Raising a confident child that is always surrounded by “perfect” social media posts can be challenging. But confidence is important for a child’s health and success.
A confident child can be better at handling peer pressure, challenges and negative emotions or anything else that upsets them. This can be something that they see online or in their daily life.
So what is the ONE thing that can help develop confidence in children?
it’s YOU! Parents and teachers.
The pressure can be high for you but don’t worry- building confidence in children that are growing up with tech is just the same as how it is done in the past.
In fact, you can make this as part of their daily routine and it can even be FUN!
Give your child a “special” task that is done just by him. Tell your child this “special” task can only be perfect if he/she does it. This gives your child a confidence boost.
For instance, get them to take care of their younger sibling when you are cooking, or walk the dog or simply helping you with certain chores.
You can even assign your child to keep an eye if their younger sibling is watching the Youtube channel you have selected for them.
We tend to go to the negative talk when we are unable to complete a task or achieve our goals. For instance, we may say “I can’do this” or ” This is too hard for me”.
Teach your child affirmations, instead of saying “I cant” you can say “I will try”. Using the right words and affirmations can change the mindset your child has on a particular task.
From thinking they can’t do something they might turn it into a challenge.
Here are some examples of affirmations
It is very easy to get distracted by our devices. Without us realizing it we might ignore our kids just to check our notifications. Or even life gets in the way and sometimes we forget to tell our kids how much we love them.
Let your child know that you love and care for them even if they have made a mistake.
If your child is already using a smartphone or browsing the internet they may make mistakes online. For instance, clicking on a virus, etc. Do not punish them, instead teach them how not to do it the next time.
If the mistake they made is more serious like sexting then refrain from being angry and emotional. Rather try to understand why they have behaved in that way.
Always remind them no matter what they do, you will always care for them.
Don’t always make all the decision for them. Let them decide what they want. For instance, when you go to the restaurant show them the menu and help them decide.
Even when they are browsing online let them decide what they want to do. For instance, some might choose to explore a new game or learn to cook on Youtube, etc.
But give them the power to make that decision. Ofcourse this need to be done in an age-appropriate situation.
If you think what they have decided is not right, it is ok to sometimes let it be and let them fail. Making mistakes and failing is part of learning.
This also gives them the confidence that adults respect their decision and opinion.
Teach your child the skill of goal-setting from a young age. This can promote a “can-do” attitude and help them take responsibility for their behavior.
Goal setting can be done weekly or even monthly.
You can sit with your child and help them set their goals.
Firstly, let them decide what they want to achieve. This will make them more motivated to work towards the goal.
For instance, learn a new musical instrument or pick up a new sport.
Then help them breakdown the goal so it becomes achievable. Create smaller tasks that need to be done so the goal is attainable.
Do not forget to include some obstacles your child might encounter while trying to achieve their goal. For example, homework or exam getting in the way.
It is easy to get distracted by everything around us. From work, phone notifications, household chores, and just getting through the day. Despite how busy your life is set a certain time of the day that your child gets all your attention.
This could be just before bedtime or in the evenings.
Don’t just put away your devices but actually be mentally present with your child. Kids are very strong in sensing that their parents are not paying attention.
To help your child feel valued you need to get rid of all the distractions and be present in the moment.
It can be difficult for a child to go out of their comfort zone. But encouraging them to do that will boost their self-confidence. You can introduce public speaking courses or even get them to join a play.
Challenge them to learn something new even online. For instance, get them to learn a new programming language and then ask them to teach their younger sibling or friends.
By trying out different things a child can discover their passion and interests.
Sometimes a child may not know how to express what they are feeling. They can go into a silent mode or throw tantrums. When this happens sit them down and talk to them.
Help them stay calm and think through things. Also, allow them to channel their emotions to you. Let them know that you will always be available to listen to them.
Do not criticise your child over what they are feeling. Whether its positive or negative let them express it healthily to you.
Talk to them the dangers of posting negative emotions online. Always remind them to think before they post.
If you ever find them feeling sad or upset then have a list of things you can do to help them feel better. Below are a few examples you can print and use as a reminder.
Remind them of their achievements. A board where they can stick any certifications, artwork, medals or anything they can be proud of. Even if it is the smallest thing let it be on the achievement board.
Use this as a reminder of how smart, courageous and proud you are of them. Definitely a confident booster.
Sometimes as parents we may find ourselves comparing our child to others. We can compare their grades, their abilities and their character.
Refrain from such behavior as it can have a big impact on their confidence. Don’t even compare them to their own siblings. Each child is unique in their own way.
Comparing them to others can create self-doubt.