This week, Anne-Claire Vigouroux, creator of the site ” I encourage you«, Invites us to discover 5 keys to increase the self-confidence of our children
Self-confidence of his child is not something innate. It depends on the environment, the character of the child and his experience. But we parents can improve it with a few tips and a little time. The purpose of this article is to give you simple keys to improve assertiveness of your child :
1) Actively listen to your child:
Active listening was developed from the work of Carl Rogers, an American psychologist. It is also called sympathetic listening. It is an ability to listen to the other without hasty judgment.
- Have you ever had that experience of talking with someone and the person in front, very talkative, is like a pressure cooker, ready to explode not to contain herself to say what she wants to say? Actively listening to someone requires decentering yourself, your concerns and making the other your priority for a few moments. Have you noticed that we adults have a hard time really listening to each other? To feel important, your child needs you to actively listen to them at times.
- Our children also feel if we are with them. We can play with them, interact with them, and think about other things. Children feel everything even if it looks like they are doing something else or not showing anything. If your partner is in the moonlight a lot, or thinking about worries after a while, you are going to feel abandoned, and think that he does not love you or less than before. For a child it is the same. Being a parent present is great. Let us not forget to step out of our thoughts to give him attention, especially when he is talking to us. This will for sure strengthen your child’s self-esteem.
2) Encourage him:
- Make your child more confident it does not necessarily mean telling him every day that he does always good or even extraordinary things. It can be to take one or two minutes during the week and tell him for example the good times that you liked spending with him, the facilities that you discovered in your child etc …
- Being positive is not about repeating the positive over and over, but seeing the beautiful things you see in your child and telling him / her.
- When you say “I love you” for example, can you say exactly what you like about your child? What qualities are unique to it? If he made a nice drawing, can you tell him what you like about the drawing? colors ? shapes ?
3) Find your love languages:
- Have you noticed that your child doesn’t necessarily like you to hug them? It could be just because he’s busy playing, or it could just be because he has a different language of love. Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Languages of Love explains that we adults already have different love languages from each other. And that finding them makes it possible to reduce a certain number of conflicts or misunderstandings in the couple. But he explains that the child also has his languages of love. Some are more sensitive to touch, others to compliments, others to quality time spent with their parents.
- Do you know which language of love you are most sensitive to? And your child, is he more sensitive to hugs or positive phrases? For my part, I try to treat my child like an adult in his relationship to the body. My child is not my property. I have no right to do things on her body against her will, even if it is kissing. Otherwise I show my child that you can impose your will against another person by force.
- The more you treat a child like an adult in his relationship to the body, the more respect you will show him. This trust will necessarily settle between you because your child will feel that he is safe with you. He will then have confidence in himself and will love each other.
4) Ask your child for his opinion:
- I’m not talking about asking your child for advice at bedtime or when it’s time to eat. But rather to consider your child as a whole being who has his moods, his preferences of the day etc. When you go for a walk, you may be asking your partner where to go? why not also ask your child where he would like to go for a walk? Don’t worry, your child probably remembers a place he particularly liked very well.
- Sometimes at the table when we are discussing a trivial subject, I ask my child what he thinks about it. The point is just to show your child that their opinion matters. Show him that he has a voice in the same chapter and especially at his age will give him confidence, go make it feel important.
- Your child is not deaf to what you say. He has a highly developed emotional intelligence. When you have a meal with him and even if he doesn’t show anything, he hears what you are saying and understands a lot more than he seems to show. Let’s give them a voice!
5) Do not compare it with other children:
- Do not compare your child with another, whether in siblings, in your class or in kindergarten. Your child goes at his own pace. What the other can do in drawing, your child can probably do in another area as well. Creative, musician or athlete. Each child is unique and has special gifts and skills. Sometimes certain difficulties can hide ADHD, dyspraxia etc. And even if your child is less good in one area than in another without having difficulties as mentioned above, he has particular skills which make up his uniqueness.
- Being compared or hearing uniquely negative things about your child, whether from someone in authority in the family or at school, for example, can cause them to lose self-confidence considerably. We adults often hold back the negative things much more than the positive things we are told. So imagine your child, who is in the developmental phase and of whom you are the attachment figure, the role model.
- If from childhood we compare our children, they will continue to compare themselves unassisted when they are adults by underestimating themselves in relation to others. The more you will know how to find out what makes your child unique compared to another and what you will tell him, the more he will trust himself.