Confidence is the backbone to our ability to function and function well in our lives. If we engage children when they are small, they will engage with confidence as adults.
I wasn’t so lucky. Children may not understand how to articulate their thoughts with their parents in the early years, but they will learn from us, so it’s important we teach them the basic values that will help them build their confidence.
Positive feedback is vital and will help children continually re-assess where they are. Praise helps their confidence grow without them consciously being aware they’re building confidence. I grew up without expression, but expression is something that children need to experience from an early age.
The more expression they have, the more confidence they will have, the more they will want to talk about things. Expression is necessary and should be encouraged. And where our mind is often pre-occupied and we learn to multi-task on our listening skills without giving children our full attention, we must try and change that.
As parents we should also want to take an interest in our children’s hobbies. Hobbies are confidence building. I remember as a child wanting to take up horse riding as a hobby. It wasn’t a long discussion with my parents, but it left me with the thought that I probably shouldn’t ask again.
When it comes to criticism, if we’re going to criticise our children for something they’ve done, it’s important we make what we say constructive. Sadly, children come to believe the things we tell them, so it’s important to be specific and only refer to their behaviour.