How To Nurture & Support The Confidence Of Younger Relatives

Photo by Caleb Oquendo:
Photo by Caleb Oquendo:

They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s true that it’s never solely the parents or guardians that will influence a young person as they grow. Peers, teachers, and figures in their community, all count. As such, you may have more sway over the young ones in your family than you may recognize.

For this reason, it’s good to be realistic about your impact and what that means. To do that, understanding exactly what a child needs to grow up well and healthy is essential. Support, developing confidence, a sense of gratitude, manners, and the willingness to show the best of themselves, these skills are best learned early and practiced over a lifetime.

Nurturing and supporting the confidence of younger relatives is not only healthy, then, but it’s ethical and essential. In this post, we’ll determine exactly how to achieve that, and what impact you could have over the younger ones in your family, even if you only see them occasionally.

Provide Encouragement and Positive Reinforcement

It’s always healthy to encourage, even in small ways, especially if your younger relative has been proactive. That might involve them showing you a painting they’ve made, decorations in their newly designed bedroom, or even gold foil nails they applied with the help of their parent or friend. A little praise or positive reinforcement goes a long way, especially because this can seem even more real not coming from a parent who is “supposed” to offer them that kind of care.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Kids can be quite good at saying what parents want to hear. This is especially true when they learn to twist the truth, which all children experiment with, for example, suggesting they have brushed their teeth before bed when they didn’t. Asking open-ended questions can be a helpful means of getting them out of their head and focusing on the question itself. So if you’re visiting your niece for the day, you might ask them how their time at school was and what they did that day, instead of asking them if they enjoyed it or not. This way, you not only inspire your relative to think more completely, but you flatter them by showing you care about their answer.

Be A Great Example

Children learn from everything we do and they take that as a tacit approval for how they can or should behave in the world. You might laugh and think “well, no pressure then!” – and you’d be right, there is a great deal of pressure surrounding this. That’s why, if you’ve visiting a relative, it’s good not to denigrate the lessons they’ve been trying to teach their child. From avoiding the urge to curse loudly if someone cuts you up in traffic, to showing them the power of empathy or mediating an argument between two young toddlers with peace and love, remaining a great example can help your relative in their parental journey, and also reinforce the lessons they’re being shown.

WIth this advice, you’re certain to better nurture and support the confidence of younger relatives. It’s the least they deserve.

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