The Competent Child

Supporting children’s social and emotional competence

The competent child is the one who is capable, not only in their eyes, but in the eyes of those around them. The competent child is not pushed to be competent, but rather provided an encouraging environment that helps them succeed and allows them to build self-confidence. The competent child recognizes their ability to contribute to their environment. This builds self-esteem, self-awareness and an interest in their own motivation (Staley, 1998).

• Lead by example. Foster an environment of respect and understanding for others. Your child models you in social interactions and learns how to use these skills in their own relationships.
• Remember that you are also in a learning process, just like your child. Be open minded and let your child know you are ready to change.
• Listen to your child. Children have a voice and they want to be heard. Making them a part of the decision-making process will give them a sense of empowerment.