What is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is a natural outgrowth of self-discipline. Self-confidence is the belief-even when your’e nervous or scared-in one’s own judgment and abilities. I have to return to learning to walk to describe it.
As an adult, you are fairly confident in your ability to walk. You know how, you’ve been doing it for years! A baby isn’t confident of their ability to walk, but they see you doing it, and so they want to do it, too. They’re not good at it right away, which is why we call them toddlers, but eventually they do learn. You can’t give someone self-confidence, though you can help them to develop it.
- Show them love and affection. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not. Withholding love, approval, and affection until something is done “right” teaches a child that love is a transaction. It leaves a child starved for love and care that should come unconditionally.
- Compliment their not only their successes, but their attempts. “I’m so proud of you. You did so well!” and “You did just fine, and i know you’ll do even better next time.” They’re often just what a kid needs to hear when they’re on a rocky footing with themselves.
- Develop your own self-confidence. Parents who come from abusive homes, experienced traumatic life events, or who have exited abusive relationships often have problems with self-confidence themselves, and don’t know how to model it for their children. This is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your children-learn it with them.
- Never compare them to their siblings or to other children. “Well, so-and-so was playing the piano by the time she was seven!” or “You sister is so much nicer/prettier/smarter than you.” Nothing tanks a child’s self-confidence like their parent seeming to prefer another child over them.
- You want to protect your child and make things easy for them, to give them the advantages or help that you didin’t have when you were younger. However, beign a Helicopter parent can actually stunt the development of emotional resilience. This is a key trait that promotes perseverance and self-reliance. Kids need to learn how to bounce back from dissapointments and setbacks that they’re going to face as they grow.
- Don’t belittle or invalidate their feelings. What might not seem to be a big deal to us can mean so much to a child. Belittling or telling them not to feel that way is a way to break the trust that a child needs to have in you. If they don’t feel that they can confide in you now, they’re not going to trust you in their tweens and teens.
- Help them to focus on the “glass half full.” Children blame themselves for so much, and see the darkest side of things as a reflection of their own fears. Help your child to focus on the good instead of fearing failure and not even wanting to try. Looking and failing are parts of learning and growing, and not everyone gets what they want and work for all the time.
- Encourage their interests, even if you don’t share them. An activity does not need to be interesting to you as a parent to interest your child. If you can’t muster enthusiasm for the activity, then simply support your child’s interest in cooking, or drawing, or playing water polo.
- Don’t try to make them “fit in” encourage them to develop their unique strenghts and abilities and stand out.
Self-confidence and self-esteem might seem like the same thing, but self-esteem is different. Self-esteem means that your child values themselves, and is confident in their own worth as a human being. Self-esteem is much maligned as “everyone gets a medal” but it is do much more than that. It is absolutely essential for a child to understand their worth as a person, and how that comes from having both self-discipline and self-confidence.
I think that there is no job more difficult than being a parent in the modern age. With the influence of movies, television, video games, and social media, it becomes more important than ever to impart the values of Tae Kwon Do to our children. Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit must take the place of incivility, corruption, inconstancy, self-indulgence, and mindlessness if we are to have a future or a world worth living in at all.
We are not just a sport, or an activity, we are helping to build a better future for every child, one child at a time.
Source: Parents Minibook – Building Your Child’s Self-Discipline and Self-Confidence.
by Parks Taekwondo