As a parent, have you ever considered what your son or daughter experiences every day at school? Who their peers are, and what those peers are teaching your child? What kinds of things they are exposed to during a school day? How these things may be molding your child's future?
Let's just say for the sake of argument that your child is around 8 yrs. old. Now close your eyes and picture them at 16, what do you see? I know its scary, but humor me and get a clear picture of what they look like. Do you see them? Good.
So what do you see? Do you see them as a confident young adult that can easily say "no" when approached by someone trying to sell them drugs? Or...do you see them caving under the pressure? Do you see them being pushed up against a locker by a bully, or are they able to handle the situation without any lingering effects?
Better yet, now picture your child looking at themselves in the mirror. How are they looking at themselves? Are they proud of the person in the mirror, or are they looking at themselves with distaste?
In no way do I want to scare you, or paint a bleak picture of the future. On the contrary, I want to give you some tools to help you to raise the confident child that you picture in your mind.
Here are 5 Secrets to Raising Confident Kids
Model the behavior - If you want your kids to be confident, then they need to see what confidence looks like. That is where you as a parent come in. There is no one in a better position than YOU to show them.
Praise them often but sincerely - Take the time to really praise them. However, it is really important that you are sincere with the praise or they will start tuning you out because they don't believe you. They know they are not the strongest person in the world!
Teach them that not everyone wins all the time - We are not doing our kids a service by making everything they do "fair". Our society is getting away from keeping score in a sporting event so that everyone walks away a winner. However, do you really not keep score? I can't think of a parent that doesn't! Better yet, do you really think the kids are not keeping score? They definitely are! All we are truly accomplishing is teaching them that they will never lose, or fall, or stumble in life. Instead, we need to teach them that sometimes we aren't the winner of the game, but how we choose to respond is what is important.
Teach them to make their own decisions - This of course is within reason and in accordance to their age. You don't want a 3 yr. old to be making all the decisions of what they will or won't do in their day. That simply won't end well for the child or the parent, and leaves the parent wondering how they ended up with an out of control child. Instead, give a child a choice of 2 or 3 things of your choosing so that they can begin to make their own choices. This will give them the opportunity to experience some successes and failures that they can learn from. As time goes on, they gain confidence in their ability to make good decisions, and they gain the experience needed to continue to do so.
Be intentional with the other adults in their life - Take the time and really search out other adults that will serve as great role models for your child. You are looking for other adults that exhibit the confidence that you want your child to emulate, as well as, other important characteristics like integrity, good manners, and a positive attitude.