You may not have been the most confident person when growing up and that’s perfectly okay. But, that probably means you know exactly how essential it is to build self-confidence and a high self-esteem in your children.
Small moments throughout the day can provide perfect opportunities for your child to practice building their confidence levels. The more positive praise and positive self-talk you can provide for your child, the more likely your child will be able to tackle difficult situations, and have the confidence to try new things.
A confident child is a child who is proud of their abilities and is willing to try new things. Children with positive self-esteem are more capable of dealing with frustrating situations and managing difficult scenarios. Here are 5 ways to boost your child’s confidence:
1. Give your child the opportunity for small accomplishments
Try giving your child opportunities throughout the day to feel accomplished and successful. For example, you might ask your child to complete age appropriate tasks, such as setting the table, putting their clean clothes away, choosing their next meal, choosing which play activity they do, putting away the groceries etc. These small accomplishments help your child to see that they make a difference to their household and that their choices matter.
2. Listen to your child’s interests
Observe your child and pay attention to their interests. Whenever possible, try to encourage your child’s interests and motivate them to try new things. For example, if your child enjoys reading, you might encourage them to try book clubs or weekend library visits. If they enjoy horse riding, get them lessons for that.
Their confidence will blossom when they understand that they can tackle and excel at new activities.
3. Encourage them
Encouragement goes a long way when developing your child’s confidence. When offering positive feedback to your child, be sure to use specific statements such as, “you must be proud of yourself with all the hard work you put in” or “you just kept trying and you figured it out on your own!” This specific feedback encourages your child to try new things, to develop a growth mind-set and to value his or her own accomplishments.
4. Model what it looks like to have confidence
Children learn from what they see, so one way to show them what it looks like to have confidence, is to model it for them. Show positivity towards the things you do each day, and model positive self-talk. For example, you might say, “This makes me a little nervous, but I know if I try hard enough, I can do it.” Even if self-esteem is something you struggle with, try to find times that you can model confidence for your child to observe.
5. Avoid harsh criticism and sarcasm.
Sometimes, we become highly critical of our children, expecting them to always behave and perform at the level we want them to. It is important to remember that what we say to our children can have a big impact on them and harsh messages can be damaging and overtime, they can cause children to have a negative view of themselves. Always explain to your child that you may dislike their behavior but you don’t dislike them.