Self-confidence is an essential component to living a happy and purposeful life. If you do not have a strong belief in who you are and what you’re capabilities are, every experience you encounter becomes that much more difficult to master. Someone who is self-confident is emotionally more equipped to deal with responsibility, pressure, frustrations, challenges, and the good and bad that occurs in life.
Of course, every parent wants their children to trust in themselves and their abilities. While a person’s self-confidence can as they age and go through more experiences, it is at home where this foundation begins. Below, is a look at some ways parents can do more to raise more confident and happier children:
Love Them Unconditionally
Having the love of mom and dad means more to children than anything else in the world. However, it is a common misconception for children to believe that when they’ve done wrong, their parents don’t love them the same. Through good times and bad, it is imperative for parents to let their children know that they love them no matter what. You can reinforce this by telling your kids you love them every day. Should they make a poor decision or behave in a manner you don’t like, rebuke the decision or behavior but reinforce that you still love them.
Show Them Who They Are
There are likely no more confident people in the world than those who know exactly where they came from and who they are. Knowing about their ancestors and family history helps them to realize they are a part of something bigger than themselves. They get to learn how their ancestors played a role in shaping the future. It teaches them about culture and diversity and helps them to appreciate the very diverse and complex world around them.
So, educate your children on who they are and where they come from. Whether you have to ask older relatives, check family photos, view records of the 1860 Census, or trace your family tree through social media and other platforms, do what it takes to let them know about their ancestors as a means of boosting their confidence.
Reinforce Negative Talk with Postive Talk
Have you ever heard your children saying they can’t do something? Or maybe you’ve heard them put themselves down for trying but failing at something? Negative self-talk is common but it does a number on a person’s self-confidence. The more you talk down to yourself the harder it becomes to believe in yourself or your abilities. The same is true for your children.
So, not only should you practice not talking down about yourself, but you need to help your children replace their negative self-talk as well. When you hear them putting themselves down, replace it with a positive phrase. For instance, “I’ll never get a passing grade on this exam” could be replaced with, “With practice, I can pass this exam”.
Allow Them Age-Appropriate Independence
As much as parents would like to shelter and coddle their children for as long as they can, this type of parenting doesn’t create confident and happy children. When parents do any and everything for their kids it sends the message that you don’t believe in their abilities. For example, if your child is 10 years old and you’re still dressing them for school and picking out all their clothes, they become to believe this is something they can’t do for themselves. Similarly, if you’re still cleaning your teenager’s room or taking care of all the household chores yourself, you paint the picture that they aren’t capable of doing it right.
As hard as it can be to let go of the reigns, you must teach your children to become more independent in order for your children to develop confidence. As they get older, allow them to do things for themselves. Whether it’s picking out the decor for their bedroom, pouring their own bowl of cereal, hanging out with friends after school, or completing household chores. Sure, they may not do it as effectively as you or the way you would do it, but each time they’re able to handle things for themselves, it boosts their confidence in their own abilities.
There are a lot of qualities a person needs to succeed and be happy in life. At the core of each of these qualities, however, is self-confidence. If a person doesn’t believe strongly in themselves and their capabilities, getting through both the good and bad in life becomes challenging. As parents, it is your responsibility to set the tone at home by using advice such as that provided above to raise children who are confident and happy.