Nine ways to boost your child’s confidence

Encourage a happy, self-assured and outgoing personality with these quick tips on boosting your child's belief in themselves

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It’s only natural that as parents you want to install confidence in your kids. Confident children believe in themselves and feel good about themselves – and are therefore able to face new challenges without fear – an essential factor for a happy and fulfilling life.

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Self-confidence originates from a perception of competence — or, to put it more simply, children develop confidence not because family and friends praise them, but because of their own accomplishments. They feel proud of what they can do. Kids need to trust in their own capabilities while, at the same time, knowing that they can handle it if they aren’t successful at something. This self-esteem helps kids cope with mistakes and helps them want to try again.

Although each child is different, there are a few general guidelines you can follow to build your kids’ confidence. Your encouraging words can help develop this confidence, especially when you refer to your child’s specific efforts or abilities.

Nine ways to boost your child’s confidence

  • Give them your Attention

Not only does this boost your child’s feelings of self-worth by sending the message that you think they’re important and valuable. If you child wants to talk stop what you are doing (if you can) and make eye contact so it’s clear that you’re really listening to what they’re saying. Whats the saying? ‘If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.’

  • Show Pride in your Child

Display your child’s drawings or schoolwork around your home and speak highly of them to others. Let kids know you value the work they’re doing, whether they’re toddlers stacking blocks or teenagers teaching themselves to play the piano.

  • Provide Encouragement Often

Acknowledge their hard work, encourage them and support them in a positivite way. The difference between encouragement and praise is one rewards the person while the other rewards the task. Praise can make a child feel that that they’re only worthwhile if they do something flawlessly. Encouragement, on the other hand, acknowledges the effort.

  • Attend School Activities

Show an interest in your child’s school plays, nativities and sports days. This tells your child that his or her special events are also important to you. Show up and cheer them on.

  • Support their many Interests

Whether your child loves to paint, run or sing, support other creations and talents outside of school too. But, do encourage them to try new things. Instead of focusing all their energy on what they already excel at, it’s good for kids to diversify. Attaining new skills makes kids feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way.

  • Offer your Child Choices

Let your child choose activities you can do together, such as reading a story, playing a game, or just having a chat. Do this daily and tell them how much you enjoy it. And, let them make decisions. When your child gets the chance to make choices from a young age, they gain confidence in their own good judgment.

  • Provide them with Small Jobs

Children need opportunities to display their skills and feel that their contribution is valued. At home, this means asking them to help with household chores such as tidying up toys, setting the table or even doing the dishes. When a child accomplishes a task, they feel confident.

  • Recall Successes

Talk about your child’s triumphs, especially at moments of low confidence. It will help install self-value. Remind them of times when they didn’t give up or tried really hard despite the odds.

  • Show them your Love

Simple, but true. Let your child know you love them no matter what. Win or lose the football game, good grades or bad in maths. Even when you’re mad at them. Make sure your child knows you love them. That you think they are great just as they are and not only when they do great things. The will bolster their self worth even when they not feeling good about themselves.

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JUNIOR RECOMMENDS: Read our round-up of  The Best Children’s Journals to help develop Confidence, Gratitude and Happiness