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“Even a person who doesnot believe in god may go to heaven, but a person who doesnot believe in himself, there is no place for him even in hell.”-Swami Vivekananda.

The above words can never be an overstatement! These words tell us how important is self-belief! Everybody should cultivate this belief in himself/herself, regardless of their capabilities. This has to be nurtured from a very young age. It is during the 2nd year of life that toddlers become very inquisitive and curious. They want to explore their surroundings. They are curious about everything that they come across. These “terrible-twos” make their parents lose their sleep wondering what the kid is upto at any hour of the day! It is very important for young parents to understand the need for exploration by their little kid, through which it can expand its knowledge bank and they need to encourage this quality, by being supportive and at the same time vigilant, without becoming paranoidal!

Unfortunately, an over-protective parent never lets the child any freedom to explore and learn. The parent believes that he/she knows the best and decides everything for the child – where it should play, with what toys should it play, with which group it can indulge in play and what time it should play! The child’s freedom is totally curtailed and authoritarian rule imposed upon it from a very young age that makes the child start believing that only the parent knows the best and that the child itself can not take proper decisions. This lowers its self-confidence. This trend continues even to its adolescence and the parents never let go of their hold upon the child, who has now turned into an adolescent. He may, heart in heart, wish to explore the whole world and see the world throug his/her own eyes. Alas! This is not to be! The youngster grows into adulthood without having developed skills like, problem solving and decision making etc. He/she has no belief in self. If they ever were to take an independent decision against their parents’ wishes, and if the endeavour were to result in a negative outcome, finished is his/her adventurous spirit! Buried is their self-belief for life, more so under the sarcastic remark of their parents, “i told you so” with a victorious note!

But these parents need to realize how important it is for the young adult to experience autonomy in every sphere of life. Parents need to facilitate this “self-belief” in their young ones from a very early stage in small ways and slowly extend the autonomy to bigger things, all the while assuring of their support and encouragement, irrespective of the child’s successes or failures. It is this provision for autonomy that stands in good stead through out one’s life. Self-belief develops self-confidence, improves self-image, increases self-esteem and facilitates self-reliance later on in life.

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