Empowering Young Children
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Believing in a child is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. When we “believe” in them it encourages them to become his or her best self. They have the courage, strength and inner confidence to meet life’s challenges and obstacles. The life skill of empowering young kids is crucial to giving them the strength to arise above bullying, mistakes, bad grades, and disappointments which of course they will encounter sometime in their life. In addition, as they grow into adulthood, they will have rewarding lives - professionally and personally.
It’s simple really. Positive encouragement when your child is trying a new activity or meeting a new friend is all it takes to empower a child. Telling them they are “a good friend”, “creative in art class”, “talented at jumping rope” or that you believe in them, will boost that inner confidence and give them the ability to try new things. These encouraging words make all the difference. On the other hand, telling them “they have two left feet” is damaging and will discourage them from reaching out to try new things. As an adult, think about how you like to be talked to. If, at work or in your personal life, you are constantly hearing that you are not doing a good job or that you always have a dirty house it doesn’t make you want to really do your best or step out of your comfort zone.
When talking to children we must avoid being to wordy, to talk over their heads, or to condescending. Talk to the children about what is relevant to them – to what they already knows, sees, feels and cares about. For young children, picture books can provide role models. Stories such as “The Little Engine That Could” models the importance of positive thinking.
Additional resources on building a child’s inner confidence:
- Hello, my name is…. The importance of giving your child a good name
- Developing a child’s emotional intelligence through 4-H