It is every parents hope that their children will develop the confidence needed to navigate through life into adulthood with their self esteem and sense of self worth intact, however how do you impact these necessary life skills into your child if you yourself are still on that journey of self discovery or are struggling with self esteem issues?
If you have never had to navigate the same external struggles which your child may have to face, be it the influence social media may have on how they perceive themselves, their looks or their values, how current trends or affairs have them questioning their beliefs and morals or maybe it's just the normal everyday issues which arise during youth and adolescent stages, then you may find it difficult to support them to rise above it all with their self esteem in tact.
If you yourself are prone to experiences of anxiety or the overwhelming sense of self doubt when expected to demonstrate moments of confidence then the ability to model confident behaviour can sometimes leave you questioning your own abilities to mirror this for your child. However it is important to remember that your child only knows what you teach them through your actions and your words and so it is possible to still raise a confident child regardless of whether or not you yourself have high self esteem and confidence or not.
Here are my top 10 tips on how to raise a confident child with high self esteem even if your doubting yourself.
1. Teach your child to use positive affirmations
Never under estimate the power of positive affirmations when used regularly to empower the user. In the article "14 affirmations to make black girls shine" by Jane Harris from essence.com she out lines 14 amazing affirmations that will speak life into your child.
Getting your child into the routine of repeating positive affirmations out loud and having them post their favourite quotes where they can visually see them can greatly boost their confidence and sense of self worth.
Phinnah Chichi editor at Ten2Teens magazine speaks of the fear some parents have around the confidence level of their children and the impact using daily affirmations can have in building their self esteem. Her new daily affirmations Ebook titled Stay Positive has been designed specifically with teenagers in mind.
2. Use positive talk to your child
Ensure that when you are speaking to your child you are using positive words of encouragement and support which will aid in giving your child confidence whilst elevating their self esteem.
The words you use when speaking to your child can bring them down as much as they can lift them up and so we must be mindful of what we say to and in front of our children at all times.
3. Surround your child with people and experiences that will boost their self esteem
It is always a good idea to surround your children with people who will have a positive impact upon them be it established role models or people they can look up to. Allow them to take part in activities that will create experiences which develop their confidence and self esteem.
4. Encourage them to keep a journal or gratitude diary
I am a firm believer in the power of a grateful heart and mind to open you up to a world of opportunities as well as to leave you feeling more happy and hopeful about the future or stressful situations.
One of the most powerful tools in supporting a grateful mind is a gratitude journal. The simple act of taking the time to identify and jot down all that you are grateful for on a daily basis allows you to go forward with your day with a positive outlook and create a great reference for evaluatingp all that you have been grateful for in the past.
One of my favourite journals for children is the Cherish Me, gratitude journals for girls written by Carolyn Clarke.
5. Give them opportunities to express themselves, their ideas and beliefs
6. Have open conversations with them about their feelings, encourage them to share their thoughts with you
7. Acknowledge their experiences of life are different to yours
My above 3 points will empower your child with the gift of having a voice and knowing their thoughts and opinions are valued. They all come down to ensuring you have good lines of communication with your child where you are listening to them as much as you are guiding and advising them.
Let them feel comfortable in expressing their thoughts views and opinions with you, you may not like or agree with everything they say but the important thing is that they feel comfortable enough to come to. Doing this will ensure that that they share both their joys and concerns with you and will enable you to maintain an insight into how they are feeling and what the are thinking.
8. Let them see you display moments of confidence
It is important that we acknowledge that our children emulate what we do more than what we say and so be honest about experiences where you did not feel so confident about doing a task but did it anyway and let them see your confidence on display.
9. Reinforce positive thoughts towards the way they look
One of the biggest areas that effects the confidence levels of children in how they feel about how they look.
As the media bombards them with unrealistic ideals of what is beautiful and they go through phases of puberty they will begin to question their identity and will want to experiment with how they look. As parents we must be on standby to reassure them that they are perfect just the way they are.
My last and most important tip:
10. Don't be so hard on yourself you're doing a great job
It is normal to question your competence as a parent but just know the fact that you are working to ensure you are supporting your child to the best of your ability shows that you are on the right track.