Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Giving Your Toddler Confidence

Recently, there have been a lot of TV shows and movies about young teens and pre teens that are having lots of problems in school, issues at home, and a hard time all around with life. There are psychiatrists and psychologists saying it is caused from parents not being around enough, school problems, and nowadays, it is just hard to face everything that comes with being a teenager. Although teens and preteens do have a lot to deal with, I think that these kids are having so many problems because they are not confident. If your child does not feel confident in himself, he will become withdrawn, and maybe act shy around his peers and his teachers. Low self esteem and not being confident can start as early as infancy. If you want your child to be proud, be confident, and have high self esteem, there are many different things that you can do for your child. Although you cannot force your child to be confident, you can help him along the way and show him how to feel good about himself and the choices that he makes throughout life.

One problem many parents have when their children are babies, is when they are praising their child, they tell them they are cute. If your child grows up hearing every day that he or she is cute, but not hearing that he or she is smart, their confidence will spiral downward. This child may try to get through life by acting cute or relying on their looks to get what they want. If you are constantly telling your toddler he or she is cute, and then you discipline him for maybe throwing a toy, he might think that if he smiles and acts cute, he will get away without being disciplined. When your child is at this stage, it is important to set boundaries with him, and stick to them. When you do this, you are letting your child know that he cannot control you with his looks. If your son or daughter listens to you when you give him his punishment, praise him for being a good listener. There are so many things that you can praise your toddler for besides being cute, such as being a good helper, being a good listener, being good to his siblings or pets, and picking up his toys without you having to ask him. If you praise your children for these things when they do them, they are more likely to do them without being told.

Besides praising your baby or toddler, there are some other things that you can do to help him become confident in himself. If you notice that your toddler is good with his hands, and is good at balancing and other things like that, you might want to think about enrolling him in gymnastics or soccer. When young children are exposed to sports and other athletic teams, they become involved in something other than their family, and it gives them a feeling of confidence. If you do enroll your toddler in any class such as ballet, sports, or even an art class, try to be hands on with your child's class. Although your child is in a class to be a part of something new, you can still help out his teacher and be around once in awhile. This will let your child know that you care, and that you are proud of him and the way he acts when he is in his class. Being in classes and sports also gives your child a new group of friends to play with. If your child finds a friend that is interested in the same things that he is, but they do not go to the same school, it would be nice for the children to be able to see each other outside of their extracurricular activity. Strong minded friends will also bring out your child's self confidence.

Self confidence is something that every child and adult should have. If you respect your child, and start teaching him the importance of self confidence, and high self esteem from the time that he is a newborn, he will have a head start on life. Love your child and help him make the right decisions when he is young, and hopefully he will follow your lead when he gets older. If he does, you should have a happy and confident child!

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