It is fairly indisputable that we are living in anxious times. Who isn’t worried or concerned about something right now? Whether we realize it or not, so are our children. At a young age, children don’t have all the coping mechanisms needed to combat this level of anxiety. One great way you can help them overcome any level of anxiety they may be feeling is by improving their confidence. When a child, or anyone for that matter, is feeling good about themselves, they have an easier time being positive and seeing positive around them. There is several moments a day that present themselves as opportunities to build confidence in your child.
Be a good finder! When a gold miner goes into the mine, they are looking for gold, not dirt, however they will move tons of dirt before getting to the gold. Their focus remains the gold. Being a good finder with your child means pointing out the good they do, even when it is not perfect. One good way to do this is by utilizing the positive correction model of Praise-Challenge-Praise. Another great way to boost your child’s confidence and make them feel purposeful is to let them help out more. Often times children ask to do something that they see as helpful, but we as parents feel it is too difficult for them, or we fear it will create more work for us, so we say no. During these times, our children are hearing a lot of “no” – no you can’t go to school, no you can’t go to camp, no you can’t have a party. Try to find ways to say “yes” to letting them be more helpful.
An important thing to remember in regard to your child’s confidence and anxiety is that children are always watching and listening. It may not seem like it, but they are always taking in everything around them. It is often said when around children, “You cannot not teach!” During these times, when there are so many unknowns, children are supertuned to your cues. If you are having frustrations or struggles with a current situation such as working from home or home-schooling, this is a perfect time to model positive self-talk. While praising a child is a great way to make them feel good about themselves, be careful not to praise for everything. You want to praise for the things they control such as effort, progress, hard work, persistence and learning from a mistake. You do not want to praise for things that can be seen as being born with or have by luck such as talent, being smart, being gifted or not making mistakes.