You have probably wondered what it takes for a person to have mental health problems, lack of confidence, fears and even develop narcissistic tendencies. Well, it takes years of feeling unloved, one or two parents with the same issues and a little bit of…. School.
And since we all want the best for our kids, this “best” is very broad and doesn’t always suit our kids. This “best” is based on what we want, and what we don’t want, what we know and what we don’t know. But what does your child really want and need?
Wouldn’t it be easier if we had instructions (just like an Ikea brochure with every furniture product) that would give us a step by step guide on how to raise a happy confident little human being?
You can do it by learning some basics about how children see this world. So put the seat belt on and let’s travel into a child’s mind.
- Kids never listen to you, they WATCH YOU! They learn by example and never by instructions what is good and what is bad. Just install this 1 trick and you are already amazing!!! (You are awesome anyway but you want to be a great parent as well, right?) In brief, if you want your kids to be confident, you have to learn to be confident too.
- Children have little or no logic depending on age and they really don’t care much about others, they are born enough so they are self-centered by nature. This one trait can frustrate us, we start to educate them on egoism and how bad it is that they only think about themselves. Add your own unhealed trauma to these educating moments and the outcome will result in lack of confidence, fears and self-rejection.
- All children want to be happy, not perfect, not a little bit better than others and definitely not as good as neighbor Mike, who worked really hard and got into nationals. They want to just BE…
- The main need of a child is a game. Not a soccer game that he has to train for the whole season so his dad can be proud of him, and definitely not a video game:) I mean the feeling of curiosity, fun, easiness. Very often we expect more from our children than we were able to do as a kid. Or we want more from them because we feel we were better, more motivated, less distracted.
Sometimes comparing our kids’ life with our own childhood makes them little copies of us. But the real truth is, every child is unique and the more we shape them into us, the less they are themselves, and that can lead to fear, insecurities, emotional struggles.
And if we want to raise happy, confident, emotionally and physically healthy kids, all we need to do is raise ourselves emotionally and physically healthy. They will mirror everything we do, everything we feel, just as the nature intended it to be.
Another great way to help yourself and your child is to ALWAYS take their side. No matter what happened, take your kids’ side: not your mom’s side, not their teachers’ side. Your child wants to be confident in you first before they become confident in themselves. And no matter how old your child is, it is never too late…
So what are the best ways to raise a confident happy child?
I understand that some of these practices are hard to accept and to start implementing in our parenting life. It is normal to even be resistant to them and to look for excuses not to do it. We are all programmed by past experiences, belief systems and emotions. But once you start listening to your heart you will know that all these methods are what your kid actually needs to be confident to trust the world and to life at their own pace.
Here are the best practices I have found work for me and my clients:
- Watch what your child is good at and encourage them to develop those skills. Remember: Jack of all trades is a master of nothing. Social expectation sometimes take over and we want our kids to be great at everything. Which is not possible or it can affect their health and well-being.
- Your child before 5 years old is a center of attention and… actually a center of everything. First years of your child’s development are crucial for their perception of the world, how they trust people and how safe they feel in everyday situations. If you have put your kid in daycare at 12 months old and expect him to be like you, then be ready that he will also be like the daycare lady, as she is a major part of your child’s life, with her own beliefs and past programming.
- Give enough physical affection. Touch is one of the love languages and cannot be underestimated. If your parent hasn’t given you enough love, cuddles, hugs and kisses, it is because they didn’t know how to do it and they might not even know it should be done. But you live in a more progressive world, more open minded so it’s time to break old generational patterns and start showing your kid love through all possible ways.
- Be genuinely interested in your kids’ passion. You can spend 10 hours with your kids and not learn a thing about them. Or, you can spend one hour and be fully engaged with them. When you know about your kid’s passion, they feel like they can do anything and the world is a safe loving place to live in.
Isn’t that what you want for your child?
Upgrade your beliefs and you will upgrade your child’s mindset as well. The change starts from a parent, not the other way around.
Your RTT therapist Kate