Parenting 101 - Build Self Esteem and Confidence
Posted on November 05, 2011 by Deborah Ainsworth, One of Thousands of Family Coaches on Noomii.
Children look to their parents as role models, some of the things we do are great for our children to emulate, some are not as productive.
Parents sometimes face tough questions from our children. Our children look to us as the example, where to emulate from. They long to hear of success and triumph so that they may have the same, but also long to hear you experienced some of what they are going through so that they may related. It is a fine balancing act that is needed and with a true finesse as sometimes children hang on our every word, but not usually during those times we would like them to….
Building self esteem and confidence in our children is possible. We all remember a child when growing up that was just always confident and seemingly always was successful. That can be intimidating to children that may be struggling with esteem or confidence. If parents are not normally confident individuals, that will also come across to the child, and they may respond to and mimic this example. So, what to do? There are many things you can do to instill and build self esteem in your children and still be true to who you are as an individual and as a parent, and they are separate.
When a child is facing something that they are very nervous or anxious about, maybe something they have not done before such as public speaking or reading aloud to the class. Here is an exercise that you can do with them. Provide an example from your own life, or of the life of someone you know or have even read about where personal dedication and confidence allowed, that in spite of the challenge and adversity, the person never gave up and the situation became successful and no longer a stressor.
These adversities created opportunities for learning and could be reflected upon to be positive motivation througout their life. This memory of experiences and challenges and outcomes can support a child into knowing that even when something is challenging and may seem too difficult to face or address, that there are lessons to be learned that allow for us to grow, and when faced with that challenge again, we are prepared to face it. It is powerful for children to know that just because we have not experienced something before, does not mean we cannot be successful. We can draw from other things we have done successfully and channel that into fostering confidence to apply to the new situation.
Asking your child to share experiences they have had where they have not given up is a good way to allow the child to hear from their own memory where they have had success and how that was not a one time deal. If they struggle to recall a memory, help them remember by sharing your perception of how they worked hard and did not give up. You can also create situations that allow them to be successful from the time they are children through adolescence. Allowing them to also hear a challenge from your past that you were very concerned about, but worked out fine and you now draw upon for courage will help them know that they are human and it is part of “life”.
One of the ideas in helping your child through a challenge is to not only remind them of their past successes and of your own challenges and lessons, but also by reminding them to keep in control of their emotions, as that has so much to do with our responses to most things. Going back to the example of a first time presentation to class, or reading aloud, remind them to take a few deep breaths, act as if they are presenting or reading just to the teacher or just to themselves and to believe that no one will ever be as critical as themselves. Staying in control of their emotions will not only help with the current challenge, but teach valuable lessons on how to keep control in other situations as they present.
In closing, once the challenge in their life is complete, and they have learned from the experience, ask them to write down how they felt, what they learned and if they had it to do over, what they would do differently. This rounds out the experience and helps the memory to remain and continuous improvement and esteem to be built. Confidence happens through experience, and we can support our children through open dialogue, honesty and support.
If they have a white board on their bedroom or bathroom door, be sure and add the accomplishment on their board, or give them a quick note of praise or a text to remind them of how proud you are of their success. Remember, success is getting through the situation or challenge and learning and growing from the experience.
A Parenting Coach can provide techniques, support and methods to build relationships with your children and partner.