Here are seven practices that I use with my son that you can easily utilize to build your child’s confidence.
Self-confidence is integral to the growth and development of every child and can be developed from as early as infancy. A confident, self-assured child will be better equipped to handle peer pressure, embrace failures, and trust in their own capabilities.
A confident child is more likely to grow into a successful adult. Self-confidence allows you to accept failure and use it as a stepping stone to success. By instilling a positive self-concept in your child from a young age, they will be more likely to stand up for themselves and others, make friends easily, and work toward achieving their goals.
Confidence is born in an environment where a child feels safe, encouraged, loved, and accepted. The setting, people, and content that a child is exposed to all have a significant impact on self-esteem and self-perception. Therefore, in order to raise a confident child, as parents and guardians we are charged to pour love and positivity into the lives of our children.
I’m going to share with you seven practices that I use with my son that you can easily utilize to build your child’s confidence, including:
- Teaching your child to be independent
- Offering only honest praise
- Avoiding criticism and comparison
- Helping your child identify and foster their strengths
- Accepting and learning from failure and mistakes
- Teaching them to practice positive self-talk
- Being a good role model
1. Teach Your Child to Be Independent
Teaching a child to be independent is an excellent way of building their self-confidence. Confident people aren’t afraid to venture out on their own. When a child realizes that they’re able to do things on their own, it gives them a sense of pride in their accomplishments. It also shows them that you trust them to do things well.
From a young age, it’s important to assign age-appropriate tasks that a child can perform with little to no assistance. Whether it’s simply picking up their toys, brushing their hair, or picking out their clothes for the day, allowing your child to recognize that they are trusted with responsibilities positively impacts their self-esteem.
2. Give Your Child Honest Praise
Encouragement is vital to building confidence in your child. Sometimes a word of encouragement from a parent is exactly what a child needs to give them that confidence boost. However, sometimes as parents, we tend to be overly enthusiastic in our praise, and children can see right through that. Therefore, it’s important to always provide your child with honest praise.
If your child didn’t do well but you are excitedly encouraging them and telling them how amazing they were, it will do more harm than good. That child will walk away from the conversation feeling as though you weren’t being honest because they know deep down that they didn’t do their best. It can be more damaging to a child to feel like they didn’t do well but the people around them are refusing to address that fact.
Instead of celebrating your child as though they’ve succeeded regardless of how they’ve performed, just be honest. Try congratulating them on their hard work, applaud them for trying, and encourage them that they will do better next time.
3. Remove Critical Words From Your Vocabulary
Harsh words and criticism can be so damaging to a child’s confidence, especially when it’s coming from someone the child trusts. When you speak negatively to or about your child, they eventually start to believe the things that you say about them. Many adults can still vividly recall the negative things that were said to them by their parents during their childhood.
Criticism is necessary in order for a child to learn and understand where they’ve gone wrong, but ensure to eliminate any harsh or triggering words when speaking to your child.
For example, if you struggle with a child who just can’t seem to keep their room tidy, instead of saying that they’re “lazy” or “messy,” you could try encouraging your child to take pride in their things and their space.
4. Help Your Child to Develop Their Strengths
Success is an amazing confidence booster. Observe your child and take note of the things that they are good at and allow them the opportunity to explore and develop those skills. This will encourage your child to be open to learning new things and showing off their talents.
It’s also important that children are able to find joy and satisfaction in what they do. Often, as parents, when we recognize that a child is gifted in a certain field, we get so excited that we mistakenly take the fun out of it for our kids. Instead, we should encourage them to have fun and enjoy themselves while developing their talent. By doing so, you remove the pressure and allow them to feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.
5. Allow Kids to Fail and Don't Get Upset About Mistakes
As parents, we hate to see our kids fail. Our instincts are to rush to their side and help them as much as humanly possible in order to shield them from the bitter sting of failure. But, as much as we want them to succeed, we must realize that failure is part of the process.
In order to be successful, children must learn to fail. I know that may sound contradictory, but it’s through our failures that we are able to recognize what works and what doesn’t; essentially, it teaches us how to succeed. By shielding your child from failure, you could inadvertently raise a child who refuses to try anything new out of fear of failure.
While we are allowing our children to fail, it’s important that we pay close attention to the way we react when a mistake has been made. It’s a fine line that we must tread where we teach our children where they’ve gone wrong while also ensuring that they understand that everyone makes mistakes.
The next time your child makes a mistake, instead of being disappointed or upset, try having a conversation with your child about it. Ask them how they think the mistake could have been avoided and what they could have done instead. This allows the child to develop the ability to analyze and learn from their mistakes. End the conversation by encouraging your child and instilling confidence in them that they will do better next time the situation arises.
6. Teach Them to Practice Positive Self-Talk
Positive self-talk or affirmations are encouraging statements that you speak to yourself and speak over your life. This is something that even some adults struggle with. If you begin encouraging your child to incorporate this practice into their daily life from a young age, this will be second nature to them.
A person who is confident has a positive perception of themself; this can be easily cultivated through affirmations. When faced with a difficulty, many people’s immediate statement or thought is ‘I can’t do this.’ However, if you teach your child from a young age to speak positivity into their life, their approach will be the complete opposite.
No matter how encouraging and supportive of a parent you may be, you need to teach your child to encourage themself because you aren’t always going to be around to do it for them. Simple statements such as, ‘I can do this,’ ‘I can handle this,’ and ‘I can figure this out’ should become a part of your child’s vocabulary.
7. Be a Good Role Model
Children learn from what they see. If you are encouraging your child to be confident, to believe in themself, and to practice positive self-talk but you aren’t putting these things into practice in your daily life, they’ll notice. The best way to teach your child to be confident is by being confident as well.
When a child has a good role model in their life, they want to pattern after what they see that individual doing. Show your child that you don’t fuss over mistakes and failures; show them that you speak positive and kind words to yourself and others. Be the type of person that you want your child to grow up to become.
In conclusion, raising a confident child doesn’t have to be a difficult or time consuming task, you only need to create an environment that allows that child to grow up believing in themself. You have to teach them to be independent, hone their skills, and practice positive self-talk. Always praise your child honestly and remove harsh criticism from your language. As your child learns and grows, allow them to make and embrace their mistakes along the way.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Sherelle Timothy