Updated: Feb 10
***This is a collaborative post
There is nothing more that a parent wants than to raise a happy, confident and lively child. A child who can make friends, smile at those around them and have a smile that is utterly contagious is a child who is secure in themselves and happy - and every parent wants that! Confidence in children is beautiful to see, and in life, your children need to grow with confidence to be happy and grounded teenagers, intelligent and happy adults and beyond. The way your child feels from a young age really does matter and even when you think you don't have an impact, your actions are going to shape their thinking from toddlerhood.
If you want your children to be confident teenagers who can hold their own among their peers, you need to work on their confidence. When you don't feel good about yourself, you know how much it'll affect your day - the same is said for your children of all ages. They can have all of the knowledge and work ethic you want them to have but if they're not confident in any of it, they'll end up doubting themselves every step of the way in life - and you really want to avoid this! Children deserve to know that they are able to have the best possible life, and as their parents, it's up to you to ensure that they are confident. As a parent, you know how it makes you feel to give your children a good life, but it's not just about setting them up for adulthood.
Confident children will happily go on sleepovers with their friends. They'll feel secure about leaving you overnight for residential school trips and they'll be able to tell you anything because they will feel confidence in your love for them. When you work on raising children who feel good about themselves, you will be able to feel more than proud when they progress to teenage years and see how they blossom and become happy teenagers. You need to know what to do to make your children feel good and here are some great suggestions to ensure that you are on the right track to raising confident and happy children.
Environment Matters. The space in which you all live really does matter for the confidence of your kids. If your children are around happy and positive role models, parents, aunts and uncles and siblings, that will influence their own attitude. Negativity breeds more negative behaviour, and it can lead to children acting out unnecessarily. Children thrive on security and it's up to you to give them that. It's not necessary to have the perfect 2.4 family but you do need to consider how the adults treat each other in the home. The more you are positive with each other, the happier and more positive your child will be. Happy and confident children live in homes with other happy, confident people, and it's up to you to provide them with this environment.
Give Them Space. It's not easy for a parent to loosen their hold on their children, but it's something you've got to do if you want your children to feel confident without your watchful eye. The whole end game of parenting is to be able to release your kids into the world and know that they will thrive. One of the ways that you can ensure that your children will be fine when they are out of the nest is if you let them be independent. Go slowly at first: early curfews and boundaries of where is allowed and where isn't will help. Encourage them to explore allowed areas and give them a phone to be able to contact you to be picked up if they are struggling.
Education. While a degree isn't the be-all and end-all in life, it's certainly a good place to begin if you want to ensure that your children are raised into a world where they don't have to struggle as much to survive. It's important - as a parent - that you keep your wishes for your children and their futures to yourself and let them explore what they want to do. You can be a gentle guide, but that doesnt mean dictating their future or living your own dreams through them. What it means is that you support your children and help them to choose the things that are right for them in their academic life. You can cheer them on through their extra-curriculars - they don't have to be a genius to do well in their future.
Keep Them Healthy. Well-fed, exercised kids are happy kids. Children that never have to worry about whether they are allowed to eat as they please are kids who are confident with their bodies and their body's ability to eat and drink as they need to. Happy children don't eat because of stress, they eat when hungry and stop while full. Your children also need to have enough sleep every night, which means that you need to make sure that they are not using screens while they are in bed. If they are staring at a TV, they're not going to be able to sleep properly and that has an effect on their mood and their ability to concentrate.
Teach Them Life Skills. Don't ever let your kids leave your home for college or beyond without knowing how to clean up after themselves, cook and more. You need to teach them life skills to keep them aware of themselves and know that they are not a burden on other people. One day, they will live without you there and they need to know how to take care of themselves, cook meals, clean and more. You have to make sure that your child knows basic chores and basic domestic fixes before they are released into the public! Be the parent who is responsible enough to do this for them.