Self-confidence in young children

Self-confidence might sound too big a word for a 9-month-old or a 3-month-old child. But it isn’t.

Fast Forward a decade and you might wonder, how come your child is so shy when you are not, or your wife/husband is not. Then where on earth did he/she get her shyness from? Please know that a lot of traits like these are inherited. They could be genetic or nurtured. And hence we believe that there is a sure shot way of nurturing a child’s self-confidence. At no point do I suggest that you should push your child to come out of his comfort zone at your behest and will to do things he does not want to. Because that would be against nature also.

Introduce small, minor age appropriate challenges. Allow your child to think. Let his thinking progress. To develop a thought process to understand the challenge, perceive the challenge, understand his own limitations, capabilities and go on to step out of his comfort zone to try and achieve whatever satisfaction the challenge holds for him. One thing that needs to be remembered is, not everything can be a challenge. Too many challenges can have an adverse effect on the child psyche. You must also be extremely careful about the level of challenges you throw at him/her. An unachievable target and repeated challenges like these might tire him out. He will then not look at any challenge with awe/interest

The idea is to make him feel and taste the sense of achievement. The reason I think this point is critical for us to understand as parents are because we have become over-protective of our child. In the light of invariable changes in the fabric of our society, increasing crimes and the expectation of our jobs from us lead us to provide a totally shielded life to our children. They should not sneeze, or a cough, fall or get pushed and so on and so forth. This brings down the level of challenges they face naturally. We over-shadow their thought process without realizing we do. All in a good cause, BUT do land-up creating long-term voids.

Allow your child to experience the fun in taking up challenges and completing them. Let them feel gratified. Let the adrenaline rush a bit. A small, quick reflection conversation at the end of the mini-adventure also helps seal the learning process.

You love to conquer challenges. It inspires you. Why won’t he? Give him a chance.

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