Confident Parents

Confident Parents? Well, confidence and parenting may not often appear in the same sentence for many of us. Nothing in the world can prepare you for the challenging role of parenting. However, you can be a confident parent and navigate through your task, raising confident and well-adjusted children.

Confidence, as defined by, is “full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.” Why do we need this? Because many times, people, including children, can see through our lack of confidence, and it often affects how they relate to us. When you are confident, people are attracted to you, and it increases your overall happiness.

The first time you held your little bundle of joy, you must have been overwhelmed by countless emotions. Love and fear of the unknown are usually the two most common ones. You might have been worried if you have what it takes to raise this little individual. No one ever has what it takes, but we often always grow into our role as parents.

Our world has changed the way most things are done. In nearly all cultures, parents were the primary agents for teaching and caring for their children. They often had the support of experienced members of their extended families. Today, migrating away from family to find work and pressure for both parents to work has brought untold stress with families with children. Many kids spend more time with others, like teachers and care providers than they do with their parents. So, a lot of times, there is little connection between parents and their children. Peers and teachers shape their children. Thus, contributing to our losing the confidence battle.

Here are eight strategies you can employ to build your confidence in this sometimes challenging but rewarding role:

8 Steps To Becoming A Confident Parent

  • Visualize what kind of person you want your child to become. What do you want for your child emotionally, physically, or spiritually? A clear picture of what you wish for your child creates deliberate intent, motivates, increases productivity, and soars your chances of success. You become more focus on acquiring what it takes to achieve your goals.
  • Confident parents know they are not perfect, and mistakes do happen. They do not worry too much about their mistakes; they own up to it, learn from it, and take action to do things differently next time. If your child falls off the couch, for instance, and hurt himself, remember, that children do fall. What can you learn from the fall? How about ensuring they sit in a safer spot next time? You now become confident in preventing future disasters. 
  •   Confident parents are great role models. They strive to cultivate the very qualities they want in their children. You are the lens through which your child sees the rest of the world. Do not make that lens blurry. If you do not want them to lie or cheat, for instance, but they see you tell one lie after another, it would not be long before they call you out as fraudulent. That kills parental confidence when your child views you as a fraud. 
  •   Confident parents know they should administer discipline sometimes, and they strive to be consistent. Children would push boundaries. At the same time, they thrive when you give clear instructions and stick to them. If you promise they would have a time-out or lose some privilege, if they disobey you, make sure they do. And if you promise them a reward for good behavior, follow through. Remember, if you let them get away with bad behavior, you lose control and become a less confident parent. Besides, when you are consistent in administering discipline, you are letting them know that actions have consequences. A skill they would need their entire life. Even adults get their own share of discipline. If you decide to drive 70km an hour in a 30km road, you will not be surprised if you are pulled over by the police and get a heavy fine. Let your little man or woman know this.
  •   Take each day as it comes, and deal with each problem accordingly. When you always imagine the worse of everything, you sap yourself of energy, and it makes you a less confident parent. In the words of French writer and philosopher Michel de Montaigne, “My life has been full of misfortunes, most of which never happened’. How true! While they would not take on unnecessary risk. Nor do they deliberately ignore things they should care about; confident parents do not worry too much about their children. 
  • Confident parents do not shield their children from going through disappointments. Disappointments are a part of life. Sometimes we win, other times we lose. Sometimes we get what we want other times we do not. I have heard parents say: “oh, I do not want my child to cry,” so they go to great lengths to prevent them from “crying.” When they become adults, they would face the real world. You would have done them a disfavor by not preparing them for the harsh realities of life. However, you should provide them comfort and show them some sympathy to help them cope with their disappointments. But unless some life-threatening situation Is imminent, you do not have to solve every problem they encounter. 
  •   Confident parents take control of their emotions, focus on what they want to achieve, and do not give up easily. They recognize that there are days when children stretch your patience. Remove yourself briefly from the situation, perhaps take a few moments alone in your room. I must admit this is one of the most difficult ones for me as a parent. Anger and yelling many times my default reactions but only adds to my stress. So, I pray for strength and go back to the drawing board with renewed vigor to start again using a different strategy. Ask for help from family members, a trusted friend, or perhaps local agencies with resources to help families if you are feeling overwhelmed. 
  •   Confident parents take care of themselves. Your role requires energy. You need to eat well, sleep well, and exercise well to care for your overall health. If you do not look after yourself, you cannot look after your children.    

Hope you find these 8 steps useful. Sometimes you may need some extra help from experts who can help you achieve your parenting goal. Make use of the needed help available in your region. If you live in Alberta, you might find the Alberta Triple P Program helpful.

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