Being an Effective Parent.

raising children

Being an effective parent can be one of the most rewarding things in life but at the same time it can be one of the most challenging.

effective parenting

From infancy right through to early adulthood, parents can face so many different situations where they can provide opportunities for children to make decisions, within limits, and to be accountable for these decisions. We need to be parents who use encouragement, valuing each child as a unique individual who requires love and respect. It’s imperative that we strive to understand each child’s behaviour, their misbehaviour and their emotions.

 Children within the same family can have very different personalities and temperaments from that of their parents… or they may be similar, and this can create many diverse challenges for parents at the different stages of childhood, through to being teenagers.

The Parental Challenge

Our challenge as parents is, “How do we raise co-operative children who are respectful, well balanced, caring and thoughtful of others and will go on to be responsible citizens in the community”.

Parents often ask, “how can I get my children under control”?  It’s the biggest frustration for parents when children don’t listen, they ignore their directions, or ignore the family’s rules. Parents get so frustrated when their children seem to be always challenging their authority. For example, choosing to make them wait when being asked repeatedly to do something such as pack up their toys, or when they choose to use the delay tactic when something is asked of them.

Other examples…

Despite your daily instructions of “BE nice to your sister”, the child’s behaviour does not change.

“Don’t do that again”,

“You need to let me do your seat belt up”

Getting your child to sleep
raising happy children

And so it goes on. Sometimes you feel as a parent that you have lost control of every situation and nothing seems to be working.  Everyday seems to be a battle of wills. Who is going to win?  Daily battles with dressing, packing up toys, getting in and out of the car or bath and going to sleep at night.

Parents can feel so worn out, despondent and feel they have lost control.  All this can lead to increased stress, frustration and arguments as to how best to bring up their kids, and parents then start blaming each other.

Of course, we as parents, are responsible for their safety and well-being, but we are also the ones who need to teach independence, good decision-making skills whilst all the while building their self-esteem.

When it comes to parenting, we need to be the overseers of their safety and well-being, always taking care of them, guiding, explaining and more importantly, conducting ourselves so as to be examples of the right way to behave towards others.  We need to show thoughtfulness and lead by example.

Good Parent or Bad Parent?

Parents worry a lot about their authority constantly being challenged or undermined in anyway and they especially don’t want to be seen as a “bad parent”.  In simple terms, parents just want their children to do as they are told, when they are told.

We have to remember as parents, that we too can be stubborn, controlling and purposefully annoying to others.  Being unreasonable or unkind brings about arguments and shouting, and when children are watching or perhaps listening in another room, they are receiving mixed messages.

Setting the Example

We as adults need to lead by example, showing our children how we as parents resolve disagreements, how we speak to each other.  We need to watch our tone of voice. Children need to see that we can apologise to each other, our children and our broader family or friends.

Children from one-day-old are always listening, watching and learning from sounds, movements, eye contact, tone of voice and the world they live in, its surrounds or environment.

Children will always try to test their boundaries, it’s part of their learning and this shows their cognitive ability is developing by frequently challenging and trying new things and wanting and waiting for how you are going to respond. This goes on through into teenage and young adulthood and probably beyond. We as parents have a great responsibility in our child’s early childhood years to develop positive skill building abilities based around love, nurture and security,  

What are the Child’s Needs?

Children need a good positive environment where together we can show honesty and respect, along with many other attributes that will stands them in good stead to become well balanced, responsible citizens who can show empathy and respect for themselves and others.  It is our job as parents to develop these skills in our children, allowing for their individual personalities to shine and grow into healthy well-balanced responsible teenagers and adults who also have respect for others.  

We want our children, over their formative years, to develop the skills to be capable of making good responsible decisions for themselves and to develop into independent thinking people who are thoughtful to those around them.

We, as parents, are of course in charge, but children have a great need to be understood and listened to, even when they misbehave. We expect our children to always remember the rules, but we need to remember that knowing the rules and putting them into practice at a given moment by a 3-year-old or older are two different things.

Read more Helpful Parenting Tips

self esteem is, self esteem activities

A Mother’s Day Reflection

Mothers Day Flowers

Each year, we celebrate Mother’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate the women in our lives who have special meaning to us… the women who have played a significant role in our upbringing, who have loved us dearly, guided us and with whom we feel a very special connection. These women may be our own dear mother, a grandmother, an aunt or big sister motherly figure, or a carer, all of whom have guided us and helped us to grow.

Flowers for Mothers Day
Flowers for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is also a special day to acknowledge all women who have experienced different or difficult circumstances in life… those who no longer have their mothers, those who have lost their children through different circumstances and are not able to hold or cradle them in their arms.  We also think of women who dearly desire motherhood but are unable to have children yet.  Mother’s Day can, for so many, be a very sad reminder of a loved mother who is no longer with them.

It’s a day to remember with gratitude all the times these women have been a source of strength and guidance and have been there for support when we have needed it… providing us with values to live by and resilience to bounce back when things get difficult.

Motherhood can be difficult and challenging at times. There can be lots to laugh about and lots of tears and sorrow.  We need to be grateful to all mothers everywhere who have come to the aid of others with encouragement, empowerment and strength of character and who have influenced other women, throughout history.

Mother’s Day is a great day to embrace all mothers everywhere, and to encourage all women to be the very best that they can be.

Read about Raising Happy Children


building self esteem


How to develop self confidence in your child

self esteem

Knowing how to develop self confidence in your child will strengthen their overall development.

Building self confidence in children should be practised using a positive self-esteem parenting approach

How to define self-esteem for kids…

Building self-esteem in children is all about helping kids feel good about themselves… proud of their own achievements. High self-esteem allows kids to gain a greater ability to believe in themselves, to solve problems and become competent.

Confidence building helps kids strengthen their ability to believe in themselves and to solve problems that enables them to feel more competent.

The foundation to a child’s self-esteem is built around strong, loving, warm, environmental relationships. Such an environment is the basis for developing self-confidence and encouraging kids to believe in themselves. This constitutes a more caring, worthwhile, and valued approach to confidence building, leading to strengthening self-esteem in children.

When looking at a child’s self-esteem, remember that all children are so very different. Some children just thrive on challenges and will persist until they succeed. However, this is not necessarily the norm and is not the case in many other children. Many children are more reticent, and shy away from trying new things.

What causes low self-esteem in children?

Low self-esteem in children can be caused by environmental changes, lack of education ……. or parenting and other missed opportunities. A prime example would be the effects of  lockdown due to a pandemic like Covid-19. Another cause might be an over-emphasis on perfection or unrealistic expectations from their guardians. However, knowing how to teach confidence to a child and developing positive self-esteem can gradually overturn low self-esteem in children, through using positive self-esteem strategies .

Parents can use confidence building activities for kids to overcome low self-esteem issues


Building up self-esteem

All children mess up from time to time and a child’s self-esteem can very easily be crushed if he or she is humiliated or if negative language is used. A child’s self-worth can be easily damaged by repeated negative language and this could lead to long term low self-esteem in children. Developing self-esteem in kids is about taking the time to explain quietly to them the situation at hand.

Building self-esteem in a child strengthens their self-worth

It is important to use a more positive parenting approach around language, tone of voice, that doesn’t fuel a child’s anger, resentment, shame or humiliation. Refrain from using the word “NO” or shouting at children, as these words and actions are negative. Replace them with positive words around what they can do, not what they cannot do. Focusing on a child’s efforts and achievements is the best way to positive self-esteem building.

Find reasons to praise a child.

Praise is positive self-esteem building that helps boost a child’s self-image… for example, thanking children for their input or help.

“Thank you for helping me make the cake, I needed your help”

“You made your bed! Well done. I am proud of you”

These statements are positive words that strengthen a child’s sense of self-worth. They feel appreciated and their self-esteem is strengthened.

A positive parenting approach demonstrates empathy and kindness, with clear limits and consistency

Snug ‘n Secure Blue Swing

Encouragement is one of the best ways of building self confidence in kids, as it develops good self-esteem


Developing self-esteem takes time and by lots of gentle encouragement, trying new and more difficult things, helps kids increase self-confidence.

Every child needs to feel worthwhile and valued.

A child’s good health is centered around their parent’s encouragement to eat healthy foods. A child’s self-esteem should also be centered on building self-confidence by parents. Confidence building needs parents, grandparents, guardians, or teachers to be focused on building up self-esteem with positive encouragement and praise, when deserved or needed. For a child to develop self-esteem, they need positive feedback and encouragement within a caring environment that has their best interests, needs and aspirations in mind.

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From a very young age, children are developing a sense of their own identity, self-awareness, and self-worth. They are watching and learning from their parents, and those around them with regard to their facial expressions, their body language, and their tone of voice. They need to be cared for, loved, and appreciated. When children face new challenges and try new things, they are building self confidence and self-esteem. Every time they overcome these challenges, their self-image is strengthened.

Building self-esteem in kids means acknowledging a child’s self-worth.

Praising them for their efforts helps boost their self-image. A child’s self-value is increased dramatically, and they feel good about themselves. Compliments will affect a child’s self-esteem development. Even the smallest of things will help… parents showing excitement or words of encouragement and praise, enables a child’s self-esteem to grow and they feel proud and happy with their achievements.

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Developing positive self-esteem in a child

Board games are excellent confidence building activities for kids.

Increase self confidence in your kids with fun child self-esteem activities.

Introducing new games to children is a good confidence building exercise to strengthen and improve self-esteem in kids.

Self-confidence activities might include board games as they learn strategies… jigsaw puzzles, memory games, skipping with a rope, balancing, and catching a ball are all good self-esteem activities that can provide a confidence boost. Child self-esteem activities strengthen brain function, improve memory, as well as enhance hand-eye coordination.

Building confidence in your child allows them to feel pleased and have more belief in their own achievements when they have overcome something they may have previously found difficult to achieve.

High self-esteem children are far more willing to persist with difficulties or setbacks they may face. Children’s self-esteem levels grow dramatically when they overcome new challenges, no matter how small they might be. They are building self-confidence with every small achievement they overcome. A child’s self-value is given a boost and when they are building self-confidence this helps a child’s sense of self-value

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A child’s self-image is defined by their sense of self-worth, meaning that if their self-value is low, they may need a confidence boost.

When children have a lack of confidence or a negative self-image it’s important to find ways to boost their self-image or their low self-esteem. Finding different ways to help around the home and setting them little tasks they can be involved in, boost their feelings of self-worth, and help them to feel valued and important.

Find chores kids can regularly get involved with.

Engaging children in special activities to improve self-esteem for their age group helps promote a positive self-image. Setting little tasks such as helping wash the car or helping to fold the washing are all tasks that are building self-confidence and a sense of responsibility.

When kids have a positive self-image about themselves, they are far more inclined to take on harder challenges, persist and be successful. Their self-worth and self-image are so closely linked that it’s important children feel good about themselves before they undertake confidence building activities.


  • Children often compare themselves with others and sometimes failure happens. Confidence building is about allowing kids to fail but encouraging them to always try again and overcome their lack of self-confidence.
  • Focus on a child’s efforts, as perfection and winning is not often possible. This builds resilience and courage.
  • Praise your child’s efforts as this boosts self-worth and a child’s self-esteem
  • A child’s self-esteem is boosted when they are successful after several attempts.
  • Self-esteem enables kids to face new and more difficult challenges.
  • Promote activities to improve self-esteem in kids.

Confidence building activities

4 Small Ways to Build Confidence in Kids