Building Self Confidence

Several similar terms describe the central attribute of a character that decides on the strength of personality and the degree of inner freedom:

- "self assurance" describes mostly the behaviour. Counterparts are insecure behaviour or shyness.

- "self confidence" is the mental and emotional state that causes the outer appearance.

- "charisma" is the effect that those have on others.

Self confidence doesn't mean being perfect or presenting oneself in a perfect way, but realizing and accepting own strengths and weaknesses, using strengths to reach aims and considering weaknesses as challenges, not insurmountable limits.

It can be observed that some children are by nature more actively exploring their environment than others. So possibly self confidence has a genetic foundation.

Still, all experiences that include social interaction, with parents, relatives, friends and classmates, influence the development of self esteem. Appreciation has a positive, rejection a negative effect. But unfortunately, it's not that easy.

False or fake appreciation can often be observed with parents and relatives. For example the adoration of even the smallest output of infant creativity, like crude drawings, and other approvals of a child's intelligence and appearance can lead to a situation of over-confidence. Undeserved rejection, on the other hand, like punishing or disregarding a child out of an own bad mood, will confuse it and create insecurity.

Over-confidence, or the belief in own abilities and performance that are not real, can lead to arrogance. This can either turn into insecurity, if the person later realizes the truth, or it turns into an inconsiderate behaviour, which also isn't making life easier. Insecurity or shyness are very common burdens and they tend to create a lot of problems. Aside from lacking social and personal success, the constant fear of the own inferiority creates barriers that are hard to overcome.

So what's the secret of how to give a child a healthy self-confidence?

- Be realistic with appreciation. If you feel you should commend your child for something, consider what would be the ability at its age and then evaluate the outcome. If it deserves appreciation, give it. If you have the feeling that your child is putting to much effort in getting your attention, try to get it back down to reality carefully. Love and appreciation shouldn't be goods that can be bought.

- Don't criticize or reject your child out of a bad mood. If you come home after a stressful day and your kid comes up with a picture, show some interest - it might mean a lot more to it than you think.

- Keep an eye on the influence your child is receiving from its friends. But if you have a bad feeling, try to talk to your child before you call the offender's parents and ask for a restraining order.

- Don't do things for your child if it's afraid of something. It might be hard sometimes, but how should it learn to be independent if it can always hide behind its parents? Later on, it will lack the confidence that comes from the experience of having to do things on its own.

- Always be there to give advice if required. There's a whole new world of complex social systems out there, and it's easy to get lost. Remember when you were a child probably you can learn a lot from that.

Brigette Meier is an occassional author for http://www.e-nterests.com - visit the site for more interesting articles.

In The News:

Relationships & Parenting  Millennium Post
The Decade in Parenting  NYT Parenting
I Feel Weird Lying About Santa  The New York Times
Our Favorite Parenting Books of 2019  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
This Is Pregnancy Over 40  The New York Times

Just What Is A Learning Disability?

A learning disability is defined as a permanent problem that... Read More

Teacher Tips: Your Room Set-Up and ADHD Students

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate... Read More

How to Foster a Love of Reading and Writing in Your Child

The key to lifelong learning is reading and writing. When... Read More

The Great Baby Name Debate

Winifred or Willow? Thomas or Troy? The name you choose... Read More

How Do Campers Protect Their Children?

Oh yes you have! Suddenly, "Where's Bobby?" You instantly realize... Read More

5 Ways To Tell If A Preschooler Is Living In Your House

1. You reheated the same cup of coffee three times... Read More

5 Steps to Raising an Optimistic Child

I had just completed a session with 17-year old Julie... Read More

Effects of Jealousy on Childs Personality

Dear friends here we will charge up our mind with... Read More

Uniforms

Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 31,... Read More

Study Skills - How Can YOU Help Your Kids?

Some years ago when touring the Scottish Highlands, a man... Read More

Just Average

What do you mean average? Not good? Just doing good... Read More

Playground Pettiness

Recently I took my two children to a popular new... Read More

EEG Biofeedback Training as a Treatment Option for ADHD

The popularity of EEG Biofeedback Training continues to grow both... Read More

Small Children, Languages and Myths

Our children are growing up bilingual in the French part... Read More

Promoting Your Childs Motor Development

Assuming there are no serious motor problems present, what can... Read More

Helping Your Kids Handle Divorce

Every year over one million parents have to talk to... Read More

Film Industry and Our Youth

In the first premise, some films and video tapes which... Read More

Meningitis and Septicaemia

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain... Read More

How To Teach Children Loyalty and Dependability

Individualism is a common thing in today's modern society. Many... Read More

Your Company Vehicle is a Portable Bill Board; A word of advice on children passengers

Child Safety Restraints and children in work vehiclesIf you take... Read More

What Parents Should Do For Children To Do Their Best After Divorce?

Why do some children still do best after divorce and... Read More

Invented Spelling --- Another Alice-in-Wonderland Public-School Theory

As part of the whole-language (or "balanced") reading-instruction philosophy, many... Read More

So You Want to Adopt?

Many reasons will cause some people to feel the need... Read More

5 Solid Reasons: Why Your Child Can Be An Achiever

All of us, including your child, entered this world equipped... Read More

The Better Behavior Wheel - A New Kind of Calm in the Family

There's a new kind of fun and calm out there... Read More