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Mom and Daughter Doing Hair

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You want to instill confidence in your kid. You want her to have a can-do attitude. You want her to look at a challenge and be excited by it—not intimidated by it. But, you also want to protect your child. You want her to overcome every challenge she faces. Maybe you even want her to avoid certain obstacles—not because you don’t think she can handle them, but just because, on the very slight chance she can’t, it would harm her confidence. Nobody said that parenting would be easy. But if there is an “easy” part, it would be the changing diapers and keeping them from eating toxic things they find on the ground phase. That part is exhausting, yes, but it isn’t the psychologist warfare that comes when they get a little older and they start to have goals. Here are ways we try to encourage kids that actually harm their confidence.

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You’re good at other things

When your kid fails at something, you want to give her some glimmer of hope—so you point out that she has other strengths. But that suggests that you believe she’ll never be good at this thing. Instead, say, “That way didn’t work, but I bet you can find another way to do it.”

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