We can easily forget how powerful a parent’s influence is upon a child. A simple, offhand comment from a distracted mom or dad may be all it takes to plant a seed of insecurity that rankles for years. Let’s consider some ways we could inadvertently cause a lack of confidence in our kids.
First, a home atmosphere marked by chaos and volatility will keep children off balance, on guard, and nervous. As adults, they may feel rejected or unloved and therefore are prone to see themselves as unworthy of acceptance and affection.
Second, negative comments about a child’s performance or character strike at the heart of his or her personhood and significantly affect personal development.
Third, unrealistic expectations can weigh a child down, often creating the feeling of conditional love. That is, the child may believe that his parents will love him only if he lives up to their expectations—whether in academics, athletics, or some other area.
Fourth, a lack of positive reinforcement can be crippling. Imagine how it would feel if you did your absolute best whenever you tried something but never heard the slightest word of encouragement? Such a situation leads to a person having no perception of or confidence in his abilities.
The job of raising children isn’t simple or without challenges. But even when facing frustrations—whether related to family or external causes—be mindful that words and actions powerfully influence your sons and daughters. Whatever their ages, choose to instill a spirit of confidence in your children.