Kids-health is a site packed with hints and tips to keep you and the family healthy.
How To Raise Happy and Confident Children
Isn’t this what every parent strives for? Whether they want their children to be sporty, academic or musically talented, above all else they want their children to be happy in their everyday life and confident in who they are.
Maybe you are looking for extra guidance if you feel your child is unhappy or not particularly confident in themselves… Or you might just be looking for reassurance that you’re doing it right.
Either way, here are some suggestions to help you help your child build their confidence and be happier.
If you have ever appraised your child for a specific skill, you have probably noticed how they take a lot of pride in that skill from then on. This is because it is much more interesting to them than the generic praises they may receive quite frequently.
Telling your child that they are ‘a clever girl’ or ‘doing very well at school’ is quite general. Try taking the time to look through their school work or talking to their teacher to find out where they are achieving highly and then praising your child for that particular thing.
‘You are doing brilliantly with your times tables’ or ‘you know all of the letters and sounds in phonics very well’.
Hopefully your child will begin to take particular pride in that subject area and it will give them a boost of confidence as they will have actually paid attention to you and retained the compliment. Your child may not have even known they are strong in that particular area.
Listen To Their Anecdotes And Respond
Sometimes it can be hard listening to everything your child has to say as they seem to have a tendency to choose the times when you are particularly busy.
However; taking the time to listen to your child’s stories about what happened at lunchtime today or what their friend did at playtime and responding to them is highly beneficial.
Their story may not seem important to you but it might have been the highlight of their day for one reason or another. You’ve probably found out by now that whenever you ask the question ‘what did you do at school today?’ is responded to with a shrug or ‘not a lot’. If they are telling you an anecdote from their day, this is what is usually what is important to them.
Listen to your child, give them your full attention, ask questions about what happened next or how it made them feel. This will give them a sense that what they have to say is important which will increase their self-worth and make them happier to share with you in future.
Criticism Is Hard To Swallow
Even as an adult, being told that you’re not very good at something is bound to knock your confidence. Think how a child must feel when they are criticised as they might not yet have an understanding of ‘constructive criticism’.
If you have noticed that your child is falling behind or struggling in a particular subject at school don’t tell them out right that they need to work harder at it or they aren’t as good as their classmates.
Children need encouragement and support above all. There is obviously a reason that they are struggling and they probably don’t know how to rectify the problem.
Helping Them To Keep Up
Talk to your child’s teacher and get an understanding of the specifics of the problem. It could just be that they can’t quite grasp long division, which in turn could easily put them off maths lessons altogether.
Once you have located the exact problem, help them! Spend a few hours a week going over how to do something until you are sure they have understood it. Empathise with them, maybe you struggled with something similar when you were at school?
If you can’t help them, consider hiring a personal tutor to bring them up to speed. Tutors often work with tricky issues like this and should be able to help your child to keep up with the class any maybe even restore their confidence in that subject.
School Is A Social Thing
We go to school to learn, but to be honest; your children are more concerned about making friends and playing. Making strong friendships and building on social skills is key to growing confidence and being happy.
If your child is struggling in this area or they are having problems with their existing friends, think about enrolling them into a youth club or extra-curricular group. It is a good idea to do this outside of existing friendship groups and try a club away from where their school mates might attend.
Having a few different friendship groups is a good thing, and a good alternative to relying on a close friendship with one other child in particular.
But Above All Else
Above all else take every opportunity to tell them how proud you are of them, you’d be surprised how many people say they weren’t told that by their parents… Even good parents can forget to say it sometimes.
Make sure they always know that as long as they try their best, that will always be good enough for you. You can’t really ask any more than that can you?
About The Author
This post was contributed by Dominic from UkTutors, a site dedicated to personal tutoring and helping children to make more of their education. Learn more about UkTutors here.