Embrace Your Geekiness Day: Teaching kids self-confidence
Even though being a “nerd” or a “geek” is trendy right now, there will always be a label or term kids will use to tease other kids. But just because teasing and bullying exist, doesn’t mean your child has to put up with it.
Teaching your child self-confidence is one of the best things you can do to help them combat bullying. Not only will a child who is confident and competent be teased less often, that child will know how to handle the situation maturely if he or she is teased. So let’s all celebrate Embrace Your Geekiness Day by being self-confident and teaching self-confidence to the youth in our lives.
How to teach kids self-confidence
Careful with your compliments
Of course you should encourage your children, especially when they are young, but if you praise your children for everything they do, your words lose meaning. Instead of saying “good job” all of the time, be more strategic with your praise. For example, don’t praise your children for doing what they are supposed to do; instead, simply say “thank you.” When your children do something well be specific about what they did well when you compliment them.
Encourage special interests
Not every child is interested in being a quarterback or head cheerleader and you shouldn’t force your children to be someone they’re not. Expose your kids to a wide variety of hobbies and activities and when your children find what they love, help them embrace it. Certain hobbies might make your children stand out at school, but remind them that that is ok! Being yourself is so much better than pretending to be someone else in order to fit in. Talk with your children about this and brainstorm ways they can show the kids at school how “cool” their hobbies really are.
Stop rescuing your children
There is no doubt that letting your child get hurt, feel disappointment or make a mistake is hard, but all of these things are a part of life. Your children will never know how to stand up for themselves or recover from mistakes if you are always stepping in and when they get older, they will notice this. They will feel like they can’t do anything on their own and that is a terrible feeling for anyone to experience. Let your children make mistakes sometimes and don’t freak out. Calmly talk to your child about mistakes being a part of life and discuss how you can prevent them in the future.
Let your children make decisions
Whether you are an adult or a child, few things are as satisfying and confidence building as making a good decision. Don’t let you children run the house, but let them make some decisions. They will grow more confident when they make good choices and will learn from the bad. For younger children, let them pick what they want to have for lunch. For teens, give them freedom on things that are not worth fighting over – how they dress, what they do with their hair, etc.
Teaching kids self-confidence isn’t about criticizing them or leaving them to fend for themselves; it is about letting them learn through achievement and realize how much they are capable of doing.