It’s what every parent wishes to know - how can we raise our children to be confident in themselves and capable of taking their place in the world. We know it’s our role as parents to raise healthy, confident, happy children; fully equipped to take on all that life may throw at them. But how exactly do we do that? Parenting advice shifts dramatically over time, and everyone has a different opinion on it. However, there are some sure fire ways to raise a self-confident child.
5 Things You Can Do To Build Self-Confidence
Lead By Example
Model self-confidence to your children, even if it means pretending a little. Be confident in your ability to tackle new challenges and experiences. Take a can-do approach to tasks and stay positive about your ability to cope, as much as possible. When you’re a positive role-model to your children, you provide an example of how to be confident. The best way to teach your children to be a self-confident child is to be sure of themselves, is to be sure of yourself first.
Say Yes Often
Embrace new activities and say yes as often as possible. This opens up new opportunities for learning, meeting new people, and facing new challenges. All of which help to build confidence in our ability to adapt and deal with the unfamiliar.
It’s so important that you acknowledge the positive attitudes and efforts displayed by your children. Good self-esteem comes from our beliefs about ourselves. When you encourage and praise character, rather than achievement, your children learn they are valuable, and that their worth isn’t dependent upon performance or productivity.
Invest In Interests
Listen to your kids interests and follow their passions. Invest time and available resources into those things that excite them. They’ll probably find like-minded peers, establish friendships, develop new skills, and feel a sense of belonging. It also provides a chance to discover the contentment that comes from spending time on things you love; boosting a sense of self-identity.
Work On Goals
It’s good to dream and have aspirations - it provides kids with a sense of purpose and direction. Establishing goals with your children, and teaching them how to break them down into manageable steps, is a life skill. The process itself will also improve self-belief, as they accomplish their goals step-by-step. Sticking to goals that take time also encourages perseverance and patience; both great character traits to foster, which in turn also bolster feel-good sentiments about themselves.
5 Things To Avoid For Self-Confidence
We all want to help our kids out, but doing everything for them while shying away from asking them to take responsibility, will not serve their self-confidence. Ask your kids to be in charge of certain jobs around the house, or give them the responsibility to contribute in some way to your family unit. This gives your kids a sense of ownership and shows them you trust them. They’ll feel important and capable. Believe in their ability, and they’ll believe in themselves too.
Obviously getting things right, and doing things well, brings self-confidence. But never allowing failures is counterproductive; failure is a necessary part of self-belief. Hard lessons and mistakes are great lessons, they promote perseverance and build resilience. In the long-term this can help confidence too, as your kids realise their failures did not break them. They’ll be less afraid of failing in the future, and more willing to start new adventures.
Perfection is never a good or healthy goal. Social media, television and advertising like to promote perfection, but it sets people up to feel inadequate. It’s important that you provide a counter perspective for your children. Discuss these issues and the lack of reality presented through screens. Likewise, don’t strive for perfection in your own endeavors, your kids will notice and think that's what matters. Nobody is perfect and that's absolutely ok. Let your children know who they are, imperfections and all, are accepted.
While confidence is built through tackling new challenges, it’s also felt by consistently managing easier tasks. Don’t ask your kids to constantly be ambitious, or let them think that’s the only way to be a self-confident child. Provide plenty of fun and easy opportunities to develop their skills and realise their potential.
Never withhold love from your kids. No matter how disappointed you are, how bad the grades are or how poor the behaviour may be, always show them love and acceptance. Let them know your love for them and their self-worth, is not dependent on their performance. When they fall down in some way, tell them you love them and provide them with encouragement just as much, if not more, than when they succeed.
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