How To Build Your Children's Confidence
One of the single biggest problems facing so many adults in today's society is they lack self confidence, why adults have so many confidence and emotional issues is mainly down to what happened in their childhood years.
Most people believe that confident people are born naturally confident, but this is simply not true, our levels of self confidence or lack of it has far more too do with how we were brought up and raised.
This is why the early stages of your child's life is the most important time in their development, it is the most crucial period in their life because it is when the baseline for their self confidence is set. Most adults are plagued by negative emotional memories and insecurities which date back to when they were young children.
With this in mind you should leave nothing to chance and every effort should be made to give your children the best possible start in their life, because sadly were taught nothing in are early years about feelings and emotions which can prove disastrous for us later in life.
Everybody would save a lot of wasted years of suffering with their own private inner battles, trying to figure and work things out if they were helped and guided more when they were younger.
Experts recommend that up until the age of about seven is the best time to install confidence in your children, it has been scientifically proven that those early years are the most important because it is when their emotional bench mark is set.
In these fledgling years it is also the period where they start to form their self image of themselves, so helping them to form a good positive attitude and a good self image of themselves will sew the seeds and set the foundation for their future happiness, confidence and success throughout the rest of their life.
A child's self image and their self esteem levels which are the backbone for their confidence are shaped by their their early childhood experiences, by what beliefs they have learned and the perceptions they had installed into them in their formative years by their parents, teachers and society.
This is why it is a good idea to fill your children with positive beliefs that are going to help and support them, because it is very easy to pass on our own outdated and limiting beliefs to our children.
When a child forms a negative and poor self image of themselves it can lead to low self esteem which can and probably will go on to lead to future times of suffering with anxiety, depression and self imposed limitations, which can take a lot of work to correct later in life. Get it right though in the early years and your children will almost certainly go on to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Young children are totally dependent on their parents in the early years, they listen to and absorb their parents every word. At this stage of their development they need all the help, love and encouragement they can get, because a confident child equates to a happy, successful and out going child who will be able to handle and cope with life's challenges and pressures much better than a shy and under confident child.
Be Cautious But Not Too Over Protective
Although your child's safety should come first, they need to know what's dangerous and what is not, because sometimes as parents we can be a little bit overprotective.
There is a difference between being cautious and sensible and being over protective. Children need to learn to fend for themselves to a degree as long as their is no risk to the child safety, they should also be praised for being brave.
Children tend to model their parents behaviours and personalities, so if you are confident and happy in their presence then this will rub off on them, they also pick up on their parents worries, bad habits and fears so try and be careful not to pass on your fears to your children.
Children mimic their parents, try and act confident and happy in front of them, try not to reveal any of your own insecurities and fears in their presence. For instance, if a mother screams at a spider the child will associate the spider with danger and inherit the fear of it, the same applies to any other fear.
When children are taught and encouraged to grow up to be a confident person who has an optimistic and positive mental attitude then they will go on to live a much more enjoyable and rewarding life.
They will excel more in every area of their life, they will have the inner resources to handle all of life's challenges better which inevitably they will have to face along their way through their journey of life.
The Under Confident Child And The Confident Child
A child who is shy and lacks confidence will turn out to be more introverted, they will find it harder to communicate, this can lead to becoming more self conscious of themselves.
They may struggle to perform new tasks and avoid volunteering for some activities. The shy child will feel more insecure which can manifest itself into many fears and anxieties.
Low confidence in children will cause them to have a lack of self belief in themselves, this can restrict them in many ways including, meeting and talking to the opposite sex, shying away from going for promotions at work.
It can also cause them to play safe in life, they may lack social skills and only say what they have to in social gatherings, some shy teenagers will go on to use alcohol as a substitute for confidence. They can also fear being the center of attention which can lead to social anxiety related issues.
On the flip side the confident child will go on to enjoy all then splendours of life. Their self confidence in themselves will make them more bold, courageous and assertive, they will be more extrovert and out going, they will be more successful both career wise and socially.
They will have better communication skills which is a huge advantage, confident children become confident adults, this will make them more positive and optimistic, they will mix better and find it easier to approach and interact with the opposite sex.
They will perform better at every thing they do or attempt and generally they will be more successful in all departments, the confident child will go on to be the winner in life. A child who is confident will find it easier to try new things and make friends easier.
Help To Build Children's Confidence
Sadly children are far too often left to navigate their way through the social world without the required support and advice they need. Their mind is the most advanced and superior biological computer in existence and they are given no instructions on how to use it.
Try to avoid letting your child think they are shy and timid, be careful not to mention to them or in front of them that they are shy or quiet because children believe what their parents affirm or say about them, family and peers affirm and say about them, once they buy into these limiting beliefs it can then become part of their own self image and a self fulfilling prophecy.
Getting your child to do exercises to increase their self confidence can prove to be tricky, young children are often reluctant to listen to confidence building cd's.
One way around this is to get them a computer subliminal messaging software, this can be put on whilst their on their computers and because it is unobtrusive and they don't need to do anything it won't bother them.
Learn them not to care what to much about what other people say or think about them. It is also important to learn them how to take a joke and not to take themselves to serious, encourage them to be positive and optimistic.
Building a child's confidence requires a combination of many different things, including the way they think, positive self talk and the actions they take.
The Importance Of Positive Self Talk
Your children need to be taught how to say positive and good things things about themselves, they need to know that when they are nice to themselves they will feel better and they will become more successful.
Teach them that their thinking can play a huge part in how well they do things and what they become. Let them though that their brain listens and responds accordingly to everything they say, even if it is said in jest so they should only think or say good things about themselves.
Get then to tell themselves things like, how awesome they are, how worthy and capable they are how good they are at the things they do, how great their future is going to be.
They also need guiding that when the say bad things about themselves or when they think about negative things it will make them feel bad, get them into the habit of praising themselves and tell them to avoid criticizing themselves or being hard on themselves. Also encourage them to use their imagination in a fun and positive way.
Thoughts And Feelings
Your children need to know the importance of their thoughts and how their emotions work. Tell your children if they focus on negative things or worry based thoughts then again it will make them feel bad.
Explain to them that it is best to ignore any worry related thoughts that make them feel bad and only think about thoughts and things that will please them. If they are worried about something they should be told to speak to their parents or an authority figure or ask questions and research for solutions.
Let them know that worrying will not help them and encourage them to always look for a solution to their problems or think about something else. Children should also be taught about the mind body connection, learn them that how they think can affect how they feel and their body can affect how they think.
They also need to know that it is perfectly natural to have a range of feelings, but what causes how they feel is what they give their focus of attention too. Children need to know fear and anxiety is a good thing it can help to protect them.
But at the same time they need to be able to learn how to distinguish between whether their anxiety is appropriate or not and if it is a false alarm then they should recognize this and just let the emotion rise and pass. Tell them the more bothered they become by their feelings, the more attention they will give it and the worst it will get.
Tell them not to be alarmed if they feel fearful and anxious and if they do experience sensations of anxiety and fear then as long as their are no genuine risks to their safety, then should not be bothered by unwanted thoughts and feelings and it is better to laugh at their fearful feelings and just carry on with what their doing.
A good healthy and balanced diet can stave off symptoms of anxiety and depression, children also need plenty of exercise and fun activities. Many children spend a lot of their time with their head and neck bent over looking down on their mobile phones.
Teach your children to bring their mobile phones up with their hands instead of dropping their heads down. With the boom in technology more children are living sedentary life styles, a relaxed, aligned and balanced posture needs to be maintained, slouching and slumping spells out insecurity and low confidence.
Although you should avoid at all costs pushing them into a stiff rigid military posture, keep an eye out they don't spend to much time slouched at a computer or looking at a electronic devices, some children think it's cool to slouch.
Actions And Activities
Although learning them to think positive and seeing themselves confident is an important confidence and self esteem boosting tool it is only part of it. Positive thinking should be backed up with taking actions, encourage them to join in activities and inform them they should never be afraid to attempt new challenges because taking positive action steps is fundamental for their personal growth.
Getting them to take part in social activities is an excellent way to improve their social skills and development. They need to know that if they feel a bit nervous or anxious that's OK, so they should still go ahead and do the things they want, because we all learn from and we are all affected from our experiences both good and bad.
This is why they should be made aware, that it is better to try even if it does not go well the first time than it is not to try at all. Let them know it's alright to make a mistake or show themselves up, but it it not good to beat themselves up over a bad experience after it has happened, learn them to let things go and to move on.
Enrolling your child in acting and drama classes can be of great help because it will prevent them becoming afraid of being in the spotlight, it will also make them better communicators and help them to be more confident speaking in front of a group of people. Joining a martial arts class can also do wonders for their self confidence.
Adapting To School Life Can Be a Big Step For Children
Listen to their fears and concerns and talk to them, always be understanding and give them plenty of advice and support, no matter how trivial their problems may seem to you, because what seems trivial to an adult may go onto be a major ordeal to child.
Some of the key times in children's lives is when they leave their parents for the first time and start primary school, starting secondary school and starting employment for the first time.
It can be a good idea to start them of at nursery school as soon as possible to learn them how to interact with other children, it will also get them used to being separated from being to dependent on their parents.
Starting primary school can be a traumatic time for some children, they are thrust from the security of their mother into a whole new and sometimes scary environment. So the more help and support you can give them the better, this is a time when children's self-confidence is of utmost importance.
Changing and moving to secondary school can also be daunting for some children especially if they are shy or young for the year, they have gone from settled at primary school and are the oldest in their year with many friends only to have to start again from scratch.
They go back to being the youngest in the school and they have to mix with some children who have almost reached adolescence The maturity and physical gap between year 6 and year 11 is enormous.
According to research it is best not to be to pushy by involving them in too many activities like swimming, dancing, sports etc. Because although it is important to learn them to swim and take part in sports some experts believe that over doing the amount of activities and not spending enough time interacting and playing with other children can stifle children's confidence, imagination and independence.
Correct Your Children But Do Not Criticize Them
Try not to criticize your child, this does not mean being firm with them when necessary, but it is much more beneficial to correct your child rather than overly criticize them. Children can be very sensitive and can absorb all the criticism, also parents need to lead by example and avoid being self-critical of themselves in front of their children.
When an adult is towering over a child and criticizing or continually shouting at them it can be daunting and frightening to that child, to a young child it can seem like facing an angry giant.
Also try not to shame or embarrass them in front of others or put them down as this can dent their confidence and self-esteem, and sometimes just because we are having a bad day we tend to take it out on are children.
Talk to them about their problems then they will start to listen and sometimes they are crying out for help and guidance but they can feel embarrassed or they do not know how to ask for help and they feel that there issues are silly.
It is all too easy to become frustrated with your child because they are not living up to your expectations or they are having difficulties learning. Having patients and giving your children some love whilst at the same time finding time to show some interest with their hobbies can be a great way of bonding, and children love to feel wanted.
If you have more than one child try not to show any favoritism or pay to much attention to one more than the others, many a time the older child can feel neglected and unwanted when all the attention is put onto the younger child.
Allow sometime with your kids because they don't understand if you feel tired, try and be patient with them because their world is different to ours. Encourage your children to join in with the conversation especially when in the company of other adults otherwise they can easily feel left out of things.
Why Children Can Lose Their Confidence
Children lose their confidence through a numerous of reasons, this can be from low self-esteem because they may have been teased for how they look, being bullied, embarrassed, shown up, or isolated at school or by their friends.
Low confidence in children can be from a lack of support and help in their early years from or constant criticism and being put down. One of the biggest fears stems from public humiliation or rejection.
The pressures sometimes thrust on children to pass exams can cause unneeded anxiety and stress, rejection and not feeling loved or belonging to close network of friends can also take it's toll on them. Being teased mercilessly by older brothers, sisters or other children can lower their confidence.
Feeling they are not worthy or good enough can lower there self esteem, if they believe something is wrong with bodies or looks this can chip away at the confidence levels. To build children's self-confidence it is important to teach them the right thinking skills.
Teach Them To Use Their Imagination Wisely
Creative use of their imagination (visualizing) in a positive manner should be encouraged, because it is crucial for building children's confidence, it is also important to educate your child to have a positive outlook on life. Do not discourage them from day dreaming, positive day dreaming should be encouraged yet many teachers and parents tell them off for doing it.
This is beneficial in developing the child's creativity. They need to know that they can use their imagination to rehearse forth coming challenging events or social situations going well.
Tell them to imagine they have already successfully done what they want to achieve and in their imagination everything should always go well, this will make them more confident and they will handle the difficult situation better when the time comes around.
They also need teaching that when they misuse their imagination to see things going wrong it will make them feel bad and they can ignore their imagination if they want at times when it is making them feel bad.
You can also tell them to pretend they are one of their favourite super hero characters and imagine the scenario through the eyes of the super hero as if they were him/her in that difficult situation
They need to know that facing fears will increase their confidence while on the other hand avoiding situations strengthens fears. What is the proper and the required amount of discipline needed is down to you to decide, you have to distinguish between what is to harsh and unfair to what is to lenient.
Raising a child can be difficult and stressful at times. Many studies have been conducted to try and determine the correct way to raise a child, children need to be taught to be self dependent as much as possible as long as they are safe. Setting reasonable but fair rules and guidelines to follow is a good practice, because children will soon cotton on to what they can get away with.
Raising a child is not just about keeping them safe it also involves keeping them happy and developing them emotionally. It can be frustrating for parents when they are trying to teach their children new things, when you do show them how to go about things try not to be to abrupt, harsh or critical otherwise this approach can make them turn introvert and they will become scared to have a go at the task.
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