Confidence is a critical aspect of leading a healthy, productive life. It is a key to boost your kid’s confidence from childhood itself. Insult and injury are inevitable in life. However, children with high self confidence levels are more resilient and come through tougher times in life stronger than ever. The following details six simple ways that parents can build self confidence in kids.
Practice what you preach
Children who are surrounded by adults lacking self-confidence have a much harder time boosting their own self confidence. Make yourself a role model, to show the skills and attitudes that you want your kids to exhibit. For example, maybe a child is reluctant to try a new food because he’s not sure how it’ll taste. Eat some of the food first and offer specific comments about what you like about it.
Teach good manners
Kids build self-confidence by learning how to treat other people with respect. For example, when a child feels comfortable introducing himself to new people, he may have the confidence to join a sports team or scouting troop and attend the first practice or meeting. These skills are extremely vital in helping kids to go on and take leadership positions in such organizations in the future. An important aspect of this posture and eye contact, these can go a long way towards making a good first impression and building self-confidence as well. Model these behaviors when you interact with your child and with other kids and adults.
Offer positive feedback
When you praise kids every time they do something good, they learn to tune out the comments. On the flip side, it’s also not helpful to give kids false praise. If your daughter is not a strong basketball player, don’t tell her that she’s great at it. Conflicting remarks leave kids confused and unsure what they should and shouldn’t believe from adults. Choose your feedback with care, providing constructive criticism when needed. Even though your daughter isn’t the best player in her basketball team, maybe she had a great practice today where she worked hard and demonstrated that she’s a true team player. It is important to recognize these attributes, and help your child better cope with the real world.
Set them up for success
Pushing children into activities that are well beyond their means or simply aren’t things that they enjoy is always synonymous with disaster. There is nothing wrong with giving kids a challenge or encouraging them to try something new. However, you don’t want to put a child in a position where it’s inevitable that he or she will fail. Play to a child’s natural abilities and hard work. The success that your child has will fuel his or her confidence.
Help your kid in every way that you can, so that they don’t have to struggle or get upset or frustrated. Trying to intervene when a child doesn’t make it into the top reading group at school or isn’t invited to a neighborhood birthday party may seem like the right thing to do, but it doesn’t do your kid any favors. Children need to learn that failure is all right and that there is nothing wrong with feeling anxious, sad or angry sometimes. Overcoming obstacles on their own instead of having adults solve them all the time helps them learn to take risks.
Encourage personal interests
Expose kids to a wide range of activities to increase their chances of finding something that they’re good at. Take an interest in these pursuits yourself, for example, if your daughter can’t get enough of horses these days, help her look for horse books when you go to the library or attend a local horse show together.
When a kid has a passion and can feel proud about his knowledge or skills with that particular interest, he is more likely to achieve success in other areas. Even if the interest is a little unusual, a strong knowledge base or impressive skill set may win over peers at school. For example, maybe if your son loves to draw and most of his classmates are into football, encourage him to draw pictures of football that the kids can talk about at school.
At First School, we would like to see how our parents and other caregivers are helping their kids boost for their morale. Please share your insight and experiences with us!
Dorothy Hastings is the Director of First School, which are three preschool and child care centers located throughout Southern California. First School provides a hands-on approach to preschool education and child care programs that emphasizes all around child development. In addition to their intuitive academic approach, First School also focuses on developing a child’s social skills and self-confidence, which is made possible in their intimate learning atmosphere.