How to build confidence in your child

Happiness, success and healthy habits are qualities we want in our children. But do you know the underlying trick to get there? Building their confidence. While insult and injury are part of life and can be crippling, a child with healthy self confidence is more likely to be resilient, an individual, and not follow the group.

A confident child will be less vulnerable to emotional problems, attempting suicide or harming him or herself. When you are confident, you know your strengths and weaknesses, and you understand that you can learn from other people rather than feel threatened by them.

We have 7 simple ways you can teach your child to be a confident and kind person. It might be a small start - teaching kids to be independent thinkers and respectful of others - but one that can hopefully have a positive impact on all of us.

1. Model Acceptance

You are entitled to your own opinion, but when you demean a certain group of people - by how much money they have, what they look like, their sexual orientation – you're simply preaching hate to your kid. Even mentioning something small about an outfit choice or intelligence level can stick with a child.

A confident child is more likely to feel compassion for others and not belittle those who are different from them. Still, your son might worry that if he stands up for a classmate when kids are talking nasty, he might be the next victim. Instead of intervening, tell your child to report the behaviour to a teacher and then ask the student to play with him. Confident children don't necessarily tell off bullies, but they choose to include the underdog.

2. Teach Good Manners

It might seem old fashioned, but knowing how to properly address a person, shake hands or even set a table can give your child a kick start to building self confidence. Having good manners helps you feel good about yourself because you know how to treat others with respect and carry yourself in the world. It helps a child to develop the qualities of a leader.

Work on good posture. It not only makes a child feel confident, but provides a visual clue to all of the other kids that he is confident. Another trick? Eye contact. It's the basis of a self-confident child. To start, put aside your phone and give your child your undivided attention. Being fully present is key to good manners. And remember, kids are watching and listening to you. Say "Thank you" to the cashier in the supermarket and shake hands when you meet someone.

3. Give Genuine Compliments

Avoid meaningless flattery. When parents give praise that is not accurate, the child will pick it up. Don't say your daughter is a wonderful tennis player if she's not. You need to get specific with your accolades. Tell her you are proud that she works hard at always improving her game and how she takes direction from her coach. You not only give her a genuine compliment that reinforces her confidence, but you're sharing your values: persistence and respect.

4. Set Kids up to Succeed

You can't push your kid to try activities you have selected because you think it will make a well-rounded child. When you play to a child's natural abilities, her hard work and success fosters confidence. When a child excels in an activity outside school he will go back to school with the confidence to know it's okay if he doesn't fit into the school blueprint of success.

5. Help them Trust Themselves

Parents generally want to make life easy for their kids. It's only natural to want to protect them, but it's not healthy to always forge the path. In fact, constantly running to the rescue could send the message to your child that he or she is not a capable person.

Part of building confidence is learning how to cope with all types of situations. Don't jump to problem solving, just listen and try to understand. And when they make a choice that goes awry, help them review the outcome and figure out why it was a mistake. Otherwise your children will remain dependent on you and they won’t become confident in their decision making.

A good idea is to start small. Allow your toddler to choose her own clothes in the morning. She might go off to the playground in a flower-print skirt and rainbow sweater, but she will feel confident in her choice.

6. Assign Household Jobs

The trick is to take your child's strengths and interests in consideration and bestow a job that allows him to feel useful and successful. When a child accomplishes something, he or she feels confident. If your child is a good organiser,  ask her to help unpack the groceries or sort the pantry. If being outside makes them happy, ask your child to help water the garden. Make sure to point out why you asked your child to handle this responsibility – because she's tidy or a nature lover.

7. Open Your Home to Friends

Opening your home to your childrens’ friends will help you understand the other influences on your child's confidence. You are not the only person influencing your kid’s self confidence but you are the most powerful. You must build the foundation of their self confidence, but peers, teachers, the media will also influence them.  Having kids feel comfy in your home will allow you to see if your child is choosing friends that support his identity.



Back to Articles
Other Articles