Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How To Build Confidence In Our Children

Children require love and affection.

I am so grateful for my children. I thank God everyday for giving them to me. How many of us as parents feel horrible and guilty when we have to reprimand or scold them or show them our temper for something that happened at the office and with other parts of lives.

I read a very good article today on building confidence in children and I thought to share some thoughts on it.

Building children's confidence at a young age will make a big difference as they grow up into adults. It will help them preserve in troubled times. We have heard and read so many stories and statistics of people being bullied, spoken down to, abused both emotionally and physically as a child growing up to adults who struggle in their daily lives. Some unfortunately turn bad and the cycle continues.

If we decide to bring children into this world, I think there should be a few ground rules. Love and respect them. Teach them, listen to them and help them understand and at the same time learn and listen what they have to teach and say. It is perhaps easier said than done – but they are our children – we must.

Building confidence is a daily practice and can be simple activities.

1. Start with small activities
2. Slowly graduate to bigger activities
3. Break down activities
4. Ensure it is appropriate to their age and capability
5. Don’t overwhelm them or it would have the reverse effect
6. Give them room to make mistakes
7. Learn from children

Small Things Mean Big Things to a Child

Start with activities at home – we can achieve lots i. build confidence in our children 2. Develop small muscles; 3. Develop motor coordination

Home activities can include

1. Spreading butter or jam on bread – how often we hear parents say no to this because children will make a mess – I say let them!

2. Kitchen – I am strong advocate of children helping in the kitchen – depending on their age

a. Hand kitchen items or cooking ingredients to you
b. Assist you in baking and cooking – there are lots of activities in this blog where children get involved
c. Cleaning the kitchen and home
d. Putting away things after cooking – washing up.

3. Pouring liquid

4. Lace their shoes

5. Watering the plants

Play Games in the Kitchen

Games of course by itself is a tremendous self esteem booster – play a problem solving game and let him think about solutions (help him and never ridicule or laugh at your child)

The kitchen is an extremely great place to give him to confidence. Ask your child about the particular cooking activity – e.g. how much sugar/salt should we put in; what is half a packet; let see who picks a green vegetable faster; quizzes as you are cooking.

Create a ‘cooking problem’ and find a solution with the kitchen. Make it up depending on the age of your child.

Breaking it down

We should break down tasks so that it would not seem daunting for our kids. He will lose interest and tell himself that he can’t do it.

For example, don’t tell him to bake a whole cake by himself. Take him through the process. And he will also realize the achievements for each task.

Praise Effort

This probably should have been number 1. Praise them all the time – direct them towards to the task – be specific.

Words of wisdom from a very learned person I know:

1. The Gift of Confidence is the Greatest Gift you can give your child
2. Love, Patience and Understanding are the best tools to build the foundation of confidence and self esteem
3. Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn – teach them how not to make the mistake again – there is no necessity to reprimand

I am so keen to hear your points of view. What do you think on the ideas on teaching and instilling confidence in children?

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