"The greatest thing you can give a child is confidence."
The Positive Parent | By Jamare Harris
A child's confidence is something that I think a lot of us don't really take into consideration as we bear witness to our child(ren) attempting to be the boss and over exert their independence at home. But I challenge you to take a close look at how your child(ren) are interacting outside of the home in spaces where they may not be the alpha. We can often confuse these types of personalities with confidence. Your child may be strong willed but that does not necessarily mean that they are confident or sure of themself.
I spent many years helping to build confidence in young children in the classroom, where they are practicing their independence outside of their parent's watchful eyes. Learning to stick up for yourself, using your words, and communicating your needs are fundamental for a child's development. It may be easy for them to display these pieces at home where they feel safe. But does it carry over to school? A family member's house? Or extracurricular activities? Our children test boundaries where they feel the safest, which is typically at home.
I challenge you to think about your approach when teaching your child(ren) how to remain confident outside of the home. Building confidence in young children can look like many things, from big chores and responsibilities to role-playing. I know that it may sound silly, but role-playing is a really effective way to learn a new skill because it provides practice. Giving your child(ren) big chores and responsibilities is communicating to them that you trust them.
Another way to build confidence is to watch how you speak and conduct yourself; children take their cues from their parents. While none of us are perfect, we have to put forth the effort to be good examples for them. Asking children what they think instead of telling them what they think is also another way to build a foundation of confidence for your child(ren). If they're never allowed to have an independent thought with you, how do you expect them to have an independent thought without you? Give your child(ren) opportunities to be confident. This way, as they grow, they will make decisions based on their own ideas and thoughts versus the ideas and thoughts of others.