I’m pretty sure as mothers you know what it’s like when your child is always hiding behind your legs in public places or even at home when guests are around and are too shy to approach to say ‘hi’. This makes mums worry about what the implications could be. Does this mean that your child has low self-confidence? Could this define his/her personality later on in life?
Well not to worry mamas as most children go through this phase but how long it stays or whether it continues to grow depends on a number of things primarily how you approach your child and how you communicate with them. Here are a few ways you could help your little one boost his/her self- confidence.
- Give Unconditional Love
“I love you, no matter who you are or what you do”- the unconditional devotion helps your child’s self- esteem flourish. Showing her you love her and accept her however she is. When you do have to correct your child make it clear it’s her behavior, and not her, that’s unacceptable. Instead of saying “You’re a naughty girl! Why can’t you be good?” say “pushing Sarah isn’t nice. Please don’t push”.
- Pay Attention/ Listen
With today’s technology it’s made it even harder for mothers or fathers not to be so pre- occupied on their phones, tablets, computers or TV. Well, next time you’re going through your mail or getting Insta or Facebook updates and your child is talking to you try to make it a must to put it away and give him/her your undivided attention at least long enough to answer, make eye contact so they feel like you’re really listening to what they are saying . Giving them this time does wonders for your child’s self-worth because it sends the message that you think she is more important than what you have going on.
- Teach Limits
Set family rules and don’t break them! Be clear and consistent .No eating in the living room or in front of the TV means no eating there. This will help your child feel more secure. You may have to repeat yourself several times but they will eventually start to listen.
- Offer Choices
Always let your child choose between two possibilities, since at their age more than two options can be too much to process. Whether its breakfast options dress up options anything, this will make them gain confidence with every opportunity to make a decision. Letting them know you have faith in their judgment can help even the littlest ones in increasing their sense of self-worth.
- Support Healthy Risks
Always encourage your child to explore something new, such as trying a different food, playing with new toys exploring new playground games such as going down a slide. Let your child experiment safely and resist the urge to intervene. You’ll build your child’s self -esteem by balancing your need to protect his/her need to tackle new tasks.
- Let Mistakes Happen
Rule number 1: Don’t say I told you so! Your child may baffle you insisting they want to wear their winter coat on a hot summer day. Let them. And when they complain it’s too hot later on just take out their favorite summer shirt and resist the urge to say things like “if you’d just listened to me the first time” or “I told you so”. This way you won’t drop their self-esteem and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
- Make Success a Snap
Make everything easier for them. Get clothes they can put on and off easily make it easy for them to reach their toys and books. By giving your 2 year old the resources to foster their own needs you’ll help develop their independence and pride in their ability to do things on their own.
- Provide encouragement
Encouragement means acknowledging progress not just rewarding achievement. Every child needs that kind of support. It means thanking your child when you ask them to do something like pick up their toys even if they missed half of them on the floor, it means giving a hug after they recited their ABC’s even if they didn’t get it all right.
The most important of all is to build a positive home for you and your children to flourish in!