There are so many things we want our children to learn, which go far beyond tying their shoes or counting to 100. Hopefully, they’ll come to embrace knowledge. We hope they create lofty goals and achieve every last one of them. After all, as parents, we want the best for them.
What if there was one thing you could teach them right now, which would give them the tools to achieve every last one of those things?
By inspiring self-worth in your children, you guarantee your child’s future success. After all, it’s your child’s ability to believe in themselves, which gives them the confidence they’ll need for everything else.
How do you teach something like self-worth and self-belief?
Start with Opportunity
No one can grow without ever being challenged. This means encouraging your child to try new things. No, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sign them up for lessons in everything from Portuguese to modern dance.
It does mean exposing them to cultures they’re not familiar with, craft projects, foods they’ve never tasted, and outings to places they’ve never seen. Show them the world and encourage them to pick up, taste, and try everything.
Give Them (Some) Praise
When they do try new things, don’t fall all over yourself in telling them how great they are. On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for a quiet, “Well done” when they get things right.
If they mess up? Praise the effort. They need you to recognize they tried.
Life involves hard work. Let them see you making an effort to do hard things too. Whether it’s cooking an elaborate meal, or even just letting them see you doing your job, they’ll appreciate seeing you dig in and do things too.
Drop the Negative Words
Kids take to heart when you give them criticism. Never use words like “dumb” or “stupid” and pay attention when you’re angry at just what words come out of your mouth.
It’s said it can take anywhere from 5 to 7 compliments to erase a negative comment. In children, you can expect it to take twice this number.
Let Them Help
Your child has a natural desire to please already. Engage this by encouraging them to pitch in at home. Or direct this enthusiasm out into the world through volunteering together for a worthy cause. Kids feel good about themselves when they know they’re helping.
In all of this, the key is to let your child know you recognize their strengths and also note their efforts as they struggle to learn what might come harder. Tell them they’re doing well and are worthwhile, and they’ll come to believe this simply because these words first came from you.
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