When kids are young, they seem to have a very easy time to say no, and mean it. This is usually what parents call the terrible twos. This is a time when children don’t listen well and they are stubborn. This is usually frustrating for parents and teachers.
However, for the child, this period is critical to building self-confidence. The child discovers that he or she can have their own opinion, and that saying no can mean a certain strength and power over a situation.
In addition, by practising saying no, the child explores the boundaries of his or her environment. Because not everything goes the way the child wants it to go all the time, the child learns that saying no often triggers a reaction in another period and that’s how the child begins to feel empathy, taking someone else into account.
However, things change as kids grow up. Some children have a very hard to say no as they grow up. Still, it’s important for every child to learn that they can and should say no when they have to. This skill makes a child feel more stable and more confident. Children who can’t say what they are really feeling, particularly in uncomfortable situations, are often more vulnerable to bullying and other intimidations in the hands of other kids.
How well a child can say no depends on her self-image. Those who have a positive self-image generally have more overall self-confidence whereas kids who have a low self-image have a harder time to be self-confident.
Naturally character and family history can also play key roles in developing a child’s self-image. So, it is very important for parents to take steps to build a positive self-image in children.
Here are a few ways that parents can ensure that they are developing their child’s self-image and self-confidence positively.
• Encourage every family member to offer one compliment every day.
• Have the child start keeping a self-confidence diary. The child can draw in it, write, paste pictures, or whatever works. Have her record every compliment she receives.
• Give your child a symbol of self-confidence, such as a help stone or a special drawing that she can carry all the time.
• Ask your child what qualities they would like to grow. Then set attainable goals for her to achieve them.
• Role play with puppets. Using no as a theme, encourage your child to act out a story.
• Compliment your child often. This will help your child feel more self-confident.
• While the child is undistracted and mindful, practise saying the following motto with them every day: I want it! I can do it! I will do it!
By taking these steps, you will be developing your child’s self-image and therefore ensuring that she develops self-confidence. It is crucial to make sure that you child isn’t bullied. This can cause a lot of additional problems for your child.
Unless your child knows how to stick up for herself, she will be manipulated and abused. This can result in depression and increased anxiety for your child, something that should be avoided as much as possible.