Self-confidence is an essential element of one’s physical, emotional, mental and psychological well-being – irrespective of one’s age and gender. It is one of the cornerstones of your child’s self-image, self-worth, social interactions and general disposition in life. After all, how and what your child thinks of themselves, determines how they act in life. And you, as parents, are the source of your child’s self-confidence. Why is it important for children to have good self-confidence?
A confident child knows how to celebrate life, strive for more, learn from mistakes and failures, and overcome challenges. They build and nurture relationships without prejudices. They aim higher every time they succeed and are competent. Children who are raised as confident individuals, are comfortable with their appearance, financial status and social standing. In a nutshell, good self-worth determines how your child values themselves, behave in a social setting, fare in their educations, at jobs and in their career overall, relate in institutions such as marriage, and perform at all stages in life. Children raised with self-confidence become parents who raise children with self-confidence. How do you build confidence in kids?
As parents, exposing your child to positive experiences and helping them work through the negative ones, becomes vital to their growth as confident and secure individuals. Below are some ways in which you can provide your child appropriate support, protection and independence to help them develop positive self-worth and develop competence to face life’s umpteen challenges:
Support in their pursuit of passion:
While education is key to brighter future career prospects, supporting your child in pursuing their hidden dreams and passions is equally important. Your love, understanding and support in taking on the world, going against the tide, and pursuing something unique at a young age will help your child blossom into a confident and mature young adult.
Praise when they deserve it:
Praise and positive feedback work wonders for your child’s learning abilities. Driving competence does an even better job! Children measure their achievements and self-worth by what you think of them – so praising and encouraging them regularly is a must. However, if your child fails at a task, providing constructive and specific feedback makes them competent and value honest feedback, at a young age. Channel your praises and criticism towards your child’s efforts, and not necessarily towards the outcome.
Let them make decisions:
Self-confident children are adventurous. They try new things without a fear of failure. This confidence stems from your support and guidance, not spoon-feeding and controlling. Help them understand the implications and consequences of their decisions. But, allow them to choose, to make their own decisions. Let them take risks and solve problems. Keep a close watch, albeit, from the sidelines. Assure your children that you have their backs.
Identify their special skills and encourage:
Once your child is dextrally and mentally capable, enroll them in a hobby class – a hobby they show a natural inclination to pursue. It could be music – vocals or learning to play an instrument, dance, a sport, painting or anything unique. You can sure pick up small, tacit cues on your child’s likes and dislikes, and special skills, if you pay keen attention. Observe, support and encourage. Help your child understand the importance of sticking through what they start – to fully understand the value of accomplishment at the end!
Give them responsibility:
Entrusting your child with responsibility makes them feel accountable, valuable. It makes them believe that they are an equal contributor in your house and outside. To ensure this, the easiest approach is to involve and engage them in simple household chores such as setting the table, making their beds, helping you fold clothes, or even baby sit their little sibling for a while.
Teach positive self-talk:
Your child learns more from your actions than merely your words. Hence, adopting positive self-talk as a habit is important in modelling the right behavior to your child. Stop yourself from bringing up negative experiences, berating yourself or your child, blaming yourself or your spouse for mistakes, and calling each other names. Instead talk about positive experiences and great outcomes of hard work, diligence and sincere efforts. Keep your language clean. Let your words inspire and usher positivity into your child’s life.
Encourage sports or other physical activities:
Sure enough, sports is a great confidence-booster – for girls and boys alike. It helps teach realistic goal setting, instill sportsmanship, understand strengths and weaknesses, handle defeat, and respect for each other’s’ bodies. Children develop their circle of friends and learn teamwork through sports and other physical activities. And who doesn’t want to imbibe discipline and the power of concentration in their children?
Teach your child how to do certain things, the right way. However, allow them to try different things, independently. Permit them to go on field trips, take daytrips and outings with schoolmates, under supervised conditions. Let them take on simple DIY projects, independently, and encourage them to complete them. Let them pack their own bags, arrange their own stuff, and learn to carve out a schedule for themselves.
Help when children struggle or fail:
Observe when your child struggles – struggles with grades, learning a sport or a hobby, job or projects. Offer a much-needed other perspective and help them set realistic goals. Carve out a step-by-step plan to help your child achieve goals and reach milestones. Encourage along the way.
Give them wings and they will fly. Provide them with opportunities for success!