Is a healthy and happy child always a confident child? Not always.
Some children can be as healthy and happy as can be at home, but when they venture out into social situations they shrink into themselves and become shy and passive.
If you want your child to succeed in life and to do the very best they can in tough situations they might face, you need to do everything you can do to boost their self confidence and help them believe in their own ability.
Let’s be honest, life can be hard for kids. School isn’t always rosy and bright, and some children can be cruel. Kids are bullied, called named and ridiculed simply for wearing the wrong trainers, but focusing on confidence gives them the ability to overcome problems. Of course, we’re not suggesting that children should have to be confident in order to overcome bullying issues, but the fact remains that a confident child is far less likely to be bulled than a child who is seen as a ‘target’. Giving your child the strength and confidence within themselves will allow them to overcome problems with far less trouble than a child who is lacking in self confidence overall.
In addition to anything else, a confident child is a child who believes they can do anything, and that’s what we all want our child to think! This type of child is likely to go out there, grab life by the shoulders, shake it and get what they want out of it. How is that a bad thing?
Of course, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, but with a little help, you can ensure that your child is a happy and confident child, without straying over into the arrogant side of life.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, let’s check out a few step by step things you can try to boost the confidence of your child. What you need to realise however is that you may not see results overnight; confidence is a snowball effect, something which cumulates from baby steps into huge effects. Give it time, persevere and support your child, and before you know, you’ll see those beaming lights of confidence on the horizon.
You might think this is a ridiculous suggestion, because of course you love your child, but not all parents show it outwardly. It’s vital that your child feels loved, wanted, and accepted as the person they are. When a comes from a solid and loving background, they’re far more likely to continue the effects into their adolescence and beyond. They will choose positive children to make friends with, they will then make positive relationship choices when they are older, and they will know what not to look for in people around them.
Of course the love you have for your child is totally unconditional, without a doubt, but make sure that you are showing this on a consistent basis. Every child does silly things occasionally and it’s vital that you show discipline, but after everything has calmed down, hug your child and explain that you still love them very much, but that they need to learn that what they didn’t isn’t acceptable. By doing that, you’re showing love but ensuring that your child knows right from wrong. This is the single best way to build a strong foundation towards a confident child and confident future.
Children love it when you tell them “well done”! They feel like they’re walking on air; think back to when you were a child and a teacher told you that you’d done a good job – you probably felt like you were about to float from the ground!
When your child does something positive, give them the praise they deserve and give them positive feedback to boost their confidence. It’s far better to focus on the positives in life than the negatives, so avoid telling them what they’re doing wrong all the time and instead tell them what they’re doing right.
Having said that, don’t give too much praise when it’s not necessary; save it for when it’s required to ensure that you child doesn’t build up illusions of grandeur. When they do well, tell them they’ve done well. If they’re not so great at a particular skill, tell them that it’s fine that it’s not their forte, because something else is. Children need to know that they can’t be fantastic at everything and that it’s okay to be less talented in one area and more talented in another.
Children are dreamers by nature; when they start a new hobby or start to learn a new subject at school, they assume they’re going to be the best ever. A child who starts to play football assumes they’re going to captain their national team when they’re older, but having unrealistic expectations isn’t always useful.
Sure, it’s important to let your child dream and to have high hopes, but hopes which are truly unrealistic are damaging. With this in mind, help your child seat goals which are achievable for them, and make sure that these are individualised. If you have more than one child, you can’t set the same goal for both of them, because they’re both likely to be talented in different areas.
Start with small goals, and watch your child hit the target. When they do, give them praise, they’ll build their confidence, and then set another which is equally as achievable. This is far more sensible and confidence boosting than encouraging them to aim for the stars every single time; even the most talented people in the world miss occasionally!
One of the single biggest reasons for unconfident children is that they are used to hearing negative talk. As their parent, it’s your job to be a role model and that means avoiding negative self talk and setting an example of loving yourself and your body as it is.
For instance, as a mother, if yo ego around telling your daughter that you feel fat all the time and you need to go on a diet, she is going to assume that she needs to do the same. Children follow the lead of their caregiver. Instead, it is far more helpful to not even mention weight and to instead focus on positive traits, such as wanting to do good deeds for other people, or a talent in making people laugh.
Forging a positive environment will help your child to develop a positive mindset, and when a child is positive, they’re bound to be confident and happier as a result.
Not even the most successful athlete on the planet wins all the time. The most intelligent scientists doesn’t prove their own theory time and time again. Nobody can succeed 100% of the time, and failure is part and parcel of life.
If you teach your child that they need to succeed all the time, when they inevitably fail at something they’re going to feel terrible and have their confidence knocked. Instead, teach them the art of resilience and how to overcome failures and turn them into learning experiences. This helps them ask “how can I do that better next time?” Rather than vowing never to try again.
Teaching your child to keep on trying is vital if you want to raise a confident and resilient child in later life. A child who is encouraged to continue trying and not to give in will learn from every setback they experience.
A child who loves adventure and has a curious mind will naturally develop their confidence through the experiences they have. In this case, your child will face new things with a sense of adventure rather than fear. Of course, you’re going to need to supervise things occasionally, especially if your child is particularly young, but showing your child that they’re able to try new things and learn new skills is a great way to boost their confidence quite quickly. With every new thing they try, you are teaching them new skills.
In addition, taking your child out to explore new places will help to develop a sense of open-mindedness, whilst also possibly teaching them about new cultures. All of this boosts their confidence but also contributes towards their communication skills as they develop.
If your child has an interest in a certain thing, support it and encourage them to explore it further. For instance, if your child shows a real interest in painting, support it by showing them new techniques, teaching them about mixing colours, perhaps taking them to classes and workshops. By doing this, you’re building their confidence because they feel free to explore that new hobby without restriction.
A child who has their new interest and hobbies, pushed aside by their parents is more likely to rebel and do it anyway, or never pick up that hobby again. How do you know that the thing they’re now refusing to do wasn’t their true calling in life? Showing your support helps to boost their confidence and also gives them the ability to explore new skills and experiences.
We all know that children need routine and boundaries in order to develop and grow. This is something you need to set, but make sure that you’re consistent with your rules and your boundaries, and never bend them occasionally. By doing this you’re confusing your child. You should also make sure that your rules aren’t too restrictive or overly strict, because this will stop your child from naturally exploring their surroundings or hobbies which they might enjoy.
Make sure that everyone in the household respects the same boundaries and your partner also “sings from the same hymn” sheet. There is nothing worse than one parent setting a boundary and the other parent letting them bend the rules occasionally when they’re not around.
Your child knowing where they stand will give them confidence and a situation in which they can thrive and grow. When a child is uncertain of their boundaries they cannot move in any direction, stifling their progress and the development of their confidence. By being clear in their boundaries you’re giving them freedom to grow.
Building confidence in your child is about showing that you trust them, you love them, and that you support them and their interests. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can give them free rein with any interest they have, but if they develop a healthy interest, such as a sport or an art, showing an interest and helping them to develop will boost their own self confidence as well as their ability.
A confident child will go on to be a success in life, not only in terms of their career, but basically in their overall approach to life. They will approach situations with confidence because they are positive and happy in who they are, far less likely to be dragged down by minor inconveniences which occur throughout life.
As a parent or guardian, you can help to boost your child’s confidence in the many ways we’ve talked about above. Focusing on positivity and not negativity is the single best starting point, kicking out negative self talk and focusing on the things you can do well, rather than the things you can’t. Despite that, children also need to understand that failure is part of life, and something that everyone experiences from time to time. Approaching thees situations and viewing them as a learning opportunity is far better than becoming bogged down by the problem and allowing it to beat them. Let them see these apparent failures as a challenge and encourage tenacity to overcome them!