Some children are born with enough confidence to power a sport’s stadium or a concert hall. Others need it fed to them in small amounts and it seems to leak just as fast.
No matter the level of your child’s natural confidence, encouraging them is the role of a parent. Why? When they get out into the world of school, sport, music, and life in general, there will be plenty of times when they’ll get a bit knocked about. Knowing they can come to the safe, nurturing space you have created and knowing they will find a place of encouragement will set them up for a childhood sprinkled with laughter and joy.
Babies and toddlers
Kisses and cuddles are natural with this age. They love the attention. Add words of affirmation about how much and what you love about them. “I love those sparkly blue eyes.” “What a gorgeous button nose you have.” “Look at that smile.”
Show pleasure in how they are right now! For the most part, we’re excited when we see progress and sometimes we speak about that more than we do the ‘now’. We want children to realise they are loved and appreciated because of who they are now.
Getting down and the floor and even getting dirty with your pre-schooler gives you lots of time to speak confidence into their life. “I can see you’re building.” “How clever are you at matching all the red cars.”
Listening to them without interruption gives them confidence to keep trying their use of words. Of course, we have to correct their use of words from time-to-time! Use toys to act out their favourite stories or use situations that have occurred during the week.
Try and catch your child behaving well. Tell them exactly what you liked about their behaviour. Describe what you see. Involve your little one in easy chores. This gives you the chance to give simple instructions they can follow. Then you can thank them and encourage them in their skills.
Be proud of their work. Sure, that means a bit of a messy fridge with all the artwork! But this is only a season. Drawings and paintings make wonderful gift wrapping. Grandparents love to receive artwork through the mail.
Allow them to make choices about their clothing. If you’re not comfortable with a mismatched wardrobe, offer two choices of weather-appropriate items.
How’s your confidence? Maybe you read through this blog and thought, ‘I do that’ … ‘And that’ … Give yourself a high five. Anything you add is a bonus. Remind yourself everyday of all those little things – noticed and unnoticed – you do for your family.