Self-confidence plays a crucial role in a person’s ability to lead a happy and fulfilling life. However, confidence is a trait that is developed over time. Confidence is intertwined with other core personalities, including self-esteem and perception of competence.
A confident child believes that he can accomplish tasks and overcome life’s challenges. He is not easily dissuaded by problems or by the negative feedback of his peers.
It is essential as parents to instill the value of self-confidence in children even at an early age. Praising children for their accomplishments have a tremendous positive impact in building their confidence. More importantly, parents should know how to protect and nurture self-confidence when children encounter failures.
Give praise where praise is due
As part of discipline, it is expected for parents to become critical of their child’s actions or behaviours. On the other hand, positive reinforcement through loving praises and encouragement can motivate the child to do better and exert more effort in areas where he is lacking.
As parents, we’re used to praising our children for their successes and accomplishments. But what about the times when they fail?
When a child fails, recognize that failure is a part of the process. Focus on what they did right and how they can improve next time. If you see your child did their best and tried hard — celebrate that no matter the end result.
Guide them to set realistic goals
In this modern age, children face huge expectations inside the home, school, and within the community. High expectations may often drive children to become competitive, but it can also damage their confidence.
Parents should take the lead in setting realistic goals. Use journals for kids to help them practice setting reasonable goals. Help your children realize that accomplishing small successes will eventually lead to huge victories. Teach them that success is not a destination but rather a journey.
Let them help around the house
The home is where children develop their personalities. The family should exemplify the values of diligence, camaraderie, honesty, and trustworthiness.
To develop their self-confidence, let your child help around the house. Assign simple tasks that they will likely be able to complete without your help.
Doing house chores is not only a great bonding experience for parents and siblings, but it also instills responsibility and a strong work ethic. When your child feels the family appreciates their contribution, it builds their confidence.
Some examples of household activities that children can do include setting the table, sweeping, dusting and vacuuming, washing the dishes, sorting the laundry, and gardening. Observe which activity your child shows the most interest in and then gradually increase their level of responsibility.
Independence is strongly related to self-confidence. A child who is confident about himself and his abilities develops independence. They are brave to take new risks and resilient enough to overcome hardships.
One way to help your child develop independence is to help them form their own opinions about things or events.
Develop a habit of asking your child what they think about events or ideas. Listen carefully. When you listen to your child, you are showing their opinions matter to you and that their ideas and thoughts are valuable.
Help them learn from failure
Parents normally feel wary and afraid that their child encounters a failure. Overprotective parents often try to shield their child from disappointments thinking that is good for their emotional health.
Unfortunately, preventing your child from experiencing failures firsthand will only deny them the opportunities to practice resilience.
Resist the temptation to do things for them all the time. Let them learn from failure, so they know the value of accountability.
Be a good role model
Children emulate what adults do and confidence is a culture that can thrive in the family.
It’s important that we watch how we talk about ourselves and others because children listen. Positive and encouraging self-talk can be modeled and it’s one of the best things we can do for our children.
When parents are kind, non-critical and forgiving to themselves, children are more likely to grow up the same way.
Encourage free play
Several studies have shown great benefits of free, undirected play. Free play encourages children to take risks. When kids take risks and overcome challenges during free play, they develop a sense of accomplishment that leads to higher confidence.
Free play also encourages children to develop skills that build self-confidence, such as conflict resolution, self-regulation, and imaginative play.
Coach relationship skills
Relationship skills stem from the quality of the parent-child bond. When a child has a deep and secure attachment to their parent, they develop a sense of trust and loyalty ‒ traits that are essential in building healthy adult relationships.
Also, a confident child feels happy and peaceful in their own company. They are secured in their love for themselves, which is magnified by the support they received from their loved ones.
Resilience is one of the key skills we can teach our children. Children, especially, are vulnerable to trauma caused by conflicts, violence, and bullying.
Teach your child to become resilient not only to surpass life’s challenges but also to protect his emotional and mental health.
Raising a confident child: wrapping up
Self-confident children are products of a healthy environment. However, your child must be equipped with values and traits to overcome difficulties.
Raising a confident child is not just about praising successes, but also turning disappointments into opportunities. Confident children are necessary to create a society that is peaceful and thriving.
Alexandra Eidens is the founder of Big Life Journal, an engaging resource to help kids develop a resilient growth mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence.