By Honey Good. Parents are our grandchildren’s confidence builders. So what can grandmothers do to add to the mix? Here are my 4 confidence builders (SELF).
Suggest ways for them to join a conversation. When you and your grandchild are with your friends or peers, bring them into the conversation. A few examples of what you might say: “Jenny just took a trip with her family to Alaska” or “Rob loves his new pet.” Now your grandchild is forced to speak with people he or she has never met. This will add “your grandmother” layer of confidence.
Expose them to life. You have the time! Jenny and Rob’s lives are not broad. They have school, after-school activities, homework, family and friends. You have the ability to add new interests there lives. If Jenny is good with her hands, teach her to needlepoint or knit. If Rob is athletic, expose him to your sport and take him to games of his choice, so he can become an expert. If you are a great baker, teach Jenny to bake. If you love to travel, take them with you.
Limit labels. Do not label your grandchildren. For example: Do not say, “Jenny or Rob is my shy grandchild.” Express several positive things about your grandchild when they are within hearing distance. “Oh, Jenny or Rob are so loving, respectful and try very hard in school. I love them so much and am so proud of them.” That statement adds a layer of self-esteem to their confidence level. Hearing their loving grandmother speak so highly of them will resonate with them for life.
Fan for life. Tell Jenny or Rob how much you love them and how lucky you are to have them often. Keep up with their lives so you always have open conversation. Help them in a positive way when negative things come into their lives. Praise. Praise. Praise. Remember: every negative has a positive. You are a major role model. You can be a great confidence builder. You are their grandmother and “you get it.”