Lauren Keyes is a mother, blogger and business woman. Although a Seattle, WA native, she decided to move to California six years ago to pursue her dreams in Fashion. She worked with American retailer Nordstrom for six years before branching out and launching her own styling business; Fashion Styled Right. When her daughter Kennedy came along, she decided to take some time off and focus on motherhood. She has just launched her own distressed denim kids line Brass Hearts Co. and juggles her blog Keyes of Style, where she styles her daughter and shares tips on lifestyle and motherhood.
Here she gives five tips to help raise a confident toddler. Read more below.
Many who meet Kennedy are amazed at how well-spoken, friendly and social she is for such a young age.
Her confidence is obvious, and thanks to my tips below, you too can help build your toddler to have the confidence they need in a world where many may try to tear them down.
‘Parents need to fill their child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.’ – Alvin Price
As a mother we all want our children to be outgoing and confident in who they are, however many of us may not know how to help them achieve this. Many books are focused on how to help our children sleep, great foods for them to eat, how to potty train etc. But what about helping our children become well adjusted in society?
Ever see a cute kid in a store and say hi while in the grocery line and they immediately hide behind their parent? Or maybe you see your child try to interact with another child but they seem distant or not sure how to interact back? All of these reactions may be the result a child who is not confident in who they are.
Now you might be confused on how to start going about creating confidence in your toddler, but not to fret because below are 5 keys to helping do just that.
‘The way you speak to your children is the single greatest factor in shaping their personalities and self-confidence.’ Since Kennedy was little I have always treated her as if she could understand me. We spoke to her as if she was an adult even though she was only days, weeks or months old. Now that she is almost three years old her ability to speak is well beyond her years. It still blows me away daily how well she can communicate with me. I contribute this to how I have spoken to her over the past three years as well as reading books together daily. I strongly believe that because she is able to communicate what she wants clearly, it allows her to be confident in herself.
No matter where we are many people gravitates towards her because of how she carries herself. When we are out, she is asked constantly what her name is, how old she is and more, and unless she isn’t in the mood, her responses are always kind and engaging, proceeding to ask how they are doing, where they are going and anything else she can think of, carrying a whole conversation. Afterwards, the adult will look at me in disbelief that she is so well spoken considering she is still so young. I always walk with this feeling of pride because I know Kennedy is confident in who she is and doesn’t need to be shy and hide behind me.
Now, of course, it takes way more than just speaking to your child like normal, but it definitely plays a key role.
SHOW UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
‘The way you talk to your children become their inner voice.’
Both my husband and I came from loving homes where we were shown unconditional love, so it was natural for us to do the same with Kennedy. We constantly show her love which not only does she give us love back but in turn, she shows love to others. She gives hugs and is caring when it comes to her friends. She knows she is loved and even if she does something wrong she may be punished but our love stays the same. I encourage you each day to show your toddler love whether it be with an extra kiss, hug or just telling them you love them. I always make sure after she has a time out not only do we discuss why she was on time out but I give her a hug and tell her I love her, always leaving things on a positive note.
‘Your presence in your child’s life affects his or her confidence.’
How you interact with your spouse directly affects your child.
This can either help or hinder your child in their personal feelings about themselves. Showing respect and love to your spouse, in turn, creates a happy and confident toddler allowing them to feel secure and safe in their home.
It is amazing how something so simple can truly make such a difference. My husband and I work hard to take arguments we may have into the other room and always show a united front. Make sure you do activities together as a family at least once a week if not more. Family time I believe is the most important time.
‘Build up your child with words. Don’t tear them down.’
If my daughter does something wonderful she knows I am going to jump up and down give her a big hug, a high five and most likely a tonne of loud claps. I do my best to focus on the good not the bad. If she does something wrong depending on what it is we talk about it, maybe have a timeout if the crime fits, or I just take care of whatever happened. Kids are kids and just like us, they make mistakes. But focusing so heavily on it only brings their spirit down so instead uplift them when they do good and focus on that. Your children desperately want to please you and make you proud so when they do; make it exciting for them, this will most definitely help them become more confident in themselves.
ALLOW THEM TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES
‘Build wisdom and confidence in others by forcing them to think and decide for themselves.’
Giving your child options that in turn makes them decide is a great way of building their confidence.
This shoe or that shoe? This fruit or that fruit? It is easy as a parent to just tell them no or just tell them you will wear this and you will eat this, but more often than not you will find there will be push back. Children have their own mind and want to be able to make their own decisions, so as often as I can I always give Kennedy at least two options if not more, which allows her to have her own voice. She feels she is in control, building confidence in her decision making and allowing her to feel independent. It is amazing that the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
I hope you find these tips to be helpful.
With thanks to Lauren X