12 Ways to raise a confident child (part 7 of 12)

Self-esteem is your child’s passport to a lifetime of mental health and social happiness. It’s the foundation of a child’s well-being and the key to success as an adult. At all ages, how you feel about yourself affects how you act. Think about a time when you were feeling really good about yourself. You probably found it much easier to get along with others and feel good about them. Try these tips and advice to help raise a confident child.

Follow the journey…

Set Your Child Up to Succeed

Helping your child develop talents and acquire skills is part of the discipline. If you recognize an ability in your child that he doesn’t, encourage him. Strike a balance between pushing and protecting. Both are necessary. If you don’t encourage your child to try, his skills don’t improve, and you’ve lost a valuable confidence builder. If you don’t protect your child from unrealistic expectations, his sense of competence is threatened.

Beware of Value-by-Comparisons

Children measure their own value by how they perceive others value them. And in our measuring-and-testing society, children’s skills—and therefore their value—are measured relative to others. Your child may bat an exceptional .400 on the softball team, but she will feel inadequate if her teammates are batting .500. If you want to raise a confident child, be sure your child believes you value her because of who she is, not how she performs. Do this by giving her plenty of eye contact, touching, and focused attention. In other words, give of yourself regardless of how the game or the achievement test turns out.

Don’t expect your child to excel in sports or music or academics just because you did. The one thing your child can excel in is being herself. She must know that your love for her does not depend on your approval of her performance. That’s a tough assignment for a parent who may have been raised to perform for love and acceptance.

Raise a Confident by Giving Them a Wall of Fame

In our Sears’ family gallery of accomplishments, our walls display Hayden’s cheerleading trophies, Erin’s horse ribbons, Matthew’s Little League pictures, etc. Every child is good at something. Discover it, encourage it, frame it, and display it. If your home is missing this wall, your child is missing his moment of fame. If you have a child who is not athletic, try scouting. With Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, everyone wins, and everyone gets lots of badges. As children walk by their showcase, they can see at a glance five to ten years of achievement. This gives them a lift, especially during times when their self-worth is faltering.

Read part 6.

December 21, 2020 December 21, 2020 Dr. Bill Sears

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