Tips to foster self-confidence within children
As kids get older, confidence can be as important as the skills themselves. To thrive, kids need to trust in their capabilities while, at the same time, knowing that they can handle it if they aren’t successful at something. It’s by experiencing mastery and rebounding from failure that they develop healthy self-confidence.
Having confidence as parents can improve your overall effectiveness as well as your wellbeing. The education landscape shifts or you find you need to make changes to your parenting practice. Unfortunately, kids can be quick to spot a lack of confidence in parents as well. Everyone needs a confidence boost from time to time, whether you’re a new parent or have been indulged in parenting for years, especially when you meet new challenges.
It’s great for a kid when someone else gives him/her a pat on the back and an instant confidence boost, but you can’t depend on others to keep the child feeling confident. You are responsible for developing and nurturing the kid’s self-confidence.
Preschoolers have a clearer understanding of who they are and how they fit into the world they know. They learn self-confidence in stages through developing their sense of trust, independence, and initiative. They develop their self-confidence in mostly physical ways, by comparing their appearance to that of other children, such as height, size, agility, and abilities.
Top 10 ways to boost self-confidence in kids
Here are some ways in which we can set kids up to feel capable and get the most out of their skills and talents.
1. Be confident yourself: Even if you’re not quite feeling it, seeing you tackle new tasks with optimism and lots of preparation sets a good example for kids. That doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be perfect. Do acknowledge your anxiety, but don’t focus on its focus on the positive things you are doing to get ready.
2. Few Mistakes are Okay: Help kids see that everyone makes mistakes and the important thing is to learn from them, not dwell on them. Confident people don’t let fear of failure get in their way, not because they’re sure they would not ever fail, but because they know how to take setbacks in stride.
3. Try to indulge them with new things: Instead of focusing all their energy on what they already know, it is good for kids to diversify. Attaining new skills makes kids feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way.
4. Failing isn’t a worry: It’s natural to want to protect kids from failure, but trial and error are how kids learn, and falling short on a goal helps kids find out that it’s not fatal. It can also spur kids to greater effort, which will serve them well as adults.
5. Praise their perseverance: Learning not to give up at the first frustration or bail after one setback is an important life skill. Confidence and self-esteem are not about succeeding at everything all the time, they’re about being resilient enough to keep trying, and not be distressed if you’re not the best.
6. Let them search for their passion: You can help kids develop a sense of identity, which is essential to building confidence. Of course, seeing their talents grow will also give a huge boost to their self-esteem. They can excel in that passion in a preschool as well.
7. Appreciate the efforts: Praising kids for their accomplishments is great, but it’s also important to let them know you’re proud of their efforts regardless of the outcome. It takes hard work to develop new skills, and results aren’t always immediate. Let kids know you value the work they’re doing, especially when they’re toddlers building with blocks.
8. Enroll them in some tasks: They might complain, but kids feel more connected and valued when they’re counted on to do age-appropriate jobs, from picking up toys to doing dishes to picking up younger siblings from a play date. Preschools always address kids according to their age and capabilities.
9. Accept imperfection: As grown-ups, we know perfection is unrealistic, and kids need to get that message as early as possible. Help kids see that whether it’s on TV, in a magazine, or on a friend’s social media feed, the idea that others are always happy, successful, and perfectly dressed is a fantasy and a destructive one. Instead, remind them that being less than perfect is humanly and okay.
10. Give them an idea of success: Challenges are good for kids, but they should also have opportunities where they can be sure to find success. Help your child get involved with activities that make him feel comfortable and confident enough to tackle a bigger challenge.