Confident kids are loved by people. Kids who can clearly express themselves, kids who are ready to take on a new challenge are admired. However, the confidence kids exude is no accident. It comes from an extremely supportive environment they receive during their early years.
Here are six ground rules to raising confident kids. Practice them one a day and by the end of this week you will be on your way to helping your kids turn more confident as they grow up.
1. Reasoning works; berating does not
A lot of Asian parents berate their kids. They scold them and shout at them. This scolding and berating
- causes resentment among children over time.
- numbs the moral compass of the kids
- ends up creating kids who have a short fuse who are impatient and insensitive.
The reasoning is a lot better since it creates a conducive environment to help the child understand the importance of giving up undesirable behaviour.
Shouting makes kids give up
Let’s say a child forgets to make his bed. Shouting at the child only makes him hate making his bed. Reasoning with him on the importance of making one’s bed makes him appreciate its importance and the lesson stays for life.
Kids today get a lot of exposure via the Internet and mobile phones. They are not dumb, they only need somebody to logically explain things to them.
2. The Right amount of praise at the Right time
A lot of parents never praise kids out of fear that the praise may go to their heads. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Praise when needed, explain shortcomings logically when necessary.
Timing is everything
Timing is crucial when you are praising a kid. The right time is when you evaluate his/her work and feel that it is a job well done.
Also, be specific while praising. If the kid has written his notes neatly, say so in your praise.
3. Present surmountable challenges
Challenges keep the human mind and the heart going.
Japanese mini story
I remember the Japanese story of how fishermen went fishing into deeper seas as boats improved. However, they soon discovered that the fish started rotting since they had to travel a long way back home. One fisherman introduced a water tank inside the ship to put the fish they had caught. This worked well for a few years till they ventured further into the sea.
Now even though the fish that were caught and kept alive in the tank, the customers started complaining that the fish does not taste that good. The fisheremen discovered that after a few days of being caught, the fish in the tank stopped swimming and appeared like floating stones. Probably this had affected their taste. The fishermen were scratching their brains for a solution when one genius hit upon a solution.
The brain wave
He introduced a small shark into the fish tank.
The fish in the fish tank he had discovered felt aimless in their small confines compared to the life they had led in the ocean. Introducing a shark gave them a challenge. To stay alive!. Hence they stayed active.
Remember, conquerable challenges
Having a challenge for your kids too is important. Present them challenges they can surmount (conquer) and rejoice at their win. Every conquered challenge is a fresh lesson and a confidence booster.
4. Avoid public censure
None like to be humiliated in public. The same is true for your kids too. I have met parents who have made it a routine to publicly censure a child. In the long run, this alienates your child from the family.
If you feel certain actions are disgraceful, put in a sharp rebuke that says ‘John, No!’ or ‘Shalini, don’t do that’. Reserve the deeper lesson to times when you and the kid are alone. This has a two fold positive effect.
Two fold advantage
One, the child pays respect to your rebuke and knows that there is a good reason for you to stop him/her from doing an act.
Two, it lets the child know that you are showing them respect for their feelings.
5. Celebrate their hard work and successes no matter how small
Successes need to be celebrated and in a manner that lets the kid know that you appreciate their efforts.
- Make them a dish of their choice
- Bring them a new eraser
- Take them to a movie.
Confident kids are also the ones who are aware of celebrating their successes and passing the message to others around them.
6. Be a role model
Kids learn the most by observation and replication. Be a role model. Try out something new every month that you have not tried before. Make mistakes, learn, improvise and push forward. Ensure your kids are observing you.
Something new every month
Encourage kids to participate. Ask them to try out something new that they have not done before.
- Watering plants in the garden
- Painting a fence
- Washing dishes
- Fetching something from the local shop without help
- Trying out a dish that they hate.
Creating confident kids is not an overnight task. It requires careful nurturing and attention. However, following the above will definitely put your kids in a wonderful position to carry their confidence with them in style.