The formative years of a child’s life are essentially the building blocks upon which their future character grows.
Children can be given the basics of building positive self-esteem and confidence from a young age.
As parents and caregivers, we are responsible for teaching our kids the necessary life skills and qualities that they will need to be well-rounded individuals.
The key to helping toddlers gain confidence and grow stronger is to know when to push and when to step back.
The eight methods listed below clearly detail how parents can encourage their kids without coddling them.
Give Feedback, Not Criticism
There is a significant difference between giving your child well-meaning and constructive feedback and a cutting, morale-crushing criticism.
Instead of pointing out how badly they failed at something, show them their mistakes, and tell them how they can solve them and avoid making those errors again.
For example, you could show your child the spots they missed while cleaning their room and how they can clean up better next time. They will learn a lesson better than if you had told them how bad they had done.
Be an Example
Kids are known to emulate qualities portrayed by their parents, caregivers, or immediate family. Allowing your toddler to witness how you solve problems daily would help them understand that they can also become adept human beings.
Portray your strengths and knowledge while also letting your weaknesses show. Your little ones will most likely pick up on your confidence and try to be like you.
Set Age-Appropriate Goals
Helping your kids set and achieve small goals will allow them to accomplish more extraordinary things as they grow older.
Set goals that apply to their age and level of development. In academics, you could improve their knowledge by challenging them to learn a specific range of numbers or words.
Physically, you can provide tools or toys such as the Pikler triangles, which gives a safe environment to crawl, grip, hold, and climb to their satisfaction, thereby building their fine motor skills.
It is not unusual for parents to want to do everything for their children. However, making your child dependent on you would adversely affect their self-esteem and delay their development.
It is best to let your kids make their own decisions and implement their choices without help. Even when they are doing it wrong, allow them to make mistakes and only step in when they ask for help.
Let Them Fail
Failure does not mean defeat. Instead, it means experiencing loss and refusing to get up and try again.
Give your child room to make errors and poor decisions. Allow them to experience the inadequacy that failure brings.
However, instead of letting them wallow in their misery, teach them how to pick themselves up and try again.
Show them how knowing the pitfalls of a path would help them navigate it better. Help them to realise that failure is not the end, but rather a stepping stone.
Praise Their Efforts and Accomplishments
Praise can be a useful tool to boost self-esteem when it is used in a right and positive way. When complimenting your child, place more emphasis on the effort they expend rather than the outcome of their endeavour.
Regardless of their failure or success, try to find a positive comment about their actions and tell them.
For instance, acknowledge the time they invested in learning all the alphabets and praise them for not giving up.
Teach Them the Benefits of Practice
Competence and skill are some of the factors that instill confidence in a person. Gaining mastery of a craft or being proficient in an area of discipline helps children develop their sense of importance and worth.
Push your child to keep practicing the skills they like until they are good at them. Motivate them whenever they want to give up by reminding them of the end goal.
Show them instances in your life where you had to practice something repeatedly before you became good at doing it.
Encourage New Experiences
Push your toddlers out of their comfort zones by letting them try new things and gain new experiences.
Exposing them to new things will broaden their knowledge base and help them understand how things work outside of their sphere of interest.
Engage their senses, indulge their curiosity, and foster their sense of adventure. When children can learn and master new skills successfully, they become confident in their ability to tackle any challenge that they might encounter.
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