Please don’t accuse me of plagiarism for copying this from another article – I have indeed taken it (quite literally) from one, but what else could I do? I have a mere 3 year experience of parenting. I am not sure if I am always doing the right thing as far as parenting goes. I am not sure if there IS a right and a wrong. Every child is different and each child has different needs. The same parent with more than one child will say that what works with one, doesn’t with another. The same discipline or whatever else might have different outcomes for each individual child. People say that parents DO have a role and they are not wrong. All we can do is try our very best to give our child(ren) the best we can. So is it possible to have a super confident child by following certain ways?
I receive a regular newsletter from babycenter.com in my inbox. I had probably subscribed to it when I became pregnant. As someone who uses Google for everything under the sun, I found this website on top. Quite obviously the Babycenter website had their SEO sorted really well and is probably paying the search engine for that. I don’t always digest the newsletter but I am indeed curious sometimes as it updates me the issues related to the exact age of my dot. And surprisingly they match most of the time. I get a bit obsessive sometimes, to achieve perfection and these articles do help me keep control.
To get to the point, here is my take of the 10 ways to increase my child’s self esteem. Do we know them, already? Here they are, not necessarily in any order.
- Have an eye-contact when you speak to your child – I personally like it when someone looks at me while having a conversation. It reflects attention and interest. My daughter knows that I am paying attention if I sit down and look into her eye and have the conversation. Yes, but aren’t we all very busy multitasking, finishing chores and meeting deadlines? If we sit next to the child the whole day in an attempt to raise their self-esteem ….err. Well, I let her know that I will get back to her once I have finished so and so.
- Listen to your child and give them importance – No matter how trivial it is, I should listen to her and understand her thought process. Chances are that God forbid something serious happens, she will confide in me in future.
- Encourage your child not praise – I do keep repeating ‘well done, well done’ for every little thing she does. I worry that if I praise too much then she will feel the pressure to ‘achieve’ always. If she knows that her parents are proud of her for her efforts, she will deal with criticism and hiccups well – Will she? It might help to get the balance but does anyone get gold in Olympics if they go there just to participate and not win?
- Acknowledge your child’s worth – This overlaps with the encouraging bit. Recognising her contribution towards tidying up or cooking an omelette helps in bringing out her confident self. She will therefore be confident that she is capable of cooking an omelette (and also tidy up more!)
- Highlight on your child’s strength – She is still a bit young for this, but one day she might come back from school unhappy because she was not good enough in the art class. I would then remind her of her strengths and good qualities. I will probably give her the example of mummy, who is pathetic in remembering things but brilliant at playing games with her. Yet she loves mummy!
- Don’t compare your child– I have to keep reminding myself this because that is SO easy to do. I don’t like being compared to anyone so why would my child be?
- Give your child the freedom to mess up or make mistakes – I have noticed that generally if I allowed my daughter to sit on their high chair with food and leave her with it (a good tip would be to serve 50% more than you expect her to eat because she will spill 70% off), she was able to eat on her own,( with spoon sitting firmly on her chair) in a few months’ time. So the idea is to allow her to mess about, experiment and learn from mistakes. Would that make her confident?
- Take a step back and stop over protecting – The society around us has become dangerous especially as far as the safety for children is concerned. We all know about the sad abduction of Madeline McCann, all the innumerable horror (but true) stories in the media. We also know about the recent incident of a school telling off the parents of two little children. The children were allowed to cycle a distance to school, unsupervised. Fair enough, we cannot be too brave, but at least I can allow her to try climbing a tree and not worry of a few bruises along the way. Oh, please make sure the kitchen knives are out of their reach; the other day, my 3 yo suggested she might need knives for painting, when she saw me using it.
- Trust your child with certain house rules and set a routine – The little brains do get a sense of security through a routine, as they can predict what is going to come next when you take a certain step. I believe it is quite sensible to set house rules from the beginning. For example, the lights will go off by bedtime O’clock. Not that I have succeeded in this particular mission, nevertheless I keep trying. Setting up a house rule, for example she cannot play with the car keys (or something more serious than that) helps in the long run. Not only will certain rules ensure her safety, she will also learn that rules are meant to be followed. Later, she should be able to grasp and follow the rules set in school and the real world outside.
10. Love your child to bits no matter what – I will insult any parent if I advise them to love their child. Don’t we all? I guess it is the way of expressing my love to her so that she knows that there are no strings attached.
Here is the link where you will find the 10 ways .. http://tinyurl.com/2v9nepq