Show your kids acceptance and they will do miracles!
When we were little girls we all played with our dolls, we pretended to be the mums and we drew in our minds the pictures of a perfect daughter or son, and the only thing I can say we thought of them to be too good to be TRUE.
When we grew as young adults, we observed different children, and we thought that our children will be a blend of the good qualities of all the children we knew, just the GOOD QUALITIES.
Then when we are married, and stepping towards motherhood, we imagined our children to be taking the best qualities and looks of the mum and dad, just the BEST.
Then we came to reality, when this little angel is settled in our hands, some of us might see him/her as the most beautiful baby on earth, but others will start looking at the simple details and comparing, “oh no, the baby has his father’s nose” “ why my baby does not have my hair color”, and we drain ourselves in the journey of UNACCEPTANCE.
With time, some of these mums start observing different qualities, and compare with their dreams, with other kids, and this observation continues, till we become blinded from all the good qualities and focusing on what we don’t want or dislike.
YOUR EYES MIRROR YOUR HEART, unfortunately kids can see this disappointment in your eyes even if you try to hide it, children will know that you are comparing, that you are raising the bar of expectations higher than they can achieve.
They feel your unacceptance, they will lose their self-confidence, their self-awareness, their self-love, and they live in self-doubt running after your dreams to please you and hear you saying “I AM PROUD OF YOU BABY” but you never actually say that! and if you do, it doesn’t come from your heart and they FEEL IT.
So, the question is how can I raise a confident child:
- The GOLDEN RULE is ACCEPTANCE: love your child the way he is, accept all his qualities, and believe always that these qualities are blended together to give the best out of his personality, so if you try to change this balance, you will reach nowhere but disappointment from your side and the child’s loss of confidence.
- LOVE YOUR CHILD UNCONDITIONALLY: unconditional love builds confidence, builds good mind and strong will. Love your child, hug him, show your emotions, when he come back from school tell him how much you missed him. If you do parenting mistakes like yelling or ignoring, then hug him and say you are sorry, and tell him how precious he is.
- PEOPLE LEARN FROM MISTAKES: remember always our failures and our falls are our best teachers, so if your child makes mistakes make it a learning experience not a chance to criticize.
- PRAISE HIM WHEN HE DESERVES IT: “bravo, well done, horrayyy you did it” are all good words to use. Children gain confidence when they feel they made you proud. Even if he fails to do something, don’t praise the failure but praise the effort, and encourage him to keep practicing.
- THE ONLY COMPARISON ALLOWED IS COMPARING HIM TODAY VERSUS YESTERDAY: comparing a child with his brothers or peers or yourself when you were at the same age will not challenge him, it will destroy his self-acceptance, self-confidence and his will. Compare his achievement today to what he did before, show him how much he is improving and that he is heading towards success.
- YOUR STANDARDS SHOULD BE REALISTIC: build your standards according to your child’s abilities and interests not according to your fantasy dreams, don’t raise your bar of expectations so high, keep them within his abilities and raise them gradually according to his improvement.
- LOVE YOURSELF AND BE A ROLE MODEL: talk about your journey of success, celebrate an achievement, talk about the qualities and skills you needed to enhance and improve to reach there, then remind your child of his own skills and how he can work to develop and use them.
- FOLLOW THEIR PASSION: try to understand what are your child’s hobbies, interests and passion and nurture them, help him develop them, and if he fails just teach him to try and try, teach him if he believes in his passion he can defeat his fears of failure.
- INDEPENDENCE IS A MILESTONE: a six years old child cannot put on his uniform in the morning, or four years old child needs you to spoon feed him will not nurture confidence, confidence comes from the feeling of “I CAN DO IT MYSELF”. Tell him to ask for help if he tried to do the homework and he couldn’t, don’t sit with him and do it together, you will not be with him in the schools, so he needs to be confident to do his exams.
- SPORTS NURTURES SELF CONFIDENCE: encourage sports, I am not saying sign for a club and activity if you can’t afford it. But get him a ball to play, a rope to skip, a bicycle, good bodies are for good minds.
- MAKE SURE HE HAS FRIENDS AND A CLOSE FRIEND: failure to socialize might affect self-confidence, if your child fails to socialize, you need to help him, but first you need to be a role model, and never warn him of relations if you had bad experience in your childhood, let him explore and learn.
And again, ACCEPT THEM THE WAY THEY ARE then work on developing not changing. Our children are gems, refine them and they will shine.