How to Help Children Feel Secure
A lack of self-confidence in children can negatively affect their development. In fact, it’s necessary to help them feel secure so they can develop healthy self-esteem, strength and independence.
In other words, self-esteem and self-confidence are important for a human being to feel comfortable with who they are, and at the same time, to obtain validity from their toughest judge: themselves.
All children need time and space to discover who they are. However, we can always help them feel more comfortable with themselves each day. We can encourage this self-love in a healthy way.
Children who feel secure can share experiences with people around them and with a good conscience. They don’t feel threatened, underprepared, or any other negative emotions.
Although it may seem contradictory, children raised with attachment parenting become very independent children.
This is because the education and dedication they receive from their parents encourage the support necessary to make decisions for themselves.
For a child to feel confident in themselves, they should first feel safe in their environment. It’s extremely important that parents know how to make their children feel secure, by demonstrating or making the following known:
- That they’re loved and have been wanted since before their conception
- That they can trust their parents and vice-versa
- That they’re respected and their parents won’t demand they do things
- That they’re heard and their opinion matters
- That there are solid bonds in the nuclear family
How to help them feel secure
Teach them freedom
While the child grows, it’s normal for them to become more independent. The parents’ job is to help them discover the world and experience it in a balanced way.
We should prevent risks as much as possible, and advise them of certain dangers, but without depriving them of fun and free play.
Playing helps them discover the world and give them structure. Let them play and create activities that help them reach their goals.
Encouraging them to attain their goals will help them be conscious of what they can gain from setting them. This is very valuable in building their self-esteem, which is fundamental to feeling confident.
Encourage them to do things on their own
If you want to help your child grow confident, you should avoid teaching them to need you. The first thing to do is talk to them about their independence and the benefits of trying things on their own.
Logically, as a child is a developing person, sometimes it will be easier for them to do certain activities more so than others. They may ask you for help with things that are more difficult for them.
It’s best for parents to encourage the development of a healthy self-esteem in children; this is key to help them feel confident in themselves.
Teach them to work as a team
There is nothing wrong with helping them. But should the parents guide their child towards the goal?
You should try to help them but you shouldn’t do things for them, as that limits their learning.
Work as a team with your child. Help them share the merits of a task. Celebrate their progress, not the results.
Failing to complete a task will teach them to try harder next time. This reflection and your opportune interventions will make your child feel secure that there is always a chance to improve.
Learn to delegate, let it go, and let it be
Sometimes parents forget that even though their children are theirs, they aren’t an extension of their parents. In general, this egotism that we all have inside may cause us to teach our children to become dependent on us.
Remember that even though you gave them life, now that life is theirs. As they grow up they should make decisions on their own in order to discover and grow.
If you feel tempted to advise them, do it, but in an opportune and liberating way.
Be tactful: give constructive criticism
Sometimes with only the best intentions, parents advise their children saying things like “Come here, poor thing.”
The pedagogue Elena Roger Gamir advises eliminating phrases like “poor baby” from your vocabulary. Your child is developing but is not a poor person.
This advice applies to other comments that encourage the child to pity themselves. From there you’ll learn the importance of choosing your comments wisely and better control your emotions.
Distance yourself from negative messages and reinforce the positive ones. This includes if your child isn’t doing things well. Look for a way to give constructive feedback.
The best way for parents to encourage the development of a healthy self-esteem in children is to help them feel confident in themselves.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Juul, J. (2012). Decir no, por amor: padres que hablan claro, niños seguros de sí mismos. Decir no, por amor, 1-86. https://www.torrossa.com/en/resources/an/4664991
- Apter, T. (1999). El niño seguro de sí mismo: Guía de la educación emocional paea la década crucial de los 5 años 15 años (Vol. 9). Edaf.
- Ternera, L. A. C. (2014). El desarrollo del autoconcepto en niños y niñas y su relación con la interacción social en la infancia. Psicogente, 17(31). http://revistas.unisimon.edu.co/index.php/psicogente/article/view/1470