10 Steps To A Confident And Very Happy Child!
One thing I am grateful for is the fact that my daughter has always been such a happy little girl. She smiles through everything, she is confident, resilient and an extrovert in the making! She will talk to anything and anyone, she loves to be heard and I always allow her to express herself. As with most things my daughter encouraged this post and I came up with 10 steps to raising a confident and happy child.
1. Listen to them!
Children like to communicate, so listen to them and try to avoid interrupting them when they are communicating with you. It will make them feel special and they will appreciate having your undivided attention.
2. Speak positively to them and about them!
Plant good seeds in their minds and say affirmations with them, “I am able to do all that I set my mind to do!” and so forth. These will help your child to feel confident within themselves knowing that they are able to achieve greatness. Do not belittle them or ridicule them as this will cause them to shy away and become withdrawn. Build your children up and let them know that you believe in them.
3. Spend quality time with them.
You can buy all of the toys in the world for them, but it will never be the same. What they desire most is your time, energy and attention. Do fun things together, work on homework projects with them and have days where you spend wuality time with them 1 on 1.
4. Communicate properly (minus distractions!)
Put down the phone/iPad/tablet/remote basically whatever it is that is distracting uou and diverting your attention. Give your children your full undividided attention and ensure that you are giving them eye contact when communicating. Ask them open ended wuestions and show them that you are interested in what they are saying to you.
5. Discipline (yep you read that right!)
Everyone handles discipline differently, I am a firm believer in time out with my daughter because it gives her some time to sit back and reflect on why she has been asked to sit down away from her toys. Though she is only 2 and a bit, she is gradually understanding that if she has done something that I am not happy with, after her 2 warnings she wil have a timeout. This works well for us.
Teach your children to do the right things and correct them when they are wrong. One day when they are grown up they will thank you for putting them on the right path. Remember that your children are a reflection of you, so how they behave and communicate with others will give the world an insight into how they are being raised.
With that said, it is nobody’s right to judge you or your children because no child is perfect, they all have tantrums and good/bad days, but stay persistent. Good manners and respect goes a very long way – this goes for some adults too! Children mirror what they see and hear, so let’s do our best to show them our best mirror image, so that they can be a superb example to their peers and others!
6. Celebrate even their tiniest achievements.
All that your children accomplish should be celebrated, even the smallest of victories. I don’t mean that you should throw a party for everything! Just let them know that you are proud of what they have achieved. This will continue to boost their confidence and self-esteem because they know that you are their biggest cheerleader and they love having you on their team.
If your child is unsuccessful with something, tell them that you are still proud of them and it is the effort that counts. Allow them to have their moment to take in what has happened and if they require some space, let them know that you are there for them. They should always know that it is the taking part that counts and they have done a wonderful job regardless. In life, we will not always be great at everything, but there are many things that we will be great at doing!
7. Encourage them to be independent!
Children are never too young for us to start promoting independence and decision making, I have always encouraged Bella with both of the above because I believe that they are essential traits to have especially as she is very advanced. I allow her to pick her own clothing and footwear, but I assist with minor details such as suitable tights/leggings for the weather. She picks what she will have to eat and which snacks she wold like for that particular day. Bella also selects what book she would like to read for story time in the evening and throughout the day. I even let her decide if she would like to bring her pushchair or if she would like to walk, though I explain the implications if she walks and express my concern that she may get tired and want to sleep. She almost always opts for her pushchair anyway, but then decides that she wants to walk leaving me to push the pushchair and hold her hand!
This has helped her tremendously and it is not because I am lazy, quite the opposite, but I always feel that as she is my first child I would like her to be as independent as possible. I do not want her to grow up relying on people for every little thing, but I want her to know that she has the power within her to be a strong, independent young lady. Therefore, for me, it all starts within our home and with how I am raising her.
8. Ensure that their needs are met.
Eating healthy, well balanced meals, sleeping well and getting enough exercise, etc are some of the things that our children require to thrive. If your children are old enough they will of course express their feelings to you if they require anything else. If they are not able to communicate as yet, then it is our duty as mothers to know our children and provide them with all that they need to flourish.
9. Shower them with unconditional love.
They say that there is no love like a mother’s love! Tell your children that you love them! I know in some cultures in particular my culture, parents do not always openly express their love for their children. It does not mean that they do not love them, but it is all down to how they were raised.
I ensure that I tell Isabella-Grace at least four times a day how much I love her, just because she needs to hear it. I try not to smother her, but it is so hard when they are little and you cannot resist giving them endless cuddles and lots of kisses. Once they are older they may not want us “cramping their style,” so we might as well get them in now whilst we can!
10. Allow them to be children!
Try to avoid putting too much pressure on your children, for example; “I want you to go to the best school, so make sure that you do really well in all of your exams!” Of course most parents want their children to do well in their exams, but can you see a problem with the wording of the above sentence?!
This is perhaps slightly better; “Darling, I would love for you to go to a really good school. So, we are going to work together to ensure that you do a good job in your exams!”
The second example is a softer approach and also shows partnership because you are telling them that they are not on their own and you are going to help them. Helping them involves encouraging them, doing homework together and just making sure that you offer them support when and where they need it.
Encourage your children, but try to avoid forcing them to do things that they really do not want to do (unless it is for their good);
Mother A “I want you to play the piano!”
Child A: “But, mum I like the drums!”
Mother A: “NO! Drums are out of the question. You ARE going to play the piano whether you like it or not!”
Mother B: “Your room is a mess, please go and clean it up!”
Child B: “Yeah, I will, but not now. I'll do it later! I'm playing a game!”
Mother B: “Excuse me young man?! Please stop playing your game and go and clean your room right this minute!”
Child B: *pauses game* “Okay mum, I am going to do it now!”
Example 1 shows a mother wanting her child to play the piano despite the child stating they have no desire to play the piano and expressing their desire to play the drums. The mother does not give the child wishes any regard any continues forcing her own desire on the child to play the piano. How do you think this situation will play out? When the mother signs the child up to play the piano, how do you think that the child will do in their lessons?
Example 2 shows a mother asking her son to go and clean his room, the child says he is playing a game and does not want to clean his bedroom up. In this example, the mother commands the child to clean his room because this is a requirement. The child has clearly messed up their room and must take responsibility to clean their bedroom, so that they can then return to their game. The child knows that his mother is right and that his game can wait.
I thoroughly enjoyed my childhood! I am very feminine and I love doing my hair, wearing elegant dresses and make-up, but when I was much younger I did enjoy playing in the garden and digging up worms (gross I know!), but then I also loved pink and enjoyed playing with dolls and had a room full of Barbie dolls.
Every child is different and I cannot stress this enough, but what works for one child may not work for your child. Children all learn at different paces and require different support if any, but be proud of who your children are and I hope that you can use my guide to bring out the best in your children.
In general, I believe that children should be free to play, learn and explore. Allow them to express themselves, let them be inquisitive and guide them! Allow them to paint, to count, to draw, to feel the sand through their toes and to jump in muddy puddles (thanks Peppa for putting that idea in Bella's head!) Let them read and in general just allow them to be little! We were all children once and we all got up to mischief!
Have I missed anything? Let me know your thoughts on raising a confident and happy child below!
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