As parents we love and believe in our kids. We want to raise kids to have self confidence and courage to try new things. Self-confidence comes from a sense of competence–for all of us. But as parents, we need to build that confidence and encourage it in our children.
A confident child needs a positive and realistic perception of his or her abilities. This arises out of achievements, great and small. Feeling capable is the foundation of healthy self-esteem. Kids who feel good about themselves have the confidence to try new things. They are more likely to try their best. They feel proud of what they can do. Self-esteem helps kids cope with mistakes. It helps kids try again, even if they fail at first. As a result, self-esteem helps kids do better at school, at home, and with friends.
So it’s not life being easy, and constant praise that builds our kids up. It’s trying new things and succeeding. It’s caring for others and being praised and noticed for that. Its’ failing but trying again anyway.
But here’s a parenting truth: Sometimes our kids will feel bad, and we need to let them feel that way without trying to “fix it.” Having a hard day doesn’t stop the world or give your child the right to treat others badly. They still need to be held accountable for their behavior–and in the long run, this is going to help their self-esteem. If we solve it all for them or clear all the obstacles away, we are not helping them. They need to learn to self advocate; to know right from wrong; to lose and to win; to struggle and still get by. So build strong and confident kids. Be there for them–don’t do it for them.