this without feeling guilty. It can help them to have better relationships with others and to be more honest. When children feel heard, they can speak up for themselves. This can help in bullying situations and a child’s sense of worth.
How Parents Can Build a Child’s Self-Esteem
Each child is unique, made up of their personality with different levels of self-esteem. Here are some things parents can do to raise their child’s esteem.
Children are continuous learning sponges, and through different stages, they learn to master new skills. These can be things like learning to tie shoelaces or riding a bike without training wheels. If you assist your child with patience during this time, they are more likely to believe in their capabilities to achieve these skills. Allow them to learn a skill themselves by practicing without you interfering too much.
Encourage their efforts, but try not to focus on the results rather the persistence they are showing. For example, “That was a good effort today; I can see that you are working hard to learn.”
Set a good example by being a role model. Use self-talk when trying to problem solve and talk to yourself in the same positive way. Use your actions to teach children how to do things, not just speak it to them. This makes you demonstrate to your child ways to overcome obstacles, which are just are common for adults.
Gone are the days when children should be seen not heard, I know some of you reading this may know very well from your childhood. Our children need to be taught how to speak up and feel good about who they are and what they may be capable of achieving. It is not about constantly stroking their ego or singing their praises rather about having an honest and realistic approach. By being a supportive role model, parents can teach their children how to have the best start in life. Love and support them, and they will learn to be their authentic self without judgment.