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Raising Confident Kids in a Changing World

DKT Blogs/Knows How Aug 12,2016 Comments(0) Likes(0) Parenting

Raising Confident Kids in a Changing World

In the classic book and cartoon series Winnie the Pooh, the characters Eeyore and Tiger have two vastly different attitudes towards life. Tiger is typically seen dancing and hopping about, singing zany rhymes and happily expressing the brightness of the day. On the other side of the forest, Tiger’s neighbor, Eeyore, is a slow-moving and pessimistic donkey with a disposition as grey as his color. It would appear that Tiger is self-assured and positive while Eeyore lacks confidence and is negative about his life.  

 

In one timeless Winnie the Pooh episode, Tiger plans a party in Eeyore’s honor, but the sad donkey lacks the self-confidence to recognize that the celebration was planned for him. Instead, he watches the gathering from a window longingly wishing to be included. At one point, Eeyore says out loud, “Guess I’m just not fun enough to be invited,” and he eventually has to be convinced that the party is actually for him.

 

Assuming these characters were raised in the same forest, how did they develop so differently? Why does one character embody a strong, positive sense of conviction while the other lacks any sense of self-worth?  Did facets of their upbringing impact their world views?

 

Tiger and Eeyore provide excellent examples of how self- esteem can impact our lives. Since the way a person feels about themselves will impact the quality of their lives and their relationships, self-confidence is important.  How can parents raise self-confident children in an uncertain world?   Here are a few tips to help you encourage kids to believe in themselves:

  1. Put kids first.  When you make your kids a priority, you’re showing them they matter. When a child feels important, they will value themselves. It can be as easy as making time for a family dinner, watching a movie together, or attending one of their games or activities.
  2. Give Praise.  This one seems like a no-brainer, but some parents never say the three little words that pack a lot of punch: “I love you.” Telling your child you love them no matter what they do can go a long way towards building their self-esteem, especially when a child’s behavior isn’t so lovable. Parents who can differentiate between an unwanted behavior and the value of their child will teach a child they can have self-esteem even if they made a bad choice.
  3. Inspire by Example. When your child sees you react positively to life’s unpleasant situations, they will follow suit. Remind kids that it’s okay to feel disappointed sometimes but that staying positive is a choice.  
  4. Encourage Time Outdoors. While limiting a child’s exposure to technology isn’t easy in the 21st century, it’s worth a try. By limiting what a child sees and encouraging getting out of doors, parents can open up new avenues for self-development, exploration, and awareness apart from the images on the TV and in video games.
  5. Practice Radical Acceptance. You may not approve of your child’s friends, but when you’re accepting of their friends, it’s a way to approve of their choices. If you’re worried about a particular friend, invite them to hang at your house so you can get to know them better.

 

It is possible to raise self-confident kids in an uncertain world. Parents who remain positive during life’s difficult moments, get involved without judgment, and lead by example are steering their kids towards a self-confident life.

 

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