“I can do it!” This shout rises from within us when we feel confident. While it may come more easily to some, this self-assurance does not come naturally. It develops as we experience life from infancy to adulthood. As children grow, every day presents a new adventure. After all, much of their experience is uncharted. Making a bed, tying shoes, the first day of school and stepping onto the soccer field all pose new skills for kids to master. How do we, as parents, help them successfully navigate their educational journey? Forts offer just the right experience for children to build resilience in a safe environment. Let’s consider the keys to building confidence and why confidence building activities for kids includes fort building.
While giving full decision-making control to our children may not be the wisest course of action, allowing them to make appropriate choices throughout the day increases confidence and judgment. Younger children grow best with two or three choice options to prevent being overwhelmed. Older kids handle broader choices if they have learned to make smaller decisions along the way.
Forts offer a wide range of safe choices to help bring about decision-making prowess. To begin with, just figuring out what unique Fort Magic design to construct allows children to control one decision. Cover materials, interior fort decorating and the ensuing play time open even more doors to the decision-making process.
Plus, making these decisions without parental input or correction brings the freedom to take chances, make mistakes and try again. All of these practices are vital components in confidence building. In other words, children need to risk and play without the fear of getting it wrong.
Freedom From Rescue
Oh, this is a tough one! Is it not our job as parents to protect our children from hurt, discouragement, and mistakes? Actually, no. While lines of protection do exist, the goal of raising resilient children is to empower them with the strength to endure such hardships.
Forts present many obstacles that kids must navigate. As they overcome the obstacles, your children build confidence in their abilities. A particular design may be unstable. The neighbor may be a bossy building partner. Fido may love to grab the blankets and run away with them.
Negotiating these issues develops problem-solving skills, confidence, and creativity in our kids. This especially rings true if we hold back and do not step in at the first sign of trouble. Preventing obstacles in our children’s lives leaves gaps in this development. Give your kids the gift of finding success as they work through problems.
Words of encouragement inspire kids to keep going, try again, reach their goals. In developing confidence, this praise needs to be specific to an effort. Empty, vague compliments fail to achieve the end result.
As kids design and construct forts, plenty of opportunities arise to extend your encouragement beyond, “Good job!” Note specifics about the design or your child’s work ethic as a foundation for your compliments. For instance, “A dinosaur-shaped fort is so creative.” or, “I love the way you keep working to solve that problem.”
In times of discouragement, your words also help breed persistence. When you hear the sigh that the fort fell for the seemingly hundredth time, acknowledge the frustration and ask questions to spur new ideas and an alternate plan. Identifying specific ways to increase the odds of achieving their desired goal gives children a vision of possibility and hope along with a foundation of confidence.
Encouraging your kids’ passions grows expertise in a particular area which boosts confidence. Even if hobbies change on a regular basis, the freedom to explore them and the information learned proves valuable to your children’s self-assurance. This success blossoms in other areas of life as well.
Pairing passions with forts just make sense. For the young pirate who loves adventures on the high seas, a boat fort offers plenty of space for his growing knowledge to birth creativity. With the sports enthusiast, Olympic or obstacle course fort designs bring endless hours of competitive play.
These forts give friends, babysitters, extended family or you, as a parent, an opportunity to explore a child’s interests with him or her. Being the expert in these cases further bolsters confidence. Plus, research supports the idea that close relationships with a grown-up other than you fosters resilience in your kids.
Help to Others
Responsibility and the sense of making a difference grow confidence in your kids. These activities create opportunities to help draw kids outside themselves, and it feels good watching your children succeed. Simply setting the table or taking cookies to a neighbor gives young children a feeling that they offer something valuable to the world at large.
Building forts with friends and siblings bring the opportunity to work together and help one another. After a strenuous morning of fort construction, allowing your child to fix and serve a simple snack to the work crew boosts your child’s self-assurance. If you are building with your child, be sure to ask for help occasionally to illustrate that even grown-ups need help. Building confidence and forts prove effortless with Fort Magic. Spend a few afternoons watching your children design, create and construct. Most especially, do not miss the joy on their faces as they proclaim, “I did it!”
How do you build confidence in your kids with fort building and other activities? Share your ideas below!
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