By Margie Hanam
8/12/2020 - 2 min read
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Raising a confident child may involve the parents, teachers and caregivers, including the nanny and babysitter. Children learn by watching those around them. To ensure positive and polite behaviour, including confidence, the actions of the child’s caregivers are of utmost importance.
Raising a confident child may involve the parents, teachers and caregivers, including the nanny and babysitter. Children learn by watching and mimicking the actions of those around them. To ensure positive and polite behaviour, including good manners and confidence, the words and actions of the child’s caregivers are of utmost importance.
Children see their caregivers as role-models, so it is essential that the adults who care for your child should be positive role models. They are adults who are careful with the words they use, their facial expressions, mannerisms and actions.
Rules and guidelines at home are set by the parents. It is important that the nanny or babysitter is aware of these guidelines. Should your child have a confidence issue, it is necessary that this is brought across to the nanny or babysitter. Informed caregivers will be able to support the child more effectively, with empathy and professionalism.
Goals for everyone, especially for children should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-oriented. This ensures that the child is set up for success. However, if the child does not succeed in the first few attempts, then perseverance will stand the child in good stead.
When wanting the child to do better and improve, the words that the caregivers use are very important. The child needs to know that there are some tasks that he/she may not be ready for at that moment. However, they will be able to achieve those tasks with relative ease in time, as they grow.
Praise can be used as an extrinsic motivation when the child's achievement has been accomplished. This is not to be confused with something that they are supposed to be responsible for. When the child does something they are supposed to do or when they are kind, the appropriate response from the caregivers would be to show appreciation by thanking them. This reinforces the positive attitudes that we would like the child to retain.
Enforcing a child to “follow orders" is counter-productive to producing a confident child. It is more effective to ask the child which they would rather do first. For instance, the child could be asked if she/he would like to brush his/her teeth first or to change into their pyjamas first, given that both actions are required to be performed before bedtime, for example. The child should be allowed to dress themselves or to accomplish the tasks that they are able to do for themselves.
When a child feels safe and listened to, he/she will feel comfortable and motivated to try new things. With practise, new skills like tying shoe-laces, riding a bicycle or drawing will improve with time and effort. When all caregivers understand the challenges the child is facing, they will be better equipped to handle any situations that might arise. Communication with all caregivers is instrumental in helping to raise a confident and independent child.