Building a child’s confidence isn’t easy, but raising confident children is what every educator/parent dreams of. A brave child who is sure of himself but seeks help when the need arises, a child that is not afraid to try new things or take challenges head-on. There is no greater gift to give a child than confidence.
Here are 5 tips according to best-selling author and American psychologist Carl Pickhardt that could help you in molding a confident young mind
Building a Child’s Confidence
1.Appreciate their efforts: It’s all too common to think that a child deserves praise only when they are outstanding. And this still applies even when they’ve tried their level best. Excellence is good as it is important but reprimands will not make them, it will do the exact opposite. Break them. So, in order to build a child’s confidence, praise them even when they mess up, as long as they are trying, as Pickhardt explains. For example, if a child is given an art project and they end up not doing it so well, the best thing to do would be to praise the effort they’ve put in and then gently ask them to do it again. They’ll surely come up with something better since they are feeling good about themselves.
2. Be authoritative, Not forceful: When a child is used to being told everything, he begins to lack the courage to do things on his own. Pickhardt says “Dependence on being told can keep the child from acting bold.” If a child decides they prefer to play games than do their homework, an effective way to deal with this would be to help them think of all the good that could result from doing their homework, and refer to kids who do their homework well and on time with beautiful names. This could result in them wanting to do it themselves since they’d like to be referred with those names.
3. Make learning exciting and interactive: In this world of excitement and new innovation with tech every day, the conventional form of learning we employ could be extremely boring for the kids (Remember our discussion about Digital Immigrants vs Digital Natives?). This could lead to disinterest in what they are taught. When teaching them say history, use demonstrations, live videos and allow them to be the ones to tell you what they’ve learnt or are learning, as this would leave even greater impact.
“Over the long haul, consistently trying hard builds more confidence than intermittently doing well,” he explains.
4. Teach them to learn from their mistakes: “Learning from mistakes builds confidence,” explains Pickhardt. But this only happens when you, as a parent, or educator treat mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow. For example, if a child spills milk when pouring it from a bottle, try not to yell. Instead, gently help them to clean up the mess, then teach them the proper way to pour it without spilling.
5. Encourage them to solve their own problems: Pickhardt explains that being there to provide help to kids all the time can prevent them from becoming independent. For example, if a child is not able to find a missing item of theirs and they begin to cry out of frustration, you might be tempted to just pick it and hand it over to them. But the proper way to handle it according psychologists, would be to first help them calm down, then pretend to help them search for it until they eventually find it. This helps in building confidence because the child believes in their own capability.
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