Confident children aren’t afraid to try new activities. They make friends easily and work well in teams and groups. They’re able to solve problems more effectively than children with lower levels of self-confidence.
Here are four steps you can take to build up your child’s self-esteem, helping him or her to become a more confident child.
1. Make Time for Yourself
Although it may seem selfish to take time out for yourself when you have a child to look after, doing so is an essential part of being a good parent.
If you don’t make time to look after yourself and to pursue your own hobbies and interests, you’ll become stressed, irritable and bad-tempered. This won’t have a good influence on your child and their self-esteem.
Take good care of yourself by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.
Schedule at least half an hour each day to relax by yourself doing something you enjoy, whether it’s dancing or reading a book. This will raise your own self-esteem so that you’re better able to meet the demands of parenthood.
If you’re happy and relaxed, you’ll remain calm with your child and treat him fairly without losing your temper. Your child is also likely to be happy and relaxed, and this will help her develop a high level of self-confidence.
If, however, you’re stressed and bad-tempered, your child’s self-esteem may be affected because he may think he is the cause of your bad mood.
It’s normal for all parents to feel stressed and irritable once in a while, but if you find it difficult to cope with the stresses of parenthood most of the time, it’s important to talk with someone about your struggles.
Just talking the situation through with an understanding person may help you feel better.
2. Spend Time Together as a Family
Children who spend a lot of quality time with their family are more likely to have high self-esteem than those who don’t.
Encourage your children to take part in daily activities, such as helping to prepare meals and tidying up, on a regular basis. Try to make these activities fun and engaging.
Sitting together around the table and having a family meal is another easy way to enjoy spending time together as a family.
With each family member leading a busy life, it’s often difficult to do this but it’s worth making the effort at least once or twice a week. Switch off the TV, cell phones and other electronic devices and take the time to enjoy one another’s company.
Also try to spend at least 15 minutes of quality time with each of your children each day. You could:
- play a game together
- read a book
- draw, paint or color
- anything else your child enjoys.
Make sure the room is free of distractions and focus on your child whilst enjoying the activity together.
Set aside some time at the weekend for a fun, family activity. This could be:
- a walk in the park
- a trip to a museum or other place of interest
- time spent at home playing games and talking.
At these times, your child will realize that you enjoy their company. This will help them believe they’re a valuable person who is a pleasure to spend time with.
3. Keep Your Promises
Try your absolute best to always keep the promises you make. If there’s a good reason why you can’t do so, explain the reason clearly and simply.
Don’t promise your child something if you don’t intend to keep the promise or if you know it’ll be difficult to follow through on your word.
It’s better to not promise anything than to let your child down.
Also, don’t think your child will forget the promise. Even small children take promises from their parents very seriously and are very likely to remember them in future.
Children whose parents keep their promises develop trust in themselves and other people. Children whose parents often break promises feel they can’t trust others and this leads to an erosion of trust in themselves.
4. Be a Good Role Model
Children often copy the behavior of the adults they see most often.
So, try to be a good role model. If you use good manners when speaking with others; if you’re kind and considerate; and if you take good care of yourself, your child will notice these ways of behaving and will be likely to copy them.
Such positive behavior will help your child feel good about himself, especially if he is also praised for his good behavior.
Of course it’s impossible to behave well all the time. When you lose your temper or say something unkind, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Apologize to your child after you’ve calmed down. Explain that you didn’t mean what you said and you’re sorry.
If you make time for yourself, you’ll be a happier person and a better role model.
If you also devote some quality time to your family each week and keep the promises you make, there’ll be positive effects on your children.
They’ll feel better about themselves because they’ll feel more valued and involved in family life.
They’ll reflect your positive behavior and the whole of your family will benefit.