How to Build Your Child’s Confidence One Library Visit at a Time
Getting a library card unlocks more than access to reading materials.
While the skills we choose to teach children are often more related to academics and socialization, it’s just as important to instill in them the value of a strong self-image. One of the most important lessons you can teach them on that front is how to develop their self-confidence and poise in social situations. This may seem like a daunting task when you realize how much it encompasses, but believe it or not, it’s actually quite simple to teach by allowing them to live through new experiences and learn from them. One of the best ways to create these experiences is, of course, with help from your local library.
Teaching Them Responsibility
Though many parts of being a library patron may just seem like normal, everyday tasks to us, for some kids, they’re the first step toward learning personal responsibility, accountability, and timeliness. For example, for an adult, a new library card just goes straight to a safe place like a purse or wallet, but for a young child, things are different. Chances are, this is the first time they’ve ever had to keep track of a small, easily lost object, so developing their own system to do so will make them more self-sufficient and confident.
In addition to this, once your child has checked out books, they’ll have to keep the return dates in mind. While you can offer a gentle reminder here and there, we encourage you to let them take care of these due dates on their own. This will allow them to figure out what helps them keep track of the deadlines and how to implement them in their day-to-day schedule, teaching them personal responsibility and time management. With these skills under their belt, your child be more confident than ever.
Giving Them Autonomy
Whereas most sources of entertainment your child has had up to this point were probably given to them by you, bringing them to the library finally allows them to pick for themselves. The library has books for all age groups, reading levels, and interests, so your child has a massive amount of freedom to pick out books that they personally will enjoy, and that will further develop their skills, hobbies, and interests outside of reading. This massive increase in autonomy will help them build self-confidence and motivation to seek out their own interests in life.
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Encouraging Them to Come Out of Their Shell
Everyone has their limits as far as social interaction goes, and that’s perfectly normal, but oftentimes, small children are still in the process of figuring out what those limits are. During your regular library visits, they may start interacting with other patrons their age, talking about their favorite books, their hobbies, and life in general. Even if they’ve been extremely shy before, doing this regularly may be just the push they need to start coming out of their shell and interacting with others more often.
Once they’ve become a bit more comfortable and proficient with everyday social interactions, your child may want to start attending some of the library’s regular events and programs. These are designed to bring community members together and appeal to a wide variety of age groups, so find something that includes the whole family and ask your child if they’d like to attend! Chances are, they’ll be interested and will take the event as an opportunity to chat with other attendees, make new friends, and become more socially adept.
Interested in a few of the other ways that libraries can help children? Feel free to visit our blog at EveryLibrary today!
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