Confidence is the backbone to our ability to be able to function and function well in our lives. If we engage children when they are small, they will engage as adults; as well as have lots of confidence.
I wasn’t so lucky. As parents’ we must show our children that we believe in them. Children may not understand how to equate their thoughts in the world, or with us as their parents, particularly in the early years; but they learn from us, so it’s important we teach them the basic values that will act as foundations in later life.
Positive feedback is necessary and helps children re-assess where they are. Praise helps their confidence grow without them consciously being aware that they are building confidence.
I grew up without expressing myself, but expression is something that children need to experience from an early age. The more confidence children have, the more they will be want to use expression. Expression is important and a necessary tool.
When I was growing up, listening to children, wasn’t so much a tool that parents had, but for the parents who did, it was a tool that wasn’t often used. As parents, our mind is often preoccupied with other things. We learn to multi-task on our listening skills, without giving children our full attention.
We should want to take an interest in children’s hobbies, as it is these hobbies that will help children build up their confidence. I remember as a small child wanting to take up horse riding as a hobby. It wasn’t a long discussion, but it left me with the thought that I probably shouldn’t ask again. I believe we learn very early on in our childhood how the parenting thing goes.
If we’re going to criticise children, it’s important we make sure that what we say is constructive. Not to be confused with criticising. Sadly, over time, children come to believe they are all the things we tell them, so it’s important to be specific about their behaviour and not make their behaviour about them.
Sadly, it’s easy for children to lose confidence through continual criticism of them.