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6 Tips to Raise Happier and More Confident Children


Self-esteem is the lifeboat upon which your child will sail through to a life of good mental health and happy social life. It is essential for your child’s well-being, and it is a determinant for their future success. As a parent, it’s normal to be concerned when your children lack confidence; you become afraid that this will affect their future. Watching your children struggle with self-esteem can be painful, and since every parent wants their kids to be happy, successful, go after their dreams, and lead meaningful lives, it’s important that they develop self-esteem. Are you wondering how to raise happier and more confident children? Here are a few pointers.

1) Have high realistic expectations of your kids If you expect your child to be messy and untidy, they will be; however, If you require them to always be clean and tidy, they may not always live up to your expectations. It is easier for them to be messy and untidy because it requires no effort, and vice versa. This is true for all other aspects of your child’s life. Some studies found that the higher your expectations are, the more positively you regard your children, and the less likely they were to indulge in vices once they grew up. That said, your expectations need to be realistic; for instance, you can’t hold your toddler to the same standards you would a teenager.

2) Teach them an attitude of gratitude Teach your little ones that it is important to count their blessings every day. The best way to do this is leading by example. For instance, while having dinner, you can talk about three things you are grateful for and then ask your children to do the same. Teach them that they should focus on how they felt when something good happened to them during the day as they are sharing.

If you can make this a dinner time or bedtime ritual, your child will learn to spot the good in their lives. Alternatively, you can also encourage them to keep a gratitude journal to write down the things they were genuinely grateful for during the day. Researchers have found that keeping a gratitude journal leads to more optimism, feeling better about your life, and better health. 

3) Don’t overindulge your children Giving your children everything they want and constantly showering them with gifts can have negative effects. Researchers in child psychology have found that kids who are overindulged by their parents are not necessarily happy. They lack satisfaction, and they cannot tell the difference between their wants and needs. Therefore, you need to stop yourself from indulging your child’s every whim, whether it's getting them a new phone or the latest games.

Instead, teach them the value of a reward and how to work for what they want. For example, if your child wants a new bike, they can do more chores around the house so that you can increase their monthly allowance. This way, they will be able to get the bike from their own savings. This goes a long way in aiding your kids to learn the importance of delayed gratification over instant gratification. 

4) Don’t rescue your children Parents naturally want to stop their children from getting hurt, making mistakes, or even feeling discouraged. However, when you intervene, you are doing them a great disservice. They will not learn important life skills such as dealing with consequences, persistence, and resourcefulness. Children need to know that feeling sad, angry, or failing is normal. Children learn through overcoming their own obstacles. Some researchers even encourage parents to make some mistakes on purpose and not make a big deal out of it. This shows it’s okay to make mistakes, and it helps them feel better about themselves.

5) Allow your children to make decisions Kids often have little control over most of the choices in their lives. Their days are scheduled, their meals picked, and even their clothes. The problem with this is that it makes them feel powerless. You should allow your children to make their own choices from a young age as this helps them gain self-confidence in themselves and in their good judgment. Children love being independent, and letting them have some control grants them this independence. That said, don’t give them too much free reign as it can have negative effects. The goal is to give them more options to choose from.

For example, don’t ask your child what they want for lunch but instead offer a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or vegetable lasagna. While giving your children choices, let them know that some choices are still up to you. For example, if your daughter likes to wear shorts during the summer instead of dresses, allow her to make those choices. However, whether or not she practices her violin should not be up for discussion.

6) Become more confident yourself Children learn by imitation, and as such, they are always observing you, and they need to see that you believe in your abilities. If you want them to gain more self-confidence, let them see you talking about yourself positively. If your children constantly hear you say that you feel inadequate when tackling certain tasks or that you feel unworthy, they will also take on this mentality.

Instead, demonstrate that you are confident in your abilities and skills, even when you aren’t. For example, you may have a presentation at work, but public speaking is making you anxious. That is perfectly okay. Let your children know that you are a bit nervous, then let them see you face your fears. This will teach your children to start building confidence in themselves.

Meeting a child’s needs fosters self-esteem in them. A parent’s job is to nurture a child’s gifts and structure their environment to grow up to be confident individuals. Your kid’s self-esteem cannot be built solely by complimenting them; it requires a myriad of activities to build this skill. And while many parents constantly worry that they may not be doing enough to nurture self-worth in their children, these few pointers can help. You don’t require a degree in child psychology to raise a confident and happy child. Just focus on doing your best. Spend time with them and model the behaviors you want to see in them, then sit back and watch them develop naturally.