Your child is small, but he is capable of a lot. He’s capable of so much, that I am sure you’ll be surprised when you let him do things for himself and discover how to build a child’s confidence. Holding kids back is common for parents, so let’s talk about how to avoid doing it.
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A 2 yr old that can climb on the potty, use the potty, flush the potty, wipe the mess off the toilet (if necessary, which it often is😉) put his clothes back on, wash his hands, and go about his other business is impressive. I’d say that little guy is capable of a whole lot. He likely makes his parents pretty proud. Read my complete guide to potty training here.
Since you likely know I am talking about my own baby, let me say, I have no special skills, secrets, tricks, or smarts that enable him to do that. The fact that he can do that doesn’t make me great, it makes him great.
He has the ability within himself to do that. My only role in his ability is requiring him to use it. I show him what to do, spend some intentional time training, and then set a standard. This has been key for building his confidence.
How To Build A Child’s Confidence.
I want my children to love who they are. So early on as a new mom, I read a lot about self-esteem in children and how to build a child’s confidence.
The most glaringly-in-your-face truth I read over and over again was their need to feel proud of their own accomplishments.
The more your child can do on his own, the more he has to feel proud of himself for. Rather than confuse a child’s lack of desire with a lack of ability, give him a chance. Things would never get done if we all waited until we wanted to do them.
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The Benefits of Confident Children
#1. The Help.
- The most obvious benefit for parents with children who aren’t held back is the help!
- Chores, for instance, done by your child, are chores NOT needing to be done by YOU! Your child piles up a workload quickly. Your husband has a career that requires a lot of his mind and body, leaving you to tackle the majority of household responsibilities. go here for help getting your kids to do chores
- I tell my kids this, “if mommy has to do the work of 5 people, I will have zero time left for fun!, which means no playing with you, no reading bedtime stories, no one-on-one time, and a fussy-tired-snappy-stinky (literally) Mommy, and when Daddy comes home he’s going to have to pick up the slack, which means even less fun” (they REALLY hate it if dad is too busy to play!)
#2. Babysitters love them.
- I want people to want to watch my kids. Kids who can do a lot for themselves make a babysitter’s job easy. I grew up babysitting ALL. THE. TIME.
- I have 5 older siblings, with several years between myself and them. I watched nieces and nephews, had babysitting jobs lined up for me by my mom, nannied part-time for employers before I had children of my own, kept track of kids at church, etc. As a result, you and I both know, without a doubt there, are children you look forward to babysitting and those that you, just, well… DON’T!
#3. They will be ready and willing to work when the time comes.
- Both of my two oldest children are constantly seeking out ways to make money. They’re not afraid to put-their-back-into-it. They visit home construction sites and ask to clean up debris. They call grandparents and ask if there’s poop-scooping to be done. Or yard work or anything at all. They just plain work. They know they are capable of a lot and are not afraid to give it a try.
- This is pretty strait-forward, right? You want your child to be successful in life when they are grown. Success requires work.
#4. More peace in your home!
- You know the saying, “many hands lighten the load.” If your family works together as a team and as a result accomplishes all the responsibilities of life, you are going to have more peace.
- Peace in your home is a step closer when the trash isn’t overflowing, the dishes aren’t piled up, the laundry isn’t still on the couch waiting to be folded from 2 days ago and the kid’s bedroom floors are visible. You just can’t do it all. And even if you can, you shouldn’t, you should be equally if not more, concerned with training your children for life than you are cleaning up after them.
Just what can your kids do?
Ask yourself this question, “who is the youngest child in our home capable of doing this?” Consider your kids and their physical abilities and assign a chore to the smallest member that can accomplish it. This frees up older kids to do more difficult tasks.
You will be surprised at what the “little’s” in your family are capable of.
- #1. Two-year-olds can feed the dog, carry small trash cans to dump in the bigger kitchen trash, pick up toys, etc…
- #2. Three-year-olds can tuck in chairs, pick up toys, put clothes away in a dresser, feed animals, etc…
- #3. Four-year-olds can learn to unload the dishwasher by first stacking the dishes on the counter, then using a step ladder to put them up in the cupboard. (I have taught 3 children this way.) Pick up their own bedroom. Feed animals. And more…
What Does Intentionally Training Your Child Look Like?
Good child training happens on purpose. Spend some time intentionally training him on tasks. It won’t help the family much if after they do something, you have to come back after them and do it again.
Make a checklist or ask some prompt questions. Approach all chores and tasks this way. A step-by-step guide or guided-questions will help them complete an assignment, all the way until it becomes a habit. (go here for books to help)
Final Thoughts on How to Build a Child’s Confidence
Don’t hold your child back. Teach him, require him, turn him loose and let him shine! Your whole family will reap the benefits, but no one as much as the child learning of his abilities and feeling totally confident because of them!