Parenting Resource

Haley, Age 30 Months, Developing Self-Confidence

May 19, 2010

Watch to see how Haley conquers her fear of the jack-in-the-box with her mother, Lynette's, support.

To Think About:

What do Haley’s words and actions show what she is thinking and feeling?

  • What does Lynette do to help Haley work through her fear of the jack-in-the-box?

  • What might Haley be learning about herself in this interaction?

What the Experts Say About This Interaction

What Haley does:

  • Figures our her own way to make the pop-up toy work. This ability to problem-solve builds her self-confidence.

  • Lets her mom know she is scared of the clown by using her words and backing away to protect herself.

  • Masters her fear by using Mom as a resource, and by watching the clown pop up several times and seeing that it isn’t dangerous. This experience gives her the confidence that she can handle challenging situations.

  • Eventually solves the problem of how to cope with her fear by suggesting that the clown go to sleep.

What Lynette does:

  • Coaches Haley on how to make the pop-up toy work, rather than doing it for her. This builds Haley’s confidence that she is a good problem-solver.

  • When Haley says she’s scared, rather than just putting the toy away, mom helps her cope with this fear. She engages Haley in a discussion about the clown—touching it to show that it doesn’t hurt—and suggests they close it and try to make it pop up again.

Think About How Your Child Is Learning These Skills

Think about how your baby is developing self-confidence through her everyday interactions with you:

  • How do you know when your child is feeling good about himself?

  • What kinds of activities or interactions make him feel confident?

  • What do you think makes him feel a lack of confidence? Why? What can you do to help him feel better able to tackle this challenge?

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