Self-confidence comes from a sense of competence.
A confident child needs a positive and realistic perception of his or her abilities.
This arises out of achievements, great and small. Your encouraging words can help develop this confidence, especially when you refer to your child’s specific abilities or efforts.
Here are some basic tips to help build self-confidence in your child:
Love your child
This seems like a no brainer, but it’s probably the most important thing you can give your child. Even if you do it imperfectly—and who doesn’t right?—always dole out plenty of love. Your child needs to feel accepted and loved, beginning with the family and extending to other groups such as friends, schoolmates, and community. If you yell or ignore or make some other parenting mistake, give your child a hug and tell them that you are sorry and you love them.
Unconditional love builds a strong foundation for confidence.
Creating memories that last a lifetime.
What type of memories are you helping to create for your little one’s. We now know through neuroscience,that where a child’s attention goes a connection will grow. Are you creating memories that will help your child feel great about themselves or are you shaming them into doing what you want them to do? What they learn at a young age will be imprinted in their minds for their lifetime.
So are you helping them develop the necessary skills to build lasting confidence or are you taking it away via the way you are treating them.
Here is a quick example of how your child as already amazed you with their confidence, when a child is about 1 years old they generally start to learn how to walk, no matter how many times they fall down they get back up that many times as well until they reach their goals.
What is the fondest memory that you have of your parents? Why do you remember that? Now take a quick look back what’s the worst memory you have? That’s what we do when we are with our kids I know you remember the good and the bad, how did that shape your opinion of the world?
Our job as parents are to create loving memories that will last a lifetime. What you can do is to create a Memories Competition where each day you are trying to beat the previous days.
We all have good days and bad days, but our child’s confidence will build on the positives and how they will be able to deal with the negatives.
Give praise where praise is due.
It’s important to give your child praise and positive feedback because children—especially young ones—measure their worth and achievements by what you think. But be realistic in your praise. If a child fails at something or shows no talent at a particular skill, praise the effort, but don’t unrealistically praise the results.
Reassure your child that it’s OK not to be able to do everything perfectly. Tell him that some things take repeated effort and practice—and sometimes it’s OK to move on after you’ve given your best effort.
Help your child set realistic goals.
When your child is starting out in soccer, it’s fine for her to think she’ll eventually be on the Olympic team. But if she fails to make the varsity team in high school and still thinks she’s an Olympic-caliber player, then she needs to focus on more realistic goals. Guide your child to set reasonable goals to help avoid feelings of failure. If the goal is a stretch, discuss some reachable short-term steps along the path.
Model self-love and positive self-talk.
You must love yourself before you can teach your child to love him or herself. You can model this behavior by rewarding and praising yourself when you do well. Whether you run a marathon, get a promotion at work or throw a successful dinner party, celebrate your successes with your children. Talk about the skills and talents and efforts needed for you to achieve those accomplishments. In the same conversation, you can remind your child of the skills he or she possesses and how they can be developed and used.
No one succeeds at everything all the time. There will be setbacks and failures, criticism and pain. Use these hurdles as learning experiences rather than dwelling on the events as failures or disappointments. The old adage, “Try, try, try again,” has merit, especially in teaching kids not to give up. But, it’s also important to validate your child’s feelings rather than saying, “Oh, just cheer up,” or, “You shouldn’t feel so bad.” This helps children learn to trust their feelings and feel comfortable sharing them.
Children will learn that setbacks are a normal part of life and can be managed. If your child does poorly on a test, don’t smother him with pity or tell him that he’ll never be a good reader. Instead, talk about what steps he can take to do better next time. When he does succeed, he/she will take pride in his accomplishment.
Set rules and be consistent.
Children are more confident when they know who is in charge and what to expect. Even if your child thinks your rules are too strict, she will have confidence in what she can and can’t do when you set rules and enforce them consistently. Every household will have different rules, and they will change over time based on your child’s age. Whatever your household rules, be clear on what is important in your family. Learning and following rules gives children a sense of security and confidence.
As children get older they may have more input on rules and responsibilities. But, it’s important to remember that you are the parent—not a best friend. Someday when your child is feeling peer pressure, he or she may appreciate having the foundation and confidence to say, “No, I can’t do that.”
Coach relationship skills.
Confidence in relationships is key to your child’s self-confidence. The most important initial relationship is the loving parent-child relationship. But as your child’s social circle expands, you will help them see how their actions affect others—and help them to learn to maintain an inner core of confidence when someone else’s actions affect them.
As a parent, it’s not your role to “FIX” every situation, but rather to teach your child the compassion, kindness, self-assertiveness and, yes, the Confidence to handle the ups and downs of relationships within their life today and for their future.
I hope the above tips have helped you gain the Confidence to guide your child to be the best version that they can be on a daily basis, remember that to build lasting Confidence you must teach them through competence.
Now go out and enjoy your child, and remember that the days might be long but the years are truly short.
Thank you for reading and “Make it a Great Day!”