We all want the best for our kids, and building their confidence is a great way help them become happy, healthy and successful adults. Try these three strategies recommended by registered early childhood educators, who are trained in child development and plan play-based early learning and care programs.
1. Encourage decision-making. Confidence in making small decisions leads to confidence in making bigger ones, so it’s important from an early age to allow your child to have some say in their life. Even something as seemingly insignificant as choosing their outfit for the day or occasionally picking the movie you’ll all watch together as a family can go a long way toward helping them learn to trust their instincts.
2. Empower. Respond to children’s challenging behaviors by working to discover potential causes and stressors, and then reacting warmly and supportively. Try actively listening to your kids, providing them with choices, helping them label emotions, and acknowledging positive behaviors and hard work. “These strategies empower children and respect their competence,” explains Melanie Dixon, director of professional practice at the College of Early Childhood Educators.
3. Inspire creativity. Kids thrive when they use their imaginations, so provide plenty of opportunities for exploration and discovery using everyday objects. Go on nature walks or have fun with an easy DIY creative project. Remember that there’s no “right” way to play — the most fun and learning happens in just doing things.