Get children involved to increase confidence

Published 8:01 am Sunday, May 10, 2015

QUESTION: What do I need to remember to be raising confident children?

ANSWER: Confident children know they are liked, believe they are capable and know how to influence other people positively.

Tell your children you like them. They probably believe that you love them; however, too many children do not hear their parents say, “You know, I really like you.”

Email newsletter signup

A teacher told me when I was in seventh-grade that if I had been in seventh-grade with her when she was growing up, she thought we’d be good friends. I felt terrific about that comment.

Allow your children to help you. Ask them to do something meaningful with you that is within their developmental capabilities. Young children are generally very pleased to be included in adult activity. Older children are often stereotyped as notorious “ work shirkers,” however teenagers have strong bodies and good minds that are wonderful assets in family projects or problem-solving.

Parents, and grandparents, serve as important mirrors for children through all the ages and stages of their lives. Tell young children how steadily they are growing and how much more they can do now than they ever could before. Compliment older children on their appearance, clothing choices, physical abilities and smart brains.

Allow children to make their own choices. All parents need to determine “bottom lines:” the things that are necessary and required because of safety, health and family values. However, there are always choices that can be made after the “bottom line” has been established. The occasion calls for a dress, which one she wears is the child’s decision. The lawn must be mowed by Saturday afternoon, which two hours of which day before Saturday afternoon is the child’s decision.

Listen to children and acknowledge their feelings. Being sympathetic means we feel the same way. Being empathetic means we understand why and how someone feels, even when we don’t feel the same way. If we are not sympathetic with our children, we can be empathetic.

If you would like to talk about the challenges in raising children, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204/Linea de Apoyo at 1-877-434-9528. For free emergency child care call Crisis Nursery at 1-877-434-9599. Check out and Life Little Miseries (Lynch-Fraser) at the PRC Specialty Library (105 First Street SE, Austin)