It has become a commonplace idea that failure is good for kids and builds resilience. But when children fail over and over with no support to keep trying, It just ends up lowering their confidence levels. Confidence requires at least some experience of success and lots of emotional support.
Your job as a parent is to support your child so that they can flourish and develop. Doing things FOR them takes away the opportunity to become competent. Doing things WITH them instead raises their confidence levels. Parents need to manage their own anxiety and let go of their need to control.
Resist the temptation to ''improve'' on your child''s task unless the outcome is vitally important. Constant intervention undermines a child''s confidence and prevents them from learning for themselves.
Emotional development researchers call this ''scaffolding,'' which could be defined as the framework you give your child on which they build. You demonstrate how to do something, use words to suggest a strategy, or simply spot them. This assistance helps them succeed when they try something new, and small successes are achieved with your help to increase confidence to try new things themselves. Scaffolding also teaches children that help is always available if they need it.
Offer structure to help them succeed. Instead of learning the lesson that they should have practised that clarinet or read the directions on that science kit, they learn that they are failures. They internalize that they cannot manage themselves and that their parents did not care enough to help them.
All humans need encouragement. Encouraging your child not only keeps them feeling more positive but also increases their confidence level. It gives them an inner voice that encourages them for the rest of his life. Otherwise, the harsh criticizing voice steps in, triggered by the disappointment.
When your child encounters frustration, remember that your empathy will be a critical factor in overcoming it. Your child may cry and sulk all day, but your unconditional understanding will help her grieve. Once they''re done grieving, she''ll be ready to pull herself together to try again the next day, especially when you express your confidence in them. That''s how the confidence level in children increases.
Parents are often told that frustration is good for kids since the world will be full of frustrations. That''s a bit like saying that it''s a cold, cruel world, so your child should learn to sleep without blankets.
In the end, our job as parents starts when our children are very young. All kids eventually grow up and live their lives without us. How they live will depend partly on whether we''ve been able to rise above our own anxiety and increase our child''s confidence level.
You know the old adage about giving our children roots and wings? Unconditional love from parents is the root. Confidence in kids is the wings.
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