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Every child has a unique personality he is born with, but the surroundings the child is raised in also play a major role in shaping the personality. Parents, teachers, and caregivers have a perpetual responsibility to influence the child in developing positive personality traits. Here are ten things you can follow with your child right from a young age, to groom them into strong and confident youngsters.
Video: 10 Tips for Personality Development in Kids
What Exactly Is Personality Development in Kids?
There are many facets to a child’s personality, beginning with their own confidence, courage, and self-esteem to how they treat and respect others. Between the age of three and six, you can see the personality of your child developing. This is the right time to inculcate in them some values and practices that grooms them into positive individuals. As children learn and model the behaviour of their parents, you become the single biggest influencing factor in your child’s personality development.
Ways to Develop Your Child’s Personality
Many parents think lecturing their children about the dos-and-don’ts is the best way to influence their personality. Children do not pick up values from endless lectures, but from mirroring your behaviour. Therefore, the best way to give them a confident upbringing is to subtly push the agenda of positive personality traits in day-to-day actions. Here are some ways you can do it.
1. Stay Away From Labelling
Words make the world. When, as parents, you decide to brand your child for certain behaviour, you unconsciously make the child believe that he or she is indeed like that. Labelling the child closes their options of correcting themselves also. This may lead to low self-esteem, and the child might end up imitating this behaviour with others around him. Remember to always be cautious with your words, especially while correcting your child’s mistakes.
2. Be a Good Listener
Children crave for attention all the time. As kids grow, they become more and more independent. Preschoolers and toddlers tend to express themselves more by talking, especially when their language skills are developing. As parents, you can listen to their stories patiently to make them feel confident and secure in your company. This sets precedence for them to be good listeners themselves and also develops their confidence.
3. Be Gentle on Their Shortfalls
Many parents expect their children to excel at everything they do. When children do not match up to their expectation, they express their disappointment on the child in many ways by accusing them of not being competent enough. Each child has a unique capability, and as parents, you must identify and encourage it. You can give gentle assistance to improve the child’s shortcomings without lowering their confidence in themselves.
4. Refrain From Comparison
Comparing your child with other friends, relatives, and neighbours can do a great deal of damage to your child’s personality. Constantly comparing the child to someone makes the child believe he is not good enough. Children get confused about their own identity and start mimicking others. Respecting the child’s individuality is undoubtedly the first and foremost step in building their confidence and bringing the best out of them.
5. Model the Right Behaviour
Children learn what they see, more than what they hear. Therefore, practically implementing things that you advocate will leave a lasting impression on them. Starting from little things like arranging the books back on the shelf to being polite to guests, children follow what you do. If there is any hypocrisy or disagreement in your behaviour, children pick it up very quickly. Therefore, it is very important to practice what you preach.
6. Allow Unstructured/Free Playtime
Free play has drastically reduced among the children of this generation due to so many reasons. Nothing can teach values like sharing, caring, team spirit and resilience like playing a sport. Sports and games are the best personality development activities for kids. Sadly, many parents today shield their children from field play and even restrict them from taking up any sport. For an overall physical and mental development of your child, you must involve him actively in a sport. It is also great for children to unwind every day from the stress of academics and remain cheerful.
7. Limit Screen Time
Gadgets are new-age problems many parents struggle with. Studies have shown that too much screen time impacts children’s intellectual and social development. Playing games on gadgets leads to addiction, and in turn, leaves less time for social interaction. Spend more time with your child playing games and travelling to divert him from gadgets and give a real-life experience of things around him. Teach your child to value the roundings and people more than the virtual things he sees.
8. Chalk Out the Rules
Giving clarity to children about their responsibilities is essential for better understanding. Sometimes, parents fail to communicate what they expect from the child and end up accusing them of their misbehaviour. When the rules are straight, the child learns to align his behaviour with the expectations. It may take time for children to tune themselves to the set of rules, but continuous adherence to a code of conduct makes it a habit, eventually.
9. Encourage Independence
Parents of toddlers usually assist the child with all their work to the extent that they stop encouraging the development of any individuality or independence. While it is important to be caring and nurturing, it also important to teach kids to slowly manage their simple responsibilities. For things like packing the schoolbag, brushing teeth, or doing homework, you can encourage your child to become independent and provide minimal supervision. This not only trains children in essential life skills but also improves their sense of responsibility.
10. Practise Gentle Parenting
Physically reprimanding your child or yelling at him for his mistakes is going to make things worse for you and the child. Many times, children take the yelling to heart and do not register the corrective action they are expected to take. Patiently explaining the consequences of their wrongdoings will be an effective way of bringing the desired change in their mind. When you yell at your child, he obliges out of fear and does not understand the consequences of his action. Explaining, or even sometimes letting him experience the results of his actions, helps him understand the cause-effect relationship.
Myths About Personality Development in Kids
The word ‘Personality’ is often misinterpreted. It is a myth that a child’s personality is limited to appearance. Parents emphasise on clothes, grooming and health, oblivious to the fact that these form just one aspect of the personality. The child’s outlook on life, knowledge, social skills, interpersonal skills, etc. contribute towards the building of a balanced personality.
Do remember that personality development is a long drawn process in which may experience some temporary setbacks. A consistent effort towards inculcating positive values, behaviour, and attitudes is sure to pay off in the long run as you bask in the satisfaction of nurturing a well-rounded individual.