As your baby becomes a toddler, he or she will start to develop a sense of self as they start to realise what they look like and are able to do. Although this awareness is beginning, much of your toddler’s opinions of themself will at first be based on how other people seem to feel towards him or her. Therefore it’s incredibly important at this early stage in your child’s life, that you manage to instill a self confidence in him or her. We as adults know how difficult it can be to change your confidence levels later in life, so it’s imperative to start your child off on a positive path.

Ways to give your toddler confidence

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  • Be very affectionate towards your child so that they know that they’re loved. Tell your child regularly that you love him or her and remember to give lots of kisses and hugs.
  • Although it’s important to say ‘no’ to your child or to scold them in many scenarios which are for their own benefit, it’s also important that you don’t regularly speak to your child in a negative voice. Until they understand the words that you’re using, all they can here is the intonation in your voice, so steer clear of sarcasm and snapping at your child.
  • Chat to your child all the time, so that he or she knows that you enjoy their company is enjoyed. Similarly get involved in playing with your child. Even if you need to do some chores, you should keep popping back to play with building bricks. You can try and involve your child in some of your chores if you like. If you’re washing up, then let your child play in the soapy water and then wash a pan for him or her to play with. Many toddlers love putting small pans inside of big pans and banging them together. Not good if you have a headache though!
  • Ensure that your child is sociable by letting him or her mix with other children, whether it be in a nursery, at a playgroup or with other children that are invited to your home.
  • Although we’ll be the first to acknowledge that couples with children need their ‘alone time’ in order to maintain a good relationship, try and make the most of your alone time when your toddler is sleeping. Your child needs to feel like he or she is an integral part of the family, so make sure there is time every day when you all sit together and chat (or chatter) as part of the family.
  • Try never to argue in front of your toddler. Even though your child may not know what is being said, he or she will definitely be able to pick up on negative vibes, harsh tones and angry faces, so save any difficult discussions for when your baby is out of the room. You want your toddler to feel happy and secure rather than anxious and confused.
  • It’s very important to praise your child as much as possible. You can start with simple things, like when your baby starts to toddle, heap lots of praise and kind words on him or her. If you do this regularly whenever they do something clever (however small), they’ll really begin to develop a strong self esteem.
  • Make sure that you give your baby lots of different activities to do from an early age, so that you’re able to discover what he or she likes doing and is good at.
  • Once your toddler starts to talk (and even before that), show him or her that you’re listening. This allows your child to know that you think what they’re saying is important.
  • Offer choices to your child to show that you value their opinion. For instance, when getting your toddler dressed in the morning, offer them a choice between different coloured socks or hats. At first, your toddler won’t really understand that they’ve been involved in the decision making process and will just point or pick up one colour or the other, but as they develop they’ll become aware that you are offering choices.

The most important thing that you should take away from reading these confidence building ideas, is that you should apply them regularly. Little and often is of vital importance when working on how to make your toddler confident.

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