By Alek Sabin
Parenting has got to be one of the most stressful jobs on the face of the Earth, but it is also one of the most rewarding. Raising children and passing on all of the knowledge you’ve accrued in your own life is one of the most fulfilling goals that you can live up to, and gives many people a stronger sense of purpose, once they’ve had kids.
However, there’s a lot that can go wrong, when it comes to raising children, and you can’t possibly be there for them for every part of growing up. For this reason, it’s important to raise children who are confident and learn to take care of themselves in new and frightening situations. Here are some tips on how you can raise more confident children…
Encourage active habits
Nowadays, it’s all too common that children stay indoors all day. This isn’t to knock kids today, as it is more a sign of the times than anything, but there are real benefits to spending your childhood getting outside and physically doing things! Children who play outside are healthier and have an easier time doing physical activities, such as sports and dance. Playing outside also offers children the chance to socialize with other children, and learn how to get along with new people that they haven’t met before. This is an important skill that leads to more confidence, in the future.
Teach them useful skills
It’s easier for kids to be confident when they actually know how to do things. Heck, it’s easier for anyone to be confident when they actually have some real skills to back that confidence up! The tricky part, though, is that kids don’t really know how to do anything. They’re a clean slate; a blank canvas! For this reason, always make sure that you’re taking the time, when they’re growing up, to teach them how to do new things that are going to be useful in their future. It’s tempting to just take care of things yourself. After all, you could probably do the laundry much faster yourself. Teaching your children to do the same task will take a lot more time and effort (not to mention re-doing the job after they’ve finished, most of the time). However, it’s an important part of your child’s development.
If you have a house or yard project, let them help you out (or encourage them, if they’d rather be doing something else). Don’t wait to show them things, such as teaching them to drive. If their friends are all learning to do things before them, then it can be easy to feel inadequate, and difficult to build up confidence.
Don’t attack them for mistakes
It’s easy to break down confidence when you are attacking your children for mistakes that they make. It’s understandable to expect great things from your child, and to want them to push to be better, but breaking them down for their failures while failing to raise them up for their successes is a quick way to build insecurities, rather than a confident composition. Children have to understand that they’ll still be loved and encouraged despite mistakes. Help your child develop a growing mindset by understanding that they can learn and improve through failures.
Encourage them to avoid peer pressure
One of the biggest benefits of being confident for kids is that it helps them be their own person. The greatest enemy of this, however, is peer pressure. At any age, peer pressure is a powerful force that can make people do things that they normally wouldn’t do, but it is especially this way for kids. Be an example and show your kids that they can have conviction in who they are. They don’t have to do things they are uncomfortable with, such as when they are encouraged to join in bullying, try substances they shouldn’t be trying, or do anything remotely sexual just because others are pressuring them to do so.
Let them be independent
At the end of the day, your kids are going to grow up and make decisions without consulting you, and they are going to do this a long time before you feel they are ready, and you’re probably right! However, this is an important part of the growing up process. At some point, you’re simply going to have to let go and let them make their own decisions. Allow your children to gain a sense of independence at a young age, so that they can have the independent mindset that allows them to make wise decisions when the time comes for them to go out on their own.