Children that try new things without having to be pushed or encouraged tend to have more confidence and self esteem than those that require more coaxing. Confident children feel good about themselves and are more willing to try new tasks and learn new things. Children are not born with self-esteem. It is something that is learned and built up over time. Willingness to try new tasks demonstrates an ability to build on previous knowledge.
You can help encourage a child to try new things. Whether it is going to a new place, trying a new activity, art project or a new food. Set out new activities at home. Realize they don’t have to complete the task, rather they just have to try the new activity.
Here is a link to my Food Series Videos which not only teaches children all about letters, but also encourages them to try new food items! Food Series Videos are also featured on most of my “Day 1” lesson plans in the Free Online Preschool.
Here are some tips from Andrea Mariano of the Yahoo! Contributor Network:
- Make a big deal out of the new activity. Children can be motivated by the excitement of trying something new. The more excited you are about the activity, the more excited a child might feel toward it.
- Copying an activity. Children are often more interested in an activity when they see others doing it. Use YouTube to find videos of others doing activities.
- Try new activities in groups. Try a new activity with a group of children that have not done it before. The child gets to experience trying something new with their peers.
- Compare to past activities. Getting a child to try something new can be as simple as reminding them about the first time they tried a similar activity. You could encourage your child by letting them know that they have tried new things before that they may not have been certain about but they liked after the attempt.
- Offer security to the child. Sometimes a child worries that trying something new will take the place of something comfortable and familiar. Comfort objects, routines, and even the assurance of a loved one will help the transition to the new experience.
- Listen to the child. Sometimes a child may be experiencing anxiety driven by misconceptions about certain aspects of an activity. Listen carefully to make sure they haven’t cooked up any wild ideas preventing them from wanting to try something new.
- Give options to the child. Giving a child several options to choose from helps encourage the child while allowing them to have a bit of control. A new activity may make a child nervous, so choosing from several options may provide the opportunity for that child to keep a bit of control with the situation.