Listen to your child. So many parents make the mistake of talking but not listening. When you take the time to listen you can learn what is on the child’s mind. The things kids say will tell you if they have a problem with confidence and self image.
Everyone loves to express themselves and when you listen to your kids, you give them the chance to become part of the family and this helps to increase confidence. Yet, there is good listening and bad listening. A good listener does not interrupt and lets the speaker finish talking. Just because the speaker is a child, does not mean that you should treat him or her any differently. Most adults would not think of interrupting another adult, but have no problem interrupting a child, and this behavior can have a negative effective on child development.
When kids do bad things, most parental reactions include scolding. However, this is one of the worse things you can do. Scolding makes a person feel badly about his or herself. When you criticize or scold you can easily destroy all of the confidence that you have worked hard to build inside of a young mind.
You should not let kids get away with doing bad things or engaging in negative behavior. However, there are better ways than complaining, scolding, or criticizing. Let the child know that he or she has done something wrong or inappropriate and then demonstrate the proper behavior.
Instead of punishing for wrongdoing, concentrate on rewarding for good things. This is called positive reinforcement and it works just as good on people as it does on dogs. Never fail to praise and reward good behavior. You do not have to go out and buy the child a toy or special treat each time he or she does good things. Praise can do wonders for the human mind and lift the spirit. It can make one want to strive to do better, and is the difference between a satisfying and miserable existence.
Do not forget to include even the little ones in family discussions. If you tell someone they are too young to participate, you are essentially telling this person that they are not as important as the others. This can destroy a young ego.
Give your children the power to make their own personal decisions, like which clothes they wear to school or other functions. Just remember that you are the parent and you set the parameters. For example, don’t let a child choose any item of clothing from a dresser or closet. Instead, offer a choice between one item or another. In this way, the child is making the final choice and either decision is appropriate.
Take interest in your kids’ activities. Many parents have no idea what kind of video games or sports their kids enjoy. Perhaps it’s time to sit down and talk to the kids about things that they like to do. This is a time to forget about what you want and like, and focus on the children.
Play a video game or read a book with your kids. Do this at least once a week. Try to think of more ways that you can spend quality time together. If you watch a movie together, be there to explain things that the child may not understand, and have patience. This will greatly enhance the time that you spend together.
If you truly want to enhance self esteem in your kids, remember that everyone makes mistakes. When someone makes an error, point out that you too have made this same mistake. Explain exactly what you did and how the situation was solved.
As a parent, you have the responsibility to make sure the kids understand the importance of self confidence and a positive image. Today is the only day you will have to do something about it, so act now. The time will pass much too quickly, and you will wonder where it went.