How to educate self-confident boys and girls?
The challenges of today’s world, today more than ever, require us to educate ethical adults, with critical thinking, able to analyze and solve problems in a creative and innovative way, empathetic, resilient, with the tools to function flexibly in changing and diverse contexts. , who know how to take care of themselves and take care of themselves, mentally healthy, with the certainty that they have the necessary resources to be able to achieve what they set out to do.
Are we educating our boys, girls and young people with the necessary tools to meet these challenges?
Several studies show that we are facing what some call the “crystal generation”, fragile, vulnerable, immediate, dependent, self-centered and insecure, due in part to the fact that some fathers and mothers understood love and care as overprotective, they have associated happiness with the absence of suffering and have misrepresented the need for support that boys and girls have by doing for them what they are capable of doing for themselves.
In order to grow up as confident human beings, children need to feel that they are capable of achieving what they set out to do and that they have the tools to do so. With the best of intentions and out of the deep love we feel for them, we sometimes disable them.
When the little one says “just” or “let me do it myself” and instead of supporting them to do things for themselves or showing them how to do it, we do it for them, we’re sending the message we don’t think they’re capable .
So what can we do as fathers, mothers and adults responsible for educating children and young people so that they grow up with the necessary confidence in themselves and in the world around them, so that they can develop their abilities and skills and solve problems so they can safely explore the world, regulate their emotions, recognize their own needs and the needs of others, and develop self-esteem?
build trust: Let the children do as much as they can on their own. Don’t do things for them, as what children and young people need is to know that they have the tools to achieve what they set out to do and that they have the support if they need it. Adults need to understand what fears or prejudices are causing us to take action for them and avoid acting from there.
Watch and listen carefully: It is important to listen and observe carefully before acting to understand what their real needs, interests and motivations are. That way, you can offer the tools you really need, not the ones you think you need.
Support and appreciate effort and persistence: achieving something takes practice, effort, time and dedication. It is important for children to finish what they have started, this gives a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Show them that they can keep learning and teach them to set goals and dream big.
vappreciate error and mistake as a learning opportunity: He who does not sin, does not learn. Help the children think about the process they went through to find out where the mistake was and be able to fix it.
Encourage the exercise of will: Teach your child that sometimes you have to do things because you have to, because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s the responsible thing to do, even if it’s hard or even if you don’t like it. Gratification is not always instant, it requires effort, dedication and commitment. Allowing him to be frustrated by helping him find ways to solve the problem builds his resilience and self-esteem.
Encourage problem solving and initiativeProblems are learning opportunities. Instead of solving problems for children, it is helpful to help them find the solution they are looking for. “We have a problem, how can we solve it?” This is a helpful statement that sends the message to the child that there is support and that there are different options for solutions. This develops flexibility, initiative and creativity and helps them not to give up in the face of difficulties.
Strengthen the emotional repertoire: help your children recognize, name and regulate their emotions so they can recognize them in others and develop empathy. We need to teach our children and young people to learn to resolve conflicts assertively, taking into account their own needs and those of others. This is the only way to reach agreements through dialogue.
The tools offered promote a growth mindset in children and youth, which can help them successfully overcome the challenges they face on a daily basis.
We need to care and love out of trust, from a perspective of appreciation that recognizes and values the abilities, needs, interests and motivations of our children and young people to help them grow up feeling confident in themselves and in their environment, that surrounds them.