All parents want to raise a child who believes that they can become whatever they want to be. In order for children to strive toward reaching their maximum potential, it is important for parents to encourage confidence from the early years on. As Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” Here are four tips from the experts at Baby Potential, a new San Antonio-based company that produces infant and toddler apparel embroidered with career patches, to raising a confident toddler that could someday smile all the way to the White House or the Forbes 400.
1. Show – Children, even the very young, are incredibly perceptive. In order for little ones to feel comfortable in their own skills and social abilities, it is important to set a good example as a parent. In social settings, be sure to reach out to others, speak positively about yourself and watch your child follow suit to be generous, polite and feel self-assured around others.
2. Listen – Feeling respected is essential for every person whether young or old to feel confident in themselves. In order to encourage who they are and what they think matters, listen up! When babies start to babble, show that you are listening by not interrupting and communicating back to watch their self-worth blossom.
3. Encourage – Rather than comparing your child to others, encourage the skills that make your child special. While a father may want his son to pick up the basketball over the cooking set, encourage your child’s inherent interests. This will not only boost your child’s confidence but make him or her feel unique. You can even provide a custom onesie or t-shirt that says “Chef” from Baby Potential. This is one of a choice of 12 silk-screened career patches such as Lawyer, Rocket Scientist, Artist, among other career options. The onesies and t-shirts are practical, gender-neutral and coordinate with pants, skorts, bibs and burp cloths. Most importantly they provide positive messaging, underscoring the importance of education, and give back to the community – ten percent of sales are donated to community outreach and educational programs. Encouragement and using such positive messages will make your child even more secure in their own skin.
4. Provide – Offer several opportunities for your child to test their capabilities and gain a sense of success. Everything from signing up for skill-building classes to simply allowing the little one to figure out how to open the cap of a bottle rather than pulling it off shows them what they are capable of.
Baby Potential products are available on Target.com. pecialty orders can also be made online. Apparel and sets start at approximately $15 and are available for infants and toddlers in sizes 0-4T (4 years old).