Days 7 to 12

Days 7 to 12
Letting your child explore his environment while keeping an eye on him from a distance helps develop his self-confidence.

7. Let your child explore his environment safely

Letting your child explore his environment while keeping an eye on him from a distance helps develop his self-confidence. You could, for example, let your baby open a cupboard and play with the big plastic containers, let your toddler run after a butterfly, or let your preschooler climb a module on his own at the park.

8. Involve him in daily tasks

“I let my 4-year-old daughter, Olivia, help us do the dishes, cook and put away her clothes. She loves helping out since we thank her and acknowledge her actions each time,” explains Manon, also mother to 7-year-old Gabriel and 9-year-old Antoni. Letting your child participate in household chores, whether to clean up messes he’s made or to put his clothes away in his drawers allows him to participate and discover the things he’s able to do. He’ll feel pride and learn to be responsible for a given task.

9. Give your child the opportunity to interact with other children and develop friendships

Going to the park, inviting his friends over or doing activities with other children helps your child learn to socialize and develop friendships with other children. What’s more, when your child feels appreciated by his peers, it reinforces his self-esteem.

10. Showcase his drawings and crafts

Your child is very proud of his creations. When you describe the shapes you see in his drawings, you let your child know that you’re interested in what he makes and that encourages him to make more. And if you find a spot where you can showcase them in clear view, you’ll make him feel that much more important to you. In Magalie’s family, for example, they hang 5-year-old Mathis’s and 8-year-old Mélodie’s pictures, crafts and other masterpieces on a “wall of pride.”

11. Play down situations that make him sad

Children sometimes experience everyday situations with a lot of intensity. It’s important to take their feelings seriously, for the sadness they express is very real. Your challenge as a parent is to make your child aware that the feeling of sadness he is experiencing will pass and to help him find ways to manage his emotion. Encouraging your child to name what he’s feeling and to talk about it will make him more comfortable about verbalizing his emotions and will also teach him to understand what he’s feeling.

Self-esteem starts with self
If children develop their self-esteem through the eyes of the people who love them, they also learn to value themselves by observing their parents’ own attitudes. If you have a tendency to discredit yourself and have a hard time recognizing your own strengths and qualities, your child may, in turn, have a hard time developing a positive self-image. You are a model for your child. If you are calm and confident, you will help your child become calm and confident, too.

12. Acknowledge your child’s accomplishments

Congratulating your child when he accomplishes something (e.g.: getting undressed on his own) makes him feel competent, which encourages him to practice his new skill again. Claudia, for example, tells us that to make her 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Alycia, feel important, she sometimes calls her mother in front of her daughter. “I start the conversation by saying: ‘Do you know what Alycia did today? She was able to…,’” says the mom.