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Monday, January 28, 2019

8 Tips for Raising Self-Driven and Confident Children

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov (Flickr)

I love being a mom to my girls, but I know my main job is to raise my kids to become independent and fulfilled adults. To do my job, I have to give my girls room to make their own decisions, achieve their goals, and take control of their lives. We parents, caregivers, and teachers can follow eight tips as we raise self-driven and confident children who are capable of making and achieving their goals.

Allow Downtime

Some days, my girls are so busy that they end up cranky and stressed. Participation in school and extracurricular activities is important for our kids' development, but they also need free time to play, daydream, and sleep. With downtime, our kids learn more about themselves, practice autonomy, and develop the confidence to think and act for themselves.

Develop Personal Pastimes

Every child has different interests, and children need to know that what matters to them is important. That's why I let my girls select and engage in the personal pastimes that interest them. We can introduce new activities to our kids, but for the most part, we have to let them choose the hobbies, sports, and play activities they participate in. With this approach, our kids learn to trust their decisions, gain a creative outlet that recharges them emotionally and physically, and experience an increased drive to succeed.

Enforce Screen-Free Time

Most kids, including my girls, rely on digital devices to do school work, keep in touch with friends, and relax. Constant reliance on screens can become an obsession, though, and keep our kids from choosing fulfilling and engaging activities they truly enjoy. When we enforce screen-free time, we give our kids opportunities to discover and cultivate the activities, hobbies, and interests they truly enjoy.

Provide Reasonable Challenges

I used to rush in and rescue my girls when they couldn't climb the jungle gym at the park or tie their shoes before school. While my intentions were good, kids need challenges so they can become confident. We can give our children opportunities to handle small challenges with little or no direct involvement. Conquering reasonable challenges equips our kids with the self-confidence they need to persevere and overcome the obstacles, frustrations, and problems they will face in the future.

Encourage Problem-Solving

While baking cookies several years ago, we ran out of flour. My younger daughter wondered what would happen if we used ground oatmeal instead, and we liked the results so much that we now always use this recipe. I often use this experience as a reminder to let our kids solve problems. We cultivate our kids' natural curiosity when we give them the chance to try new things and explore their world. They then gain confidence and increase their knowledge, which can help them succeed in all areas of life.

Promote Creativity

My girls come up with some very creative ideas as they play together. They often adjust game rules depending on their mood, and one day, they wrote an entire play about a talking cupcake. I encourage their creativity because thinking outside of the box enhances our kids' drive and confidence. Our kids are also more likely to feel good about accomplishing their goals when they come up with the idea themselves.

Put Kids in Charge

To bond with each of my girls, I plan monthly date nights or let them decide where we'll eat and what we'll do. Being in charge offers kids practical experience in creating goals, planning for success, and seeing the activity through until the end. I've also found that teaching and leading others can encourage our kids to become more confident leaders and discover that they can achieve their dreams.

Allow Mistakes

The first time my daughter forgot her homework at home, I was tempted to drop it off for her at school. However, I knew that she'd become more responsible in the future if she received a zero on the assignment. Since then, I've let my girls make numerous mistakes, and they've thrived. As long as they're not endangering themselves or others, their mistakes help them learn, give them insight into their values, and teach life lessons that assist them in becoming mature, confident, and independent adults.

One job of parents is to raise self-driven and confident kids. Let's use these eight tips to help our kids grow and mature. What else can we do to help our kids successfully pursue their goals with drive and confidence?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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