A successfully employed 24 year-old was reared in a loving home by parents who recognized her accomplishments and abilities. She did well in school, had many friends, and was involved in many school and church activities. Looking back on her life, she said: "I wasn't afraid to try new things because I knew where I stood with God, my parents, and my close friends. They all encouraged me to do my best. The recognition I received at home was very important when I was young, but it became less important as I grew older because I came to know that God knows and loves me. I know that if I live righteously, according to His plan, the things that matter most will work out for me."
We, as parents, need to help children gain confidence in areas where they lack confidence. Chad and I love the Scout motto: Do your best. Whenever one of our children is discouraged because they aren't good at a particular skill, we encourage them to give it their best and see if they don't improve. Amazingly, they do get better, and it just builds them up for the next challenge.
Look for your children's good qualities. Tell them that you love and appreciate them. Never say anything negative about them. I need to be more aware of the way I speak about my children. There have been times I've been on the phone with another parent and passed on something that Colin asked/told me. Colin will hear me saying this and become completely embarrassed and insulted. I know I need to be more careful about what I say about him because he's very aware of it and doesn't always appreciate it even if it's not necessarily negative!
When your child approaches you with a problem, encourage him or her, at a level the child understands, to consider personal convictions about the matter. Ask appropriate questions, such as "How do you feel about it?" "Do you approve of the way that you've handled the problem?" "You've told me what your friends think is right, but I'm interested in what you think." "What is the proper thing to do?"
Show interest in children and care for them. Be interested in what they're interested in. Take time to play, visit, etc. We cannot always block out a half-hour, but we can catch moments to get to know the child better. Ten minutes of quality time may be the difference between a fussy, clingy child the rest of the evening, and a content child.
As our children get older, the reins will loosen and our children will become more independent. We want to give them opportunities to choose and help them evaluate their choices. We can help foster confidence in them so they will be able to make wise choices.
On a side note, at the end of class, our instructors were talking to a few of us about sleepovers. Chad and I have already discussed sleepovers. I know, from personal experience, that sleepovers can lead to dangerous situations. Here is an article you might want to take a look at: