There are many valuable lessons that parents can teach their children from a very young age. One of the most important, according to business development professional Fahim Imam-Sadeque, is confidence.
Children need to build their confidence at home if they want to succeed when they branch out into the world. They’ll need the confidence to try new things, to go out on a limb and to pick themselves up when they fall.
Here are some practical ways that parents can help their children develop self-confidence so they can cope with the challenges they’ll face.
Model the Confidence
Children are very impressionable, and they’re likely to emulate the different behaviours you exhibit. Children are also very smart, and they’re able to detect when their parents are and are not confident.
A great way to help your children build confidence in themselves is to model that confidence yourself. You can start by showing your children how to do something that you’re highly confident you’ll be able to accomplish. Even if it’s a menial task, doing things with confidence will teach them not to be afraid.
Try Something New
Eventually, children will catch on to the fact that what you are modelling are tasks you have mastered. If all you do is model confidence in these same tasks and never branch out, it’ll be hard for your children to build confidence.
To this end, you should always encourage your children to try something new. Kids feel a great sense of pride in themselves when they can accomplish something for the first time. If all they’re doing is the same thing over and over again, they’ll never get to experience this.
Be OK with Failure
No parent wants to fail, and no parent wants to see their children fail. However, experiencing failure and responding to it is essential to building confidence.
This ties into the two points we’ve already mentioned above.
First, it’s crucial that you show your children that adults can fail, too. When you fail at something, don’t focus on the fact that you failed, but rather shift the focus quickly to responding to the failure in a positive way.
Second, don’t become upset when you or your children make mistakes. It’s OK to be disappointed that you didn’t succeed, but again, don’t dwell on the failures. These failures should be treated as simple bumps in the road, not completely immovable roadblocks.
Praise the Effort
Many parents praise the outcome rather than the effort. If you want to help your children build confidence, you should praise the effort, first and foremost.
Again, everyone is going to fail from time to time. Instead of reflecting on the outcome of trying a new thing, for example, celebrate the effort your children put into the new thing they tried.
Resiliency is one of the most vital skills children can learn. It’ll help them keep trying when they fail, which will ultimately lead them to overcome more serious challenges they’ll face later in life.
Children yearn to be included in what their parents are doing. While you may decide that having your 8-year-old cook on the stove isn’t a great idea, including them in some part of the process will help them build confidence.