Build Confidence in Your Child's Accomplishments
Confidence is a funny thing. It almost seems as if you either have it, or you don't. In families with multiple children, this really becomes apparent, as you see children brought up in the same environment who are completely different in terms of self-confidence. I have one child who has a "take the world by the horns" approach, and she has complete and total confidence in everything that she does. Even if this child doesn't succeed, she has an unquenchable feeling that it was the circumstances that failed and not her. I have a second child who, no matter what he does, feels as if he just can't seem to do anything correctly. If he succeeds, it's a fluke, rather than the fruits of his labors. Two kids. Exactly the same upbringing. Why so different? And how to approach both of them with kindness and love and help both to see that they have success?
It's a tough balance. No one wants to be "that" parent - the one who applauds every little detail and builds their child up into an overconfident egotist. But self-confidence is a very vital aspect to growing up. I personally find that the end of the school year is a fantastic way to help work on my children's self-confidence. One thing I love to do at the end of the school year is reflect on the child's accomplishments over the past school year. I do it in conjunction with the child. This is especially helpful for the child who has had a difficult year, or one who is struggling with the thought of the upcoming grade change. We take the year and break it down into segments and then really talk about the tasks he's mastered and the situations that she's risen above.
Was this the year that your daughter finally mastered the times tables? Did your son learn the Pythagorean Theorem? Was there mastery of fractions, or did those pesky shoelaces finally get tied? Take an afternoon to devote to your child on a one to one basis. Really list out all of those things that you child mastered. Make a list of it, journal it perhaps. Maybe even a poster. Sure, it might sound like overkill, but everyone loves to hear the good stuff about themselves, and giving a child a place to go back to in order to ponder those accomplishments helps both the over and under confident find their balance.
What are some methods you use to increase your child's self-esteem?