Teaching Boys Self-Confidence
Problem Solving & Communication
By Christine Ford
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Other confidence factors include the ability to ask questions and solve problems. “Letting kids solve their own problems is a great confidence builder,” says Deerin. “Instead of dictating what needs to happen, simply state the problem and let the child decide how to fix it.”
According to Liane, her son is already learning how to take charge of a situation and ask the right questions. “The other day I lost my school pass and mentioned I needed to find out how to get a new one. I was so proud when my son walked right up to the security guard and said, ‘Excuse me, how would my mommy get another pass?’ The guard smiled and told him what he needed to know ."
Showing kids how to ask for things is just as important as knowing when to ask for them. Liane’s advice for other moms: “Give them the words they need to ask the right questions. If he wants to know that little girls name, tell him, ‘Go over and ask her what her name is.’ Boys feel confident when they have the right words that will allow someone to answer them in the appropriate manner.”
Positive self-talk is also an important part of communication. “We monitor negative self-talk in our program and actively replace critical comments with supportive ones,” says Deerin. “Parents can help kids think about situations without pointing the finger directly. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t be shy," you might say, “You know, a shy kid would need to encourage himself to walk up to a group of people that he doesn’t know and introduce himself.”