Confidence is an important part of being a child. According to Kids Health, confidence is what enables your son to navigate the world of growing up and to be successful in his endeavors. Parents are a powerful influence over their children, and you can help build your son’s confidence so he will be able to interact with others confidently and respectfully. I use these tips with my son (age appropriate)
Get involved with your son, especially if you are his father. According to Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, author of “Raising Confident Boys: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers,” a father is one of the most important influences in the life of a boy. Your son will become more confident and respectful if a caring father models appropriate behavior on a regular basis. Taking time to pursue common interests will help form a bond that will last a lifetime and help your son feel good about himself, which will lead to greater levels of respect for others. If your son’s father is not available to take this role, an uncle, grandfather, youth leader or coach can take over, says Hartley-Brewer.
Respond to your son when he attempts something new or achieves a great accomplishment. According to Kids Health, you can build confidence when you notice and praise your son’s efforts. If he has been working to learn a new skill, take part by asking him to show you. Congratulate him, and let him know how proud you are of him. You can teach him respect by showing an interest in his accomplishments even if he knows you do not share his interest or enthusiasm. Provide him with additional opportunities to practice as another way to illustrate that you support him and respect his interests.
Give your son his privacy and space. According to Hartley-Brewer, boys need time to spend alone pursuing their own interests and passions. You can build confidence and respect by encouraging him to spend time by himself as long as he is engaging in approved and safe activities. Your son might not want to share every detail of his life, and Hartley-Brewer recommends allowing him to have his own life that you do not pry into, unless you feel he is in danger. You want your son to respect you, so give him his space, and he probably will come to you when he needs someone to talk to.
Allow your son to take care of himself. He will learn confidence in his own abilities if you let your son become independent as he grows, according to Kids Health. Encourage him to try new things, and give him the tools to do so. Offer support and instruction, but remain on the sidelines so he can learn new things on his own. Respect his abilities, and he will learn to respect others.
Teach your son how to care for others. Taking care of other people will teach your son respect and empathy as well as build his self-confidence as he accomplishes things on his own, says Hartley-Brewer. Discourage your son from saying hurtful things to siblings and peers, and do not write harmful behavior off as typical boy behavior. Encourage him to take on caring roles, and do not allow anyone to belittle him when he shows respect for others. As he learns to care for others, he will learn to respect himself and others.