Thursday, June 12, 2008

Creative strategies to boost your child’s confidence

I am always amazed by how innovative a child is. Just the other day, I was teaching Ryan the phonetic sound of "n", when he said it sounded like "ng, ng" - well that's the sound he made when he wanted to move his bowel. Children are unbonded by the many life experiences unlike adults who are embattled by countless adversities. Many a times, to protect ourselves, we build high fortess, for example not setting expectations.
So I am not the guru in having creative strategies - which are the forte of young children. But they do need our love, which will boost their confidence.
Here you are some commonsensical strategies to build your child's confidence:
1. Like all human beings, kids thrive on love and they cannot read your mind. So say "I love you" to your child at least once a day.
2. Spend quality time with your child. Get involved in your child's life. Just being there, shows your child that you care.
3. Success breeds success. Be generous with your praises. Remember the age-old adage "failure is the mother of success". Your child will encounter difficulties, it's part of life. Our duty is to help them to pick themselves up and emerge stronger with each adversity. Praise them for making an effort and encourage them to move on.
4. Make them feel important. An idea that works really well with younger children is to create some type of family project where each child has a specific task. The project could be a family drawing, sculpture, newspaper or even a special family website! The choice depends on the interests of your family. Another possibility is to assign them a task such as making their bed or dusting the furniture.
5. Modify Singapore's Ministry of Education tagline "Thinking School, Thinking Nation" into "Thinking Child, Tomorrow's Leader". One of the best way is to read to your child and encourage them to think and ask question as well as to give comments on the story.
6. Lead by example. Exhibit confidence yourself. They can read adults like a book. Children learn by example and they are sensitive to the emotions of others.
7. Listen to your child. Your child has a lot to talk about, and when you take the time to listen, your child will learn that his/her opinions matter. Be as approachable as possible. Avoid saying things such as "Not now, Honey, Mommy's busy." If you really cannot listen to your child at that particular time, say something like, "Now is not a good time for talking. Let's make a special time to talk." Then make the time.
8. Keep your promises. Avoid making promises you cannot keep. Children may feel as though they are at fault when an adult doesn't keep a promise to them.
9. Don't compare siblings to each other. Remember that each child is an individual with his/her own personal needs.

Remember, children are constantly learning and are very impressionable. They look to you for guidance. Encourage them, love them, talk to them, listen to them, and most of all, believe in their abilities. You are the key to building their confidence. Following some of these steps may help you. These guidelines may also give you some inspiration to find other ways to boost yourt child's self-esteem.

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