Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Self Esteem and Your Toddler: How to Instill Confidence from an Early Age

Children begin to build on an awareness of “self” from the moment they are born. Enabling a child to feel confident and successful will stick with them for as long as they live. In a million little ways, parents and teachers can foster self-esteem in toddlers, and help them become productive students and successful adults.


Avoid Comparisons

Every child is different, and rightly so. One child may immediately grasp a complex concept while another struggles with it for longer periods. For the teacher, trying to match developmental milestones with specific individuals is far more important than attempting to impose those milestones on all children equally.


Children Imitate Authority

Parents and instructors are vital to a child’s self-esteem. When a parent shows an interest in the projects or playtime fun of a child, it encourages them to do more. In contrast, a child that is told how their time is not being used wisely is more likely to be insecure and introverted. For those in a position of authority over a child, encouraging that child to shine is one of the best gifts that can be given.


Confidence and Motivation

If a child believes that they can accomplish a goal, they are more likely to actually do so. Little encouragements, even something as simple as saying, “You can do it!,” give a toddler the confidence to try. And when that child has tried, confirming their attempt, whether it was successful or not, is critical in building self-esteem and future attempts at the same or other goals. If a child believes they can, they will, and the opposite is also true.


Confidence and STEM

It is never too early for a child to begin learning about science, technology, math and engineering (STEM). A common problem in American education education is that children, especially girls, are taught that “math is hard.” In reality, the only real barrier comes from a falsely reinforced inability. Instead of reinforcing the misconception that math or science are too hard, spend more time encouraging those subjects as fun ways to understand the world and tools for accomplishing goals.


Build on Uniqueness

Every child can learn to play the piano, but there has only been one Beethoven. Helping children focus on the things they have a natural ability for will instill confidence. Trying to force them to become something they are not will cause them to lose faith in their ability to grow and learn. Recognizing the differences in aptitude and focusing on building those strengths is a large part of Montessori education, and should be practiced at home as well.


Children do not start out with insecurities, they learn them from people in positions of authority, and adopt them as facts of life. The best way to teach a toddler confidence is to offer praise and encouragement every time an opportunity presents itself, both at home and in the classroom.  The Montessori Method encourages and supports children to learn through self exploration at their own pace.  The teachers at Montessori Childrens House work with children from an early age, teaching them to be confident in who they are as individuals. Contact us today to schedule a tour.

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