When you teach your child that help can go both ways, you stimulate his interest in others and his ability to take care of them, which in turn builds his self-confidence and trust in others.
13. Tell him how happy you are to be his parent
When you tell your child how being his mother or father fills you with happiness, you reassure him of your love for him and of the important place he has in your life.
14. Foster acts of mutual assistance
It’s important your child realizes that just as he sometimes needs help, he can also offer help in return. When you teach your child that help can go both ways, you stimulate his interest in others and his ability to take care of them, which in turn builds his self-confidence and trust in others.
15. Support your child when he’s having a hard time
When you support your child and help him come up with his own solutions, without doing things for him, he’ll feel more competent and self-confident. For example, if he can’t assemble all the pieces of a puzzle, you can help him by asking him questions and guiding him as he tries to find the solution himself.
The right balance
Just as recognizing your child’s achievements is essential in the development of his self-esteem, avoiding making him aware of his difficulties can work against him. Only paying attention to his strengths and achievements without having him notice his limitations could give your child an unrealistically positive image of himself, which could result in him developing what we call the child-king syndrome. As a parent, it’s important to find the right balance between the need to encourage and build up your child and the need to reflect a realistic image of himself to him. Being aware of his personal value in both his strengths and challenges is important for your child’s emotional and social development.
16. Recognize that your child is unique
When you recognize your child’s individual aptitudes (e.g.: a gift for drawing, ball games, music, and so on) and you identify them for him, you make him aware of them as well. He’ll then be more motivated to develop these unique qualities. Émilie, the mother of 2 young children, tells us: “I often tell my 2-year-old son: ‘You’re the Noah I love most in the whole world!’ and to my 4-year-old daughter, I say: ‘You’re the Olivia I love most in the whole world!’ This way they both feel special, even if I love them both just as much.”
17. Celebrate your child’s initiatives
Does your child want to dress himself? When you recognize his efforts, even if his clothes are mismatched or put on backwards, you help him develop confidence in his ability to manage on his own. Manon lets her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia, choose her clothes in the morning: “I point out her better choices, and I’m learning to let go of the rest!”
18. Look at pictures and souvenirs of your child with him
When you browse through a photo album with your child and tell him what he was like as a baby, you reinforce his sense of attachment to you. It also lets him understand how important he is to you and that he has been for a long time!