10 ways to boost your toddler’s confidence
Children generally believe what they’re told, so it will come as no surprise that using a positive tone and telling your toddler that they’re loved, liked and wanted will enhance their self-esteem.
Here are some ways in which you can develop your child’s self-confidence and promote healthy social and emotional development:
If day-to-day events seem to occur randomly, it can cause children a lot of anxiety. Try to develop a consistent routine, where your child is aware of everything and everyone around them, from nap times to who collects them from the childminder. If something different lies in the day ahead, prepare them for it in advance.
Playing with your child and offering lots of activities can help develop social skills, while carrying out role play can help boost confidence. The experience will also allow you to discover your child’s likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. If they encounter a problem during play, help them develop a sense of competency and achievement by working it through with them – don’t just give the solution.
Help your child feel valued and useful by giving them little jobs to do, such as matching the socks in the laundry basket, feeding pets or tidying up their play area.
4. Celebrate success
Recognise a new skill and praise your child when it happens, such as feeding themselves, taking their first few steps, or building a tower block.
5. Family time
Lots of love, hugs and kisses will make your child feel encouraged, while chatting around the dinner table will develop their social skills and illustrate the important place they have in the family unit.
6. Know your child’s limitations
Children who are pushed too hard, too far and too early can feel overwhelmed and pressured. Break difficult tasks into manageable steps, so the tasks are achievable initially, and then when confidence develops with practice, you can introduce new opportunities for them to excel.
7. Help them cope
Help your child understand emotions they’re feeling, such as frustration when he/she doesn’t quite complete a task successfully. Show them that different approaches have different outcomes; and most of all, be patient with them while they learn and develop new skills.
8. Role model
A baby’s sense of self is shaped and nurtured by those who care for them, so try to be positive in the way you manage tasks and react to social situations. Toddlers will begin to mimic your behaviour and respond to situations in the way they’ve seen you do it. If they fret when in large groups, try to introduce them to one or two children initially and always stay within their line of sight so they feel secure. Then gradually introduce them to larger social groups.
9. Don’t compare
Comparing your child’s ability to another can undermine their confidence. Focus on what makes your child different and let him/her know that’s what makes them unique and special, and why they are loved and liked.
10. Some children will experience instances of shyness
Try to refer to shyness as a feeling rather it being a part of their personality; and try to relate the feeling of being shy to a particular situation, rather than a state the child is in all the time.
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