Many who meet Kennedy are amazed at how well-spoken, friendly and social she is for such a young age. Her confidence is obvious and thanks to my tips below you too can help build your toddler to have the confidence they need in a world where many will try to tear them down. "Parents need to fill their child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry." - Alvin Price
As a mother we all want our children to be outgoing and confident in who they are; however many of us may not know how to help them achieve this. Many books you read before and after your child is born is how to help them sleep, great foods for them to eat, how to potty train etc. But what about helping our children become well adjusted in society? Ever see a cute kid in a store and say hi while in the grocery line and they immediately hide behind their parent? Or maybe you see your child try to interact with a another child but that child seems distint or not sure how to interact back? Or maybe you see your child with others and they just seem timid? All of these reactions may be the result of your child or another child not being confident in who they are. Now you might be baffled in even how to start going about creating confidence in your toddler but not to fret because below are 5 keys to helping do just that...
"The way you speak to your children is the single greatest factor in shaping their personalities and self-confidence." Since, Kennedy was little I have always treated her as if she could understand me; I never really babied her if that makes sense. There was none of the baby talk going on in our house, we spoke to her as if she was an adult even though she was only days, weeks or months old. Now that she is almost three years old her ability to speak is well beyond her years. It still blows me away daily how well she can communicate with me. I contribute this much to how I have spoke to her over the past three years as well as reading books together daily. I strongly believe because she is able to communicate what she wants it allows her to be confident in herself. No matter where we are many people gravitate towards her because of how she carries herself. Even at her young age she walks and talks with so much confidence. When we are at the check out stand at the grocery store, at the hair salon, church etc she is asked constantly what her name is, how old she is, what her favorite color is and more. And unless she just isn't in the mood her responses are always kind and not only will she tell you her name and everything else she is asked but she will start engaging with them; asking their name. Then proceed to ask how they are doing, where they are going or anything else she can think of. She will start carrying a whole conversation with anyone willing to converse with her. Afterwards, the adult always looks at me in disbelief that she is so well spoken wondering how she can only be two years old. I walk away with this feeling of proudness because I know Kennedy is confident in who she is and doesn't need to be shy and hide behind me when adults try to interact with her. She stands there proud and able to express herself. Now of course it takes way more than just speaking to your child like normal but it definitely plays a key role.
SHOW UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
"The way you talk to your children become their inner voice." Have you ever noticed a difference between a person who came from a loving home vs. one where they weren't told as often how much they were loved and shown love in physical ways as well as emotional. Both my husband and I came from loving homes where we were shown unconditional love and so it was just natural for us to do that with Kennedy. No matter what at the end of the day she is our baby and no matter what she does the love we have for her will never change. We constantly show her love which not only does she show us love back but in turn she shows love to others. She gives hugs (if she wants) and is caring when it comes to her friends. She knows she is loved and even if she does something wrong she may be punished but our love stays the same. I encourage you each day to show your toddler love whether it be with an extra kiss, hug or just telling them you love them. I always make sure after she has a time out not only do we discuss why she was on timeout but I give her a hug and tell her I love her. Always leaving things on a positive note.
"Your presence in your child's life affects his or her confidence." Did you know that how you interact with your spouse directly affects your child? This can either help or hinder your child in their personal feelings about themselves. Showing respect and love to your spouse in turn creates a happy and confident toddler allowing them to feel secure and safe in their home. It is amazing how something so simple can truly make such a difference. My husband and I work hard to take arguments we may have into the other room and always show a united front. Make sure you do activities together as a family at least once a week if not more. Family time I believe is the most important time.
"Build up your child with words. Don't tear them down." Do you find yourself focusing more on the bad than the good? If my daughter does something wonderful she knows I am going to jump up and down give her a big hug, a high five and most likely a ton of loud claps. I do my best to focus on the good not the bad. If she does something wrong depending on what it is we talk about it, maybe have a timeout if the crime fits sort a speak or i just take care of whatever happened and don't make a big deal out of it. Kids are kids and just like us they make mistakes but focusing so heavily on it only brings their spirit down so instead uplift them when they do good and focus on that. Your children desperately want to please you and make you proud so when they do; make it exciting for them, this will most definitely help them become more confident in themselves.
ALLOW THEM TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES
"Build wisdom and confidence in others by forcing them to think and decide for themselves." Do you find yourself never giving your child options? Just telling them what to do. But what if you gave them atleast two options. This shoe or that shoe. This fruit or that fruit. This show or this show. It is easy as a parent to just tell them no or just tell them you will wear this and you will eat this. And more than not you will find there will be push back. Children have their own mind and want to be able to make their own decisions. So as often as i can I always give Kennedy atleast two options if not more this allows her to have her own voice. She feels she is in control building confidence in her decision making and allowing to feel independent. It is amazing that the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
I hope you find these tips to be helpful. Until next time stay stylish mamas!