Raising Self-Confident Children

Written by Elizabeth Pantley

A positive attitude and encouragement will go a long way toward your child's success.raising self confident children

During their development, children go through many stages of self-doubt . They are always comparing themselves with others, and they often see themselves as coming up short. As parents, we can offset this natural tendency by giving kids skills to think more positively. This is, of course, easier to do if you practice positive thinking yourself.
If your child is discouraged, highlight the positive things he can do.
Point out positive role models in the news and in the books you read with your child.
Explain to your child how you have reacted positively in difficult situations.  
Arming children with a positive attitude helps them stay focused in the right direction. Let's look at some typical negative statements from children, along with some positive responses from wise parents:

I can't do it.

Take your time and try again. I have confidence in you.

Heather hates me.

Sounds like you're feeling rejected by Heather, and that must hurt. I know you want Heather to like you. Remember that you're a very lovable kid and a terrific person, no matter what Heather, or anyone else, says or does. And, you know, she may have a problem that has nothing to do with you. 

I'm just no good in history.
You've brought up "Cs" before. I know you can do it again. Besides that, honey, nobody is good at everything. And look at this "A" in math. You've always done well with numbers!
I'm so clumsy. I'll never learn to rollerblade!

It's tough learning something new. Remember when you first tried to ski, how hard it was? But you stuck with it, and now you're really good at skiing.

There is real value in discussing positive thinking andself-esteem with your children on a regular basis. Sadly, these subjects are not yet included in the school curriculum. There are good books that demonstrate positive thinking. Pointing out positive vs. negative attitudes from the news or life stories is an excellent way of showing your children just how this all works in real life, too. 

Modeling a positive attitude is one of the most effective ways of teaching your children. Children learn what they live. So start presenting your thoughts in a positive way, Oh well, I burned the dinner. Guess that means we get to eat cereal! 
When you take this matter into your hands and look for ways to guide your children's thoughts in a positive direction, you will see very exciting results.

Excerpted with permission by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. from Kid Cooperation, How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley, copyright 1996.

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