Confidence is a trait that can open numerous opportunities, especially to a child. They have higher grades, a bigger group of friends, and excel in extracurricular activities. Those who are confident are generally happier than those who are not.
Unfortunately, many children with disabilities have low self-esteem. Many factors contribute to the problem, including bullying and negative stereotypes within society. As a result, they may end up retreating into the shadows, refusing to make friends or stop themselves from doing what they want to do.
As a parent, it is difficult to see your child hold back and put themselves down when you know, for a fact, what amazing things they are capable of. Here are a few tips to boost their confidence.
Give Them Tools that will Aid Them
Your child should not feel limited just because they are differently-abled. Give them the tools they would need to move freely and do whatever they want to do.
Aside from a handicap wheelchair, there are other products that are designed specifically to help give children with disabilities a normal life. Ask your doctor for suggestions.
Give Them Small Responsibilities
Doing everything for your child is not helping them at all. You should instead give them responsibilities around the house that they will be able to complete.
Finishing a task on their own (read: without parental assistance) builds confidence. They would feel a lot more positive about themselves and their capabilities.
However, be careful not to give them tasks that are too difficult. It would only highlight their condition and would create frustration, giving you the exact opposite of your goal which is to build their confidence.
If you are not sure, give them simple tasks and gradually build it up. Do not forget to use positive reinforcement if they are doing a great job.
Identify Activities They Enjoy
Focus not on what they cannot do and, instead, turn your and their attention toward what they can do.
Allowing your child to explore, learn, and master a skill or interest will give them a boost of confidence. It reinforces the idea that they are more than just their disabilities. It convinces them that they are capable of doing extraordinary things.
Encourage your child to join after-school clubs and programs.
Find Opportunities Where they Can Meet Children who are Like Them
Your child might benefit from attending activities and events where people who have disabilities congregate. It is an opportunity for them to interact and have a support group that has similar experiences. They might even meet lifelong friends.
The feeling of isolation lowers a person’s self-esteem. However, peer acceptance can help significantly because it creates a community where they are just one person within a crowd.
Check with your local family support office to find activities and events in your area.
Your child would not feel confident with themselves if you do not trust them. You want your child to be safe, but you might be holding them back by wanting to monitor their every activity.
At some point, you have to step back and let them grow as an individual. Let them hang out with their friends at a local restaurant or cafe. When they are of age, let them learn how to drive.
Trusting your child builds confidence.
Your child deserves to live a normal and happy life. Confidence is one of the keys that will improve their enjoyment of the world.