In these days of intense competition, it is increasingly important to build your child’s level of self-confidence to enable her to compete in tomorrow’s cut-throat world. Tackling this when they are still young is a great place to start. The earlier the better.
When your child tries to tell you about the day she had at school, how often do you really pay attention? Are you listening to her, or is your mind otherwise occupied? Very often parents tune out when their children are talking. Pay close attention to what your child is saying, and repeat it now and again so she knows you are listening.
Don’t trivialize things
Something that seems trivial to you, may be very important to your child. If your child is upset that she missed the birthday party of a friend, don’t laugh it off and say that there will be many others. Understand that while something like this has minimal importance in your world, it has great importance in your child’s world. So treat the ‘crisis’ accordingly.
When your child does something wrong, don’t criticize her. Instead, criticize the behaviour. If she doesn’t study when she’s supposed to, instead of calling her lazy, tell her that she needs to work harder, and what she did was wrong. Instead of calling her an arrogant and rude person when she talks back to you, say, “What you said was rude.” Or, “Please don’t use that arrogant tone.”
Question your child
Instead of losing your temper when your child says something rude to you, question her and ask her why she spoke in such a manner. Every time your child is rude to you, there is a reason behind it. Remember, your child is the one who is supposed to constantly abide by what you say and play by your rules. If she answers back, you shout at her. Perhaps she has a genuine point. Do try and find out what it is by questioning her about her feelings.
Praise your child as often as possible. Naturally, praise is different from flattery. Many parents don’t praise their children too much as they are worried the praise may go to their child’s head. But if you praise your child for a job well done, your child will certainly benefit to a great degree.
Encourage your child to think
Don’t constantly force her to do things against her will. Although sometimes this may be necessary, very often, it is not. Still, parents command immediate obedience all the time. Although there was a generation where this was acceptable, such a generation is gone. And such obedience which obstructs thinking is no longer considered acceptable or desirable. Earlier on, children were not required to be independent, but things have changed. If you want to your child to do or not to do something, be prepared to back it up with a reason, better than, “Because I say so.”
Focus on her strengths
If your child does not perform well in Math but does well in dance, many parents will gloss over the good performance, especially if it not academic in nature, and focus on her poor performance. It is but natural that you would want your child to do well in everything, but if your child’s performance is acceptable, do not put too much pressure in doing better and better every time, especially if she shows promise in something else.