Today’s parenting tip is about how to cultivate confidence in your child.
We all want to raise confident children, but when we think about confidence, what is confidence really? It’s not knowing everything, but it’s this subtle understanding of oneself and your ability to learn and grow, and being willing to see your positive features, feeling really proud and comfortable with who you are, but also knowing the areas where you are challenged, where you can grow and learn, and being comfortable with that too.
So there are a few key phrases that you can say to your children in order to create this blueprint for how they’re going to interact in the world. It’s really important to realize that your voice becomes their inner voice. How you talk to them will turn into how they talk to themselves.
A confident person says things to themselves like: “I can do anything I put my mind to,” or “it doesn’t hurt to ask,” or “what did I learn from this situation?” We have to think about the ways in which we’re fostering a sense of growth, learning, and positive reinforcement, seeing all the ways in which we’re awesome, but also seeing all the areas where we need to grow. Every time there’s a challenge, it’s a fun opportunity to grow. We don’t have to see it as good versus bad.
I love this example: a kid comes and takes the milk carton out of the refrigerator, and they’re pouring it, and it gets all over the place. The parent could either come and say: “what are you doing” or they could come in and say “was that what you intended to do?” And after the kid says “no,” the parent could say “okay, well why don’t we try this again.” And then the parent takes them over to the table, shows them how to hold the milk carton, and encourages them to try again. In that way, the parent is cultivating confidence in their child. They’re not telling them what they did wrong, but they’re actually teaching them how to learn, and how not to be scared to try new things. And then the kid has to help the parent clean up the milk, realizing that they’re responsible for cleaning up their messes too.