A question to ponder as you are reading
the Creative Opportunity page:
Where have you gotten your greatest
sense of accomplishment?
What gives you the most pride?
One way to help your child boost their self esteem and become self confident is to create an opportunity for them to succeed…or not succeed, find a solution and then try again until they succeed.
To allow your child to creatively think through problems on a daily
basis is a particularly advantageous way to create a confident and
self assured human being.
Almost anything can be made in to a Creative Opportunity for a child
to make a positive choice or creatively solve a problem. If you sit
down and think about where your greatest lessons came from or
your proudest moments, we would be willing to bet a small wager that
the experience involved working through a problem or making a choice
that came from within, creative problem solving. That is you were
able to walk through a situation and learn from trial and error.
Children are the same way!
Let’s pretend that you and your child are building a fort in the living room
on a rainy day, a great creative opportunity. This fort is going to be a fun
and great time for you both. Ask yourself this question…
Is my child going to get more self satisfaction from a fort that I built and
they simply play in or will the pride come from constructing the fort themselves?
Yes,it will take a lot longer for your child to determine how to take the blankets
pillows and other construction materials and form them into an actual usable fort,
but the satisfaction and pride that they get when it’s done will be worth the wait.
The hard part is watching the child try different ways to construct
this fort and not stepping in because your adult brain can problem
solve much quicker. However that’s why everyone does not do this.
It’s easy to do it for the child, it's hard to let the child do for themselves.
This is why helicopter* parents are so notorious in our society.
* If you are not sure what a helicopter parent is, we have provided a description:
A helicopter parent is known by their hovering style, a parent that
tries to sweep away all obstacles for their child. They pay extremely
close attention to their child, to their expense and to the detriment.
They will rush to the rescue to prevent any harm or failure. They don’t
allow their children to make their own mistakes, have their own
experiences or learn from their own problems.
This is an extremely ineffective
What other types of opportunities
are out there?
Getting ready for school or fun
Anytime there is a chance to give your kids a Creative Opportunity to make a
positive choice or creatively solve a problem is an opportunity to instill
confidence, self-reliance and positive self esteem. After they have made
the choice that they think is best for them and it works for mom and dad as
well, there is a natural sense of confidence. Self-belief that they can make
the right choices, come up with appropriate solutions, and simply said,rely on
their own person.
There are some basic guidelines to follow
when trying to look for a
Often kids will get frustrated when they are unable to do something.
Let’s look at two different scenarios
Scenario 1: a child is having a difficult time completing a task,
this could be for several reasons, but let’s assume that it is because
they have simply never done it before. They look at their parent and
say “help me and hand over the toy or whatever they are working on.
The parent proceeds to fix the problem and the child goes merrily on
their way. This is efficient and no fuss involved. However, in reality
what has the child learned? Possibly one of the following things:
- If something is difficult then mom or dad will take care of it for me
- I am not capable of mastering that…
- I don’t have to do it mom or dad will do it for me
Scenario 2: the same situation and the child is frustrated. However,
instead of doing it for the child the parent or caretaker says “I see that
you are trying to get that open and you are having a difficult time.
Keep trying.” They may ask again and you say “I see that you want to
help with that, but, I think you can do it.” Now ;, there’s a good chance
that after a little hard work, assuming what the child is doing is age
appropriate, they have succeeded in their task. Imagine the pride and
joy they will feel in their abilities. The parent will likely respond with
“you did it. You must be so proud.”(Notice how this parent’s response
was worded.) They did not say I am very proud of you, but rather you
must be very proud, thus instilling a sense of internal pride rather than
external. What has the child learned? Possibly one of the following things:
- That I am capable of working trough difficult tasks
- That I can keep trying until I get it right
(and eventually I will get it right)
- That it is OK to keep trying
- That I am very proud of myself