It is so important to instill a healthy self-image and self-confidence in our children. There are too many children growing up not having enough confidence in their abilities. Self doubt and low self-confidence can lead to many other issues while growing up and in to adulthood. Your confidence in your self affects not only how you respond to other people but even your abilities in school and work.
How To Boost Your Child’s Confidence
Here are some tips on how to boost your child’s confidence:
- Love them unconditionally: Love your child without any strings attached. They need to know you love them for who they are, regardless of strengths, difficulties, temperament, or abilities.
- Be attentive with your child: When your child is talking to you, give them child your full attention. Make eye contact with your child so that he or she knows what they have to say is important to you. In today’s world, it is so easy to get distracted with the iPhone, iPad, Smart Phone and computer checking email and social media. Setting all that aside for just a few moments to give your child your full attention can make a huge difference in their self-worth.
- Allow them to test their independence: This may mean the first time they get dressed on their own, the first time they make a sandwich or even do a craft. Allow them to do these activities without correction or being critiqued. Being proud of your child’s accomplishments, even if they are not how you would necessarily do it, builds your child’s confidence in themselves and makes them want to take on new challenges.
- Do not do comparisons: Comparing your child’s weaknesses with the strengths of siblings, friends and family only brings on feelings of shame, envy, and competition. Appreciating your child for who they are, good and bad, will show that you appreciate them for who they are.
- Give your child responsibilities: Children as young as a toddler can be given small responsibilities such as helping to set the table, picking up after themselves and putting their dirty laundry in the hamper. Giving your child responsibilities helps them to feel more value.
- Provide encouragement: Tell your child that you believe in them and that you recognize their effort. Encouragement recognizes effort and not achievement. For instance, for a child who is struggling with a math problem you may want to try saying something like “I can see how hard you are working on that problem, you almost have it!” Instead of saying “Not like that. Let me do it.”
You want to be careful with how much praise you dish out. Too much praise can put a lot of pressure on a child to perform and feel they may not be able to live up to your standards. Saying something to the effect “You are the best player on the team” instead of “wow, you were really hustling” will reward the task and not the person.
Going lightly on the praise while offering encouragement whenever possible will help your child grow in his or her self-confidence.
I was compensated for this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and ACT Kids blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.