As is our confidence, so is our capacity – William Hazlitt.
My jaw drops every time I stumble upon a child dripping confidence. Childish innocence wrapped in confidence is nothing short of surreal. I would love the confidence bug to gnaw on my kids in their tender years.
In my occasional bizarre musings, I wonder why some virtues like confidence are not sold in the stores. If they were, I would buy lots of “confidence capsules” and sneak them in my kid’s porridge.
Then I would step back and watch in glee as my unsuspecting kids chug down their dose of confidence. I would be certain that they would thank me later.
But I digress.
Many of us have flexed our confidence muscle in the course of growing up. That’s why stumbling upon a child with a spring in their step is spine tingling.
Naturally, some tots check into this world with an extra boost of fortitude and will startle their parents and sundry from their infancy.
For most kids, however, the environment in which they grow up can make or break their confidence.
Wondering what you can do to nurture confidence in your kids? This post will explore seven ways to get you started. Read on and find them out.
Stop Bailing Your Kids out All the Time
For a long time, I had been the queen of bailing my kids (and other people’s kids) out. I remember on one occasion spotting my toddler attempt to go up a rock climbing wall in a playground.
I instinctively sprinted towards her and yanked her off the wall in a huff. I then spewed a series of warnings against such dangerous ventures.
Her dad on seeing my action was stunned. He took her back to the same wall and assured her that she could do it. He urged her on till she successfully surmounted the wall.
She was obviously beside herself with ecstasy at her achievement. “I did it mommy!” were her exact words. Needless to say, those words pierced my heart like a sharp arrow.
It’s important to allow our kids to take on challenging games and tasks by themselves. When they look back and see the things they surmounted without being aided, their confidence will soar to untold heights.
Steer Them Towards Their Talents
If you are young and talented, it’s like you have wings– Haruki Murakami.
I once pumped myself with tons of motivation and joined a dance group in high school. This is despite the fact that I tend to be awfully introverted and too much attention makes my hair rise.
On top of that, I am a bit of a clumsy dancer. I don’t entirely come donned in two left feet but dancing is not among the things I do best.
On the eve of the days we were scheduled to showcase our moves, I would have torturous sleepless nights laced with nightmares.
Unsurprisingly, every dance performance would leave me a sweaty bag of nerves. Every. Single. Time.
Some of my dance mates, however, would be having the time of their lives on the dance floor. Because they were inherently talented and I wasn’t.
When people do what they are naturally wired to, they do it with great ease and a boatload of enjoyment. They also exhibit confidence since they are not afraid to fail. They know they have what it takes.
Parents should by all means seek to discover their kid’s talents and encourage them to explore them. This is one brilliant way of boosting their confidence.
It is tempting to want to project our kids as cute little shimmering trophies. To want the world to stand in awe of the strides our kids are able to make both academically and socially.
So we inadvertently put our kids on a pedestal and mount pressure on them to be the ideal kids, the envy of many, the frosting on the cake.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means advocating for mediocrity. I loathe it as much as you do. It is, however, self-defeating to expect your kids to be perfect.
As a matter of fact, trying to compel your kids to be flawless is a sure way of distorting their self-esteem and crippling their confidence.
Because perfection is a mirage. It is nonexistent, at least on this side of life.
Allow your children to bloom naturally.
Forget perfection. No, in fact, hurl perfection into the trash can.
Encourage Sports and Physical Activities
Kids who get involved in sports reap a host of benefits. They learn virtues like teamwork, leadership, communication, time management, and respect. They also tend to exhibit high spirits and generally ooze positive vibes.
This is ultimately a hefty boost to their self-esteem and confidence.
Other activities that can foster your child’s resilience and reinforce their confidence include gardening, hiking, cycling, camping and swimming among others.
Praise and Reassure Them
Who doesn’t like a pat on the back after a job well done? Guess what? Kids don’t just like praise, they hanker for it.
Praising your kids when they accomplish feats bolsters their confidence.
Be swift to let your kids know that you are enthused by their achievements and watch them outdo themselves just to get more of that precious affirmation.
Whether your child qualified for the finals or not, the fact that they were in the race is highly commendable. Do not be fixated on the results. Applaud their effort even when it seems flimsy to you.
You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips – Oliver Goldsmith
If your kids are to hold their heads high and strut some confidence, they need to have first watched you do the same.
If you are walking around with a foul, grumpy and defeatist attitude, do not expect your kids to be any different.
Kids are loyal (sometimes). They mimic what we do and replicate the same with mind-blowing precision.
There you have it, seven surefire tips to help you raise confident kids. Do you have any additional tips? We would love to hear them in the comments section. Be our guest!