"Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child's future. A child's self-esteem affects every area of her existence..." -Stephanie Martson
A strong foundation of self-confidence is rooted in childhood. The messages a child receives about themselves shapes their self-image and esteem for the rest of their lives. As a parent, you have the opportunity to boost your child's esteem and guide them to develop into a confident, well-rounded person. Be a reflection of the best in your child, practice attachment parenting techniques, allow your child to taste achievement, and abstain from labeling your child. In this article we'll discuss how to raise a confident child using these simple and powerful steps.
Be a mirror of your child's best qualities. Notice things your child is good at, and let them hear your speak positively about them to other people. The way your child thinks you perceive them forms their first perception of themselves. When your child sees that you are proud of them their confidence soars.
Be attached to your child... literally. Practice attachment parenting techniques such as baby wearing, breastfeeding, and responsiveness. A child who receives what they need learns from an early age that they are worthy of having their needs met. A child who is raised in a responsive, caring environment is more likely to feel competent to pursue their dreams and take calculated risks.
Give your child opportunities to achieve. When children achieve something, whether it's an everyday accomplishment like brushing their own teeth or a big score like making the baseball team, they experience a big surge of confidence. By achieving something meaningful, your child develops trust in their abilities. Achievement is addictive, once your child is bitten by the bug of accomplishment they're likely to look for more areas in which to succeed.
Refrain from labeling your child. Have you ever read a fairy tale in which the power of a character resides in their name? Think Rumpelstiltskin. There is great influence in the names and labels we place on people and things. Families who develop a tendency to scapegoat one member by calling them names like "the problem one" or "the mean one" run the likely risk that their little one will live up to the label. Additionally, labeling children for a trait you see in them such as "the sweet one" or "the smart one" limits their ability to develop into a well-rounded person. Allow your child to grow and shift into the person they are meant to be without the pressure of living up (or down) to labels you've place on them.
Your child looks to you for an idea of who they are, who they should be, and how much value they hold. By mirroring the best in your child, using attachment parenting methods to lovingly meet their needs, allowing room for your child's successes, and refraining from labeling your child, you will raise a confident person who is sure of their value and abilities. How to raise a confident child begins with you.