Days 1 to 6

Days 1 to 6
Your child needs you to tell him how much you love him. This increases his sense of security and self-confidence.

1. Tell your child you love him

Nothing builds a child’s self-esteem like the contact he has with the significant adults in his life. Your child needs you to tell him how much you love him. This increases his sense of security and self-confidence.

2. Encourage your child to try something new

Some children are afraid of novelty. They need someone there with them to be willing to experiment, whether to play a new game, taste a new food or climb a small rock. When you encourage and support your child, you foster his confidence and he takes pride in his abilities.

3. Let him make choices

When you let your child choose his activities or games, he feels that he controls the situation, which also makes him feel more competent. He develops his ability to express his tastes, interests and preferences. Sophie, for example, watches her 8-month-old daughter, Danaée, play for several minutes without actively interacting with her or suggesting games. “I like watching her explore when she’s in an active learning mode,” says the mom.

4. Encourage your child to talk about what makes him proud and happy

Take a moment during the day, when you get back from daycare, for example, to ask your child: “What was the best moment of your day, today?” Or even: “Your educator told me you got dressed by yourself this morning to go to the park. I’d really like you to tell me about it.” When you ask your toddler about the moments he enjoyed in his day, you make him even more aware of the little joys that are part of his daily life.

5. Tell him how important he is to you when you tuck him into bed

Bedtime, a time of separation between a child and parent for the night, can sometimes cause some anxiety in your child. When you reassure him of your feelings, by telling him that you’re there for him and that you think about him even when he’s sleeping, you’ll give him a sense of peace.

6. Set your child small challenges he can meet

When you give your child the opportunity to show you what he can do, even as you push him gently to go a little further (by asking him to add a fourth cube on the tower when he’s only stacked three, for example), you give your child the confidence to try to meet your challenge. Claudia, for example, sometimes sets little challenges up for her daughter Alycia, who’s 2-and-a-half years old. To motivate her, she tells her that big girls can do it (e.g.: untying a knot or making her bed). “I let her figure it out on her own. It’s so gratifying when she manages all by herself,” says mom.