Successful people are often perceived as being lucky in life. But studies show that success is achieved not by luck, but through a lifetime of experiences, beginning at a very early age. There is one common trait inherent in successful people, regardless of cultural background, formal education, or financial status: confidence. Child psychologists, along with pediatricians and health professionals, agree that when a child’s self-esteem is intact they are kinder to their peers, and their positive attitude weaves into all other facets of life, no matter what field, study, or sport they choose.
Building your child’s confidence is easier than you think, and here are some ways you can start immediately:
Allow them to solve their own problems. Parents naturally want to make life easy for their kids, but it’s not healthy to always forge the path for them. Constantly running to their rescue results in kids becoming dependent on you to problem-solve, and robs kids of the ability to practice important decision-making skills. When kids make mistakes is when the life-learning begins, and that’s when you get to set them on the right track.
Be their role model. It’s fine to have your own opinion, but when your child hears you repeatedly demean a person, group, or culture that is unlike your own, it teaches unkindness that could fuel hatred. A confident child is rarely bullied and is more likely to feel compassion for others and not belittle those who are different from them.
Teach them good manners. It may seem old-fashioned, but having decent manners should be mandatory for all kids. Knowing how to address a person, shake hands, or even answer simple questions is a kick-start toward building self-confidence and leadership skills. Remember, kids observe how you behave toward others and will emulate your every move. Present a demeanor of decency and respect, and they will follow your lead.
Put down your electronic device. Children thrive on interaction, especially when they have questions about things they don’t understand. Professionals report that parents often spend more time cyber-surfing than actually talking to their kids. Give them your time, physical hugs, and your full attention, and hold off checking messages until later.
This is just the beginning of your role as a teacher in shaping a well-rounded human being. Use these tips as a springboard to being the best parent you can be, and soon you’ll be a proud cheerleader for the successful child you raised.
Abella Carroll, Freelance Writer