7 Ways to Build your Son’s Confidence
As a mom of three, I try my very best to pour as much as I can into all three of
my children. With kids ages 8, 5 and 1 — all of my kids are in different age
group and have different needs from me. My sonshine as I call my only
boy is my middle child and he means the world to me. With my firstborn
being a girl, it’s was easier for me to determine what she needed from me
especially in terms of her confidence and self-esteem. I’ve been a girl
her age before, I understand her challenges but with my son,
it’s on the job training. Fortunately, my husband guides him in the many ways that I can’t and we take on the goal of raising him to become confident
young man together. He’s a black man of Grenadian descent and southern
American heritage growing up in New York City
and it’s really important for me to ensure that we create an
environment that builds him up at home, the confidence we send him out in the world it has to be a great foundation for him to build on. Here are 7 ways that I’m building up my
Allow him to make decisions.
It’s really important to me that I raise him with the ability to make smart
decisions. If I’m making every decision
for him, even as a 5-year-old, I am not doing him any favors. In the last few
weeks, for instance, he’s set up his own schedule after school, so he would
tell me that he would rest, do homework, shower then play or shower, homework
play and go to bed early. Since he’s now a big brother, he makes quick
decisions concerning his little sister. Taking a book from her she might destroy or
letting me know if he thinks I need to change her diaper.
Avoid Gender Roles.
My son is sensitive and sweet, I love that about him. I would never tell him
that is not masculine enough, needs to “act like a boy” or that he needs to “toughen up” to be a real
man. I want him to be happy and comfortable being himself and expressing
himself and his feelings. I want him to be able to express a range of emotions and I try to always help him articulate how he is feeling.
While many people are intimidated by the idea of raising children in New
York City, I love the exposure the city allows them. My son has experienced so
many of the museums in the city by visiting exhibitions, tours, and special
programs. He’s visited art galleries, restaurants, parades, and cultural events. He attends a school with kids who are from all around the world.
I know that this exposure will help build his confidence as he’s becoming
openminded and knowledgeable in the process. I want him to develop a yearning to
seek these types of experiences even when he’s older.
Healthy role models make all of the difference in a child’s life especially
male role models in the case of boys. My son has his dad, uncle and many male relatives in his life
who he looks up to. But it doesn’t stop there when my son told me recently
that he wants to be a filmmaker when he grows up I told him about Ryan Coogler who
was the director
of his favorite film Black Panther and Tyler Perry Studios (regardless of how
you feel about his movies) Tyler Perry owns the largest production set owned by a black person.
Whenever we chat about his dreams and I pull up these images of men who share
the same smooth chocolate complexion he has, I watch him illuminate
knowing that he too can achieve this
Listening to his needs.
My son is an introvert, he likes to unpack all the things that happened at
school or in the world around him when he sees me at the end of the day. It’s
his ritual, his way of unloading and I love that I can be there for him at the
end of the day to help him to release and make sense of the world around him.
Spending alone time with him.
My son needs alone time with me, he can get drowned out easily by the girls, so I ensure that we always get a little time together. Sometimes that’s watching Black Panther on the couch together for the 10,000th time and other times its baking banana bread together. When I can, I take him on special dates like his first NBA game last winter, I loved watching how excited he was at Barclays Center.
This also falls underexposure but taking my son to different places helps to
shape the type of man he will become one day. I want him to be able to speak with anyone from Paris to Brooklyn to Accra, and I believe the more he travels, the more he will understand and develop ways of connecting with people from different backgrounds. We don’t have to go far away either, just a simple road trip opens him up to new people and lifestyles that are different to his. I know I can do better so I’m always asking moms who have older sons who I admire for advice and I’m hunting for books that will help me to navigate this goal of raising my son to be confident. Let me know your tips and if you have any reading suggestions below.