I believe confidence is the backbone of our ability to function well in our lives. There are so many things we can get wrong when we lack the confidence. 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 learn from us, so it’s important we teach them 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 children’s confidence grow without them being consciously aware they’re building it. Sadly, 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 confident they will be, the more they will want to talk about things. Expression is necessary and should be encouraged. Parent’s minds are often pre-occupied, we learn to multi-task on our listening skills without giving children our full attention; but we must try and change that.
When it comes to hobbies, as parents we should 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. It wasn’t a long discussion with my father, 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. Children believe the things we tell them, so it’s important to be specific and only refer to their behaviour.