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Confident Kid: Build Him Up | Families

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Confident Kid: Build Him Up
Confident Kid: Build Him Up

Most parents want to provide the right encouragement to their children to help them succeed in all of their goals in life. Many of us don’t realize, however, just how much of an impact our words can have on our children’s self-confidence and odds of achieving their dreams. As parents, we are the biggest influence on how our children develop self-image and their outlook on life. What we say matters, and so does how and when we say it.

The Right Kind of Praise
Recent research that sent the entire parenting world into a state of disbelief has turned many of our ideas about how praise works upside down. As it turns out, simply telling a child they are smart and praising their intelligence isn’t enough to develop confidence; in fact, it has the opposite effect. So should we not praise our kids? Absolutely, we should, but the research has proven that there is a more effective method of using praise to develop self-confidence.

A simple study showed a clear effect of praising children for their hard work, for the perseverance and for their determination to succeed. Children who are praised in this manner come to believe that with hard work, they can do anything they set their minds to, leading them to try harder and take on bigger challenges. In this case, it is the right positive words that can have the biggest impact.

Positive Words at the Right Moment
One of the pitfalls of parenting is that we tend to notice when our children are misbehaving and ignore the many instances of good behavior. It’s a natural instinct; good behavior requires no intervention, while bad behavior does. But noticing and praising your child for doing the right thing, whether it’s cleaning up without being asked or completing their homework on time with no nagging can have an incredible effect on future behavior.

Children who hear positive words on a regular basis from parents will come to realize that behaving well gets attention, and it is a far more pleasant type of attention than when they misbehave. Positive reinforcement is certainly not a new concept, and using powerful positive words to show your child that their good behavior is noticed and appreciated will improve not just your child’s behavior, but their outlook on how getting the right sort of attention is achieved: do the right thing, get the positive reaction. It’s a simple equation, and we as parents have the power to teach it from an early age.

Never too Late to Offer a Good Word
You might not always be at your child’s shoulder to give reinforcement or offer encouragement, but there is no expiration date on praise. If you witnessed your child do something kind or helpful, but didn’t have a chance to talk to them that day, take a minute the next morning to tell them that you noticed, and you are proud. You might not be in class when your child makes a successful presentation of their homework, but you can ask them about it at home and let them know they did a great job and you wish you could have been there.

Praise even weeks or months after the fact can still have a positive effect on your child’s confidence and success. Bringing up a previous achievement at a moment of struggling can give a boost that brings results.

Positive Words Mean Positive Results
Everything you say to your child is absorbed, catalogued and remembered. Whenever you have a moment to think about how you are going to respond to any situation with your child, take a moment to bring that simple fact to mind. The more you can approach both problems and successes with a positive spin, the more likely your child will develop the confidence to find that positive spin on their own in the future..

Positive words build positive futures; praise at the right time and in the right way builds confidence. With the power of positive words, we can build happy, confident kids.

JOHN CASSIDY is the founder of TopKick Martial Arts which is a family martial arts and fitness center with locations in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Find out more about Top- Kick at www.topkickonline.com. He resides in Fairfax with his wife and three children. // ' ); document.write( addy_text81933 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //\n // --> // ]]> jcassidy@topkickonline.com // ' ); // ]]> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it // ' ); // ]]>