Confidence, Confidence, Confidence! When a child lacks confidence they stop believing in their own abilities, and stop trying.
This is a self fulfilling prophecy; it is not that they are inferior but that they believe they are, and this impedes progress. Without intervention this can affect their lives forever.
They can become introverted and may be picked upon by others. Or they can become troublesome, the clown of the class or the playground bully. I bet you didn’t realize a class clown or a bully could be a victim of lack of confidence.
The greatest gift you can give your child is confidence (Valentines Gift Hint). So how do we build confidence?
Start by building up their belief in themselves and their own abilities. Children learn more by “doing”, not watching. DOING!
Do not do everything for your child. Help them become independent by developing life skills.
Encourage them to dress themselves, and yes, at first it is going to take time. They may put the shirt on back to front or inside out, but the point is your child accomplished it themselves (so leave it like that, you can sort it out later – Many of us are guilty of correcting too quickly). Praise them, give them a high five, and tell them how clever they are.
Give your child simple instructions to encourage them to be more self reliant. For instance putting their toys away, helping them remember where they left their shoes, hat, and water bottle, and fetching them by themselves. If they forget or don’t remember, the last thing you want to do is get angry; instead make it a fun game to look for the item together.
Get your child to help you with everyday chores like setting the table, clearing the dishes and sorting through laundry – Ordinary things that have to be done. When they feel like they have helped they will feel valuable and appreciated encouraging them to trust that they can get things done. This will keep your child busy and happy.
Once your child is able to achieve these basic skills, they will happily tackle more difficult tasks, and so continue to develop their independence and confidence. Just remember that it’s not military school, you are grooming a very delicate mind that needs your patience, love and tenderness in all that you teach or do with them.
I’m from Northern Ireland, married a Zimbabwean in 1991 and have three wonderful grown up boys. I have worked with children one way or another all my life. I opened Clever Cloggs Nursery School to continue my passion and belief that education starts with a solid pre-school foundation.