Ways to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

Boosting Your Toddler's Confidence

It’s important that children feel comfortable in their own skin and confident in their abilities. When parents help kids build their sense of self-esteem, it is important to be careful, especially since an overconfident kid can handle things like failure and rejection poorly. There needs to be a balance, and kids need to understand that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. There are a few things that parents can do to help their young one feel and be more confident in a healthy way.

Considering Compliments

Showering your child in accolades can be dangerous, especially if you overexaggerate or give out compliments on a constant basis. Complimenting your child can be validating, but when done too much or without any real feeling behind it, kids can grow up to think they can do no wrong. This can be especially troublesome when it comes to things like grades, academic accomplishments, sports, and even social interactions with their peers. Instead of saying things like “That’s the best drawing I’ve ever seen!” or something along those lines, you can point out specific strengths such as their coloring skills. It is also important to remember that not everything deserves praise, especially things that kids are supposed to do. If your child does their chores and homework on time or finishes their vegetables at dinner, a simple “Thank you” will suffice, otherwise they may start filtering out your compliments or develop an overinflated ego for doing things everyone should be expected to do.

Don’t Rescue Them

When kids make mistakes or face obstacles, there are some instances where a parent should help and when they should take the back seat. Your child should learn to handle certain situations on their own and to develop problem-solving skills. If they are used to mommy or daddy always coming to the rescue, they may not develop the necessary skills they need to deal with problems and may end up relying on you for everything, even as they get older. It is important to instill a sense of accountability and ability, both characteristics which can lead to a stronger sense of self while boosting confidence at the same time.

Let Them Make the Decisions

Leaving certain decisions up to your child also helps reduce their dependency on what mommy and daddy say, allowing them to develop opinions, thoughts, and a unique way of approaching certain situations. There is a lot more to be learned when kids are allowed to make decisions for themselves, granted they are age-appropriate, and can help them develop a firm sense of identity as they continue to get older. Simple decisions that kids can make can include what they wear that day and what they have for a snack. Kids don’t have to come up with a solution from scratch, either. Present them with several options to choose from so you still have some control over what they choose (i.e. not leaving the door open for them to decide they want dessert for dinner).

How Reading More Can Make Kids Kinder

Child reading educational books

Reading has been linked to many successes, and for the most part is often discussed in relation to a child’s academic success. Related reading skills, like writing and comprehension, can help kids better understand new ideas, abstract concepts, and retain information. When it comes to personal growth, reading can broaden a child’s mind, expose them to new perspectives, and give them insight to others’ experiences in a unique way.

Exposure

Reading can be an exploratory experience. Even if you’re sitting and reading a book in your own home, the words on the pages of the book can transport you anywhere in the world. For kids, being exposed to other cultures, ideas, and kinds of people can be incredibly beneficial for their developing minds. Learning about other parts of the world and the people that live there can be educational, but it can also be informative in a different way. People in different parts of the world may have different kinds of daily struggles, ways of life, and modes of thinking and speaking, and learning about these things can be important for people of all ages, especially children. Understanding different kinds of people opens doors to greater tolerance and understanding, and also helps kids understand that despite many things, different people can also be similar as well.

Empathy

Reading a book from someone else’s perspective, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, can help kids understand how other people feel and better understand others’ emotions. This can translate to interpersonal interactions easily, making it much more natural for kids to sympathize and empathize with others, understand where they may be coming from, or what they may be going through.

Emoting

Understanding emotions can also help kids become better at communicating their own thoughts and feelings, too. A better understanding of emotion, and the thought processes behind it, can help kids see themselves in others and have a better idea of how to handle delicate situations. Expressing oneself is just as important as understanding other people’s emotions, and when kids have a more thorough understanding of these things, it makes it easier for them to know how to comfort others and recognize situations in which they can help someone else.

Kindness often comes from a place of understanding and seeing situations for what they are, even if it is from a different perspective. The more kids understand about other people, cultures, and situations different from their own, the more tolerant, caring and compassionate they can be as they grow into fully fledged adults.

Activities to Improve Early Development

Mom and Baby sensory activities

 

People may associate school with learning, but while the world of academia may revolve around schools and other institutions of learning, it can actually happen anywhere and everywhere – especially when it comes to young children. The world is full of things for kids to explore and it is important that they experience as much as possible. Encourage kids to observe, ask questions, and invite them to start learning (and never stop) by inspiring cognitive and language development with these fun, everyday activities.

Textures on Textures

Young kids, namely toddlers, tend to be sensory learners, exploring the world around them with touch, smell, and taste. It’s no wonder that kids love putting their toys in their mouths, or grabbing everything within reach. Keeping this in mind, think of textures, scents and other dazzling things that can grab your child’s attention as well as teach them about the things they see every day. Arts and crafts can allow kids to get tactile with things like beans, cotton balls, pastas, and pipe cleaners. You can even incorporate sensory learning into reading as well! Books aimed at infants are often bulky and made from touch cardboard with the intention that kids will want to touch them or even try to bite them – so let them! Even if your toddler is gnawing on a book instead of reading it, they are becoming familiar with the object in a way they know how. Let kids trace letters, get messy with finger paints, and experiment with other objects they can touch and feel, or even smell and taste depending on the materials you have available.

Measure for Measure

Kids may not totally understand the US measurement system in inches or feet yet, but they can become more familiar with the concept of measuring. Instead of using rulers and tape measures, ask your kids to measure things around the house in objects they are more familiar with: How tall is the table in Legos? How long is the kitchen counter in apples? This can easily turn into a fun game that allows kids to use more familiar sensory objects to understand more abstract ideas and concepts.

Get Labeling

For apprentice readers, reading anything and everything is practice. When making a meal, ask kids to read off the labels of ingredients to you or ask them to help you work your way through the dinner menu. Slap labels on everyday household objects, even the tables and chairs, to get kids used to the idea of reading and making connections. Aside from labeling, you can also make it a habit to ask kids about what letters are in the words of the things around them – What letter does “light” start with? How many objects around the house start with the letter T?

With these everyday activities you can improve early development in children and provide a life long love of learning.