Parenting is something everyone learns on hand, no one comes prepared with a degree prior to becoming one. The kind of challenges kids throw at parents can be very baffling and unnerving. Therefore parents need to have fair amount of confidence and calm in any kind of situation. This has a positive impact on the child’s own process of problem solving, i.e. child is able to imbibe confidence displayed by parents and incorporate in his/her own self confidence building. Like in everything else, patience is the key to good parenting. All things are difficult before they become easy. Confident child has high self esteem and good self regulation which are corner stone of good mental health.
Characteristics of a confident child;
- Accepts and learns from his own mistakes.
- Is able to laugh at himself.
- Doesn’t worry about failing.
- Doesn’t worry about looking silly.
- Feels loved.
- Is confident without being arrogant.
- Feels competent.
- Is assertive but not aggressive.
- Feels content.
- Accepts himself as he is.
- Is able to deal with his own feelings.
- Is able to bounce back from disappointments or failures.
Parenting doesn’t begin when you actually have a child, it goes further back. Parenting your own self over the years of growing up and settling down in satisfactory marriage is key to being a well loved parent. When you are consistently harsh and punitive with your kid, it means that you have been harsh on your own self. It means that you have been anxious and depressed for the kind of person you have turned out to be. It means that your own emotional dependence needs like intimacy, nurturing, unconditional love and boundary protection have never been met by his / her own parent or by him / herself. These are essentials for a person to feel safe, sane and secure in the world. When you are loving and kind towards you own self, you treat others the same way around you. Over the years you are able to accept your limitations and build on short comings that greatly aid in self confidence.
By the time you own kid arrives, you are able to demonstrate being a self accepting, confident, competent and content human being. Kids do not feel anxious or become guilt ridden, when parents are able provide them non judgmental, criticism free and loving atmosphere. In this safe environment the child can explore being him/her self, realize its potential, understand its flaws and deficiencies and consistently work on being a better individual. And if it’s unable to do so, it is able to gracefully accept the same as part of being self and laugh at it without becoming insecure.
Parents with good self esteem are able differentiate themselves from their children and treat them as individuals with his or her own potential and drawbacks. They have deep understanding of child’s needs and do not hesitate to go the extra mile (not extra money you spend, not clothes, not toys, not extra classes or teaching) to set right the course of its development. They do not blame themselves unreasonably for child’s failures. They are content going at the child’s pace and do not impose their own. They encourage, support and actively take leadership in guiding the child, in its day today challenges and over all development. They are incredibly delighted and proud with whatever little progress the child makes, i.e. they never compare their children with other kids. Parents who lead by example model behaviors that they want their children to adopt. Hence they are well loved, remembered and honored by their children. Besides this, parental marital bonding quality also has huge impact on child’s mental health. When you share a relationship, where you intrinsically trust each other, value and cherish each other unconditionally and are able give and receive love without being aggressive or obliged, you are bound to breed a child who is happy, well adjusted, hardworking and successful child.