When you show children that your love for them is unconditional, not based on their achievements, their self talk is more positive. When they make mistakes, they are more likely to pick themselves up and try again. Mistakes become part of learning and criticising or shaming are no longer part of their vocabulary, if you remain consistent and love unconditionally.
Setting realistic goals is key to motivating children and keeping them focussed. Deadline dates focus the mind, coupled with thinking about what obstacles may arise and how they may overcome them, galvanises their resolve.
Use Their Name
We sometimes forget that our children are individuals and refer to them with a pet name, or as junior or in another way. Whilst having a pet name can be inclusive depending on what it is of course; their name is theirs only. This is a powerful tool in grounding them and encouraging them to be seen as important in their own right.
Positive Role Modeling
How we talk to ourselves or our significant other impacts directly on our children. So when you say that you aren’t good at something this damages your own confidence and this self talk becomes part of their thinking too.
As adults we understand that the fear of failure is worse than the act of failure. When we show children what they have learnt from a task or activity that hasn’t gone to plan, they grow in confidence. This in turn teaches them that challenges and setbacks are part of life and not a reason to not begin.
Children know when you aren’t with them and your mind is elsewhere. To help them feel valued and comfortable ensure you don’t have any distractions, make time and be present.
Trying a new skill, joining new clubs and undertaking new activities helps children build confidence. It shows them how to tackle a problem in a fun way and understand that life has these challenges, ultimately that they can cope.
Their Opinion Counts
Ask for their advice or opinions on an age appropriate topic, this raises their self awareness. You show them that you value them and their thoughts, confirming that even adults don’t have the answer to everything.
A healthy structure of rules that support learning, growth and confidence are key to your child’s development. But you must be consistent and involved to ensure they stay on track.
They are individuals, with interests and passions of their own. Supporting and praising their endeavours, builds confidence in themselves and expands their abilities and learning.
Our investment in our children has far reaching consequences, for their future, the community and the way they interact with the world around them. For more information and further reading I would recommend Carole Dweck’s book Mindset. She is a psychologists, who has been studying what makes people successful, it’s not what you think. A very interesting read.
This is a 6 minute TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, is really worth a watch too True Grit and the Growth Mindset
Till next time!