by The Kidz Parade 

contributorsWe delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou.

The discussion on whether confidence is nature or nurture has been around since a long time. When it comes to parenting, it always opens up many other questions.

Are today’s kids really keeping more and more to themselves? Are kids today really less confident than they used to be? Is technology keeping kids away from human interactions? While it is easy to find conflicting arguments on these topics from various sources, there is no controversy in the fact that self-confidence is an important key to success. The more opportunities a child receives to get involved in dealing with people and managing situations, the better their self-confidence develops. Many parents wonder how they can set conditions at home so that their kids acquire the independence to build their competence and boost their confidence.

The good news about self-confidence is that it is something that can be nurtured, nourished and boosted with right guidance and preparation. Here we have some tips you can follow on a day-to-day basis to boost your child’s confidence to prepare your child to take up the challenges of life. Select one activity from each of the below areas every day.

1. Ignite Curiosity

Children are born curious. Curious minds gather a lot of knowledge. They get immense confidence from the various ways they amass their knowledge. However, the aggressive demands of today’s school system put a detrimental effect to their curiosity. A major part of their curiosity diminishes as they progress through school. Only a few manage to keep the streaks of curiosity alive amidst the pressures of the school system. But, you can help them still be in touch with their curious self.

• Do simple science experiments at home. This is a good way to make kids wonder about things around.

• What is more interesting than getting curious about one’s own self? Discuss your family history with your child.

• In conversations, ask them ‘What if…’ and ‘Do you know…’ questions

2. Promote Creativity

According to a survey by IBM of over 1500 CEOs, Creativity is one of the most important skills required to be successful in the 21st century. Contrary to popular belief, creativity can be taught and nurtured. These are some easy to follow activities that you can do at home to engage your child’s creative side.

• Make your own story from a picture with your child. To make the best out of it, set aside a family time slot for ‘When a picture tells a story’.

• Allow your child to read for pleasure. Reading helps your child to visualize a situation that nourishes the creative sparks in him/her.

• Show enthusiasm to appreciate new ideas by your child. But, keep in mind that creativity is not just ideation. It is also about taking action to implement these ideas. Showing interest in their ideas and providing motivation in trying out some those ideas are the best encouragement you can provide to boost their creative confidence.

• Brainstorm together on topics related to your family. What will you do on the weekend, should you you have a TV-free day, what should you cook for dinner… the topics are unlimited.

3. Provide Inspiration

People tend to look at inspirations as benchmarks and when you have benchmarks, you try to achieve as great or better than that. There are many ways you can develop the habit in your kids to look out for inspiration.

• Encourage your child to express his/her viewpoints about their experiences, observations and aspirations.

• We have heard this many times. Teach your child to learn from mistakes. Discuss a time when you failed, but took up the challenge and succeeded.

• Bring your child’s attention to the achievements of people they can relate to. Provide them with opportunities to feel “If they can do it, I can also do it”. Inspiration need not always come from a famous person. Kids get more inspired by the achievements of their peers. Discuss with them how your peers inspire you.

• You blame our academic system or their age or the human nature, but most children build limits to their ability to make a difference in this world. Provide them with opportunities to make changes in their society. What if they start a club to stand for a cause they are passionate about? It could be as simple as a nature club they start at your home with their friend.

The children will eventually grow up, figure out how to live their lives and they will spread their wings. How well they will spread their wings depends mainly on the unconditional love and the opportunities for confidence building they experience now.

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