Developing Self Confidence In Kids
Self-confidence is an important factor in the life of anyone, young or old, and self-confidence begins at an early age, during childhood, when all of a person’s perception of themselves and the world around them begins. Parents play a vital role in the development of self confidence in children, and there are numerous ways in which they can give their child’s confidence a healthy and effective boost.
One of the most effective ways in boosting a child’s self confidence is with praise, and it should be given in limitless proportions. Whether it’s a good grade at school, a good job in cleaning his or her room, help with the dishes, or drawing a pretty picture, letting them know how great a job they did, and often, is the best and easiest way to give praise, and also a very effective way in starting the process of helping them build self-confidence.
Acknowledge the Little Things
The tiny things that kids do often go unnoticed by parents, whether that be picking up a toy and putting it away, or taking their dishes to the sink after dinner, but these little things need to be acknowledged. Letting the child know that you did notice the small deed, and that it’s great that they did it, is a step in the right direction towards building his or her self-confidence.
Pay Close Attention
When a child shows his parents something that he or she has made – a painting, craft project, or drawing – they are, in effect, seeking their parents approval and praise. Parents, who lead busy and filled lives, often glance at the child’s object, smile and nod, and send them on their way. While no offence is intended, this may not be how it is perceived from the child’s perspective. Paying closer attention to them on the other hand, and asking questions, complimenting, and even pinning up that picture or painting, is one way of instilling in them that they can, and have, done well, and that you are proud of them and their accomplishment, all of which are confidence boosters!
Award the Improvements, Big and Small
Not all improvements and accomplishments are enormous, but they are all important and deserving to the child, and should be treated so by their parents. Whether it’s a mark up on a report card, a better grade in an area where the child has been struggling, or a bigger effort in their sport of choice, all improvements and efforts should be noticed, acknowledged and awarding in some way. This could be a trip out for ice cream after the game, a special treat for the good grade, or even just a smile, hug, and a warm and sincere congratulations!
Practice Good Communication
Communication is key to a healthy relationship between a parent and child, and is also a contributing factor in helping them develop their self confidence. Parents should take the time to talk to their children, ask questions about their lives, their activities and school work, sports and interests, and any other topic that might be present to discuss. It is also very important to let the child lead the conversation, choose the topics they might want, or need, to talk about, and also be given the opportunity to ask questions, and be answered. Communication is a must in any relationship, and is particularly so in that of a parent and child.
Often kids need a little extra boost to get them moving in the right direction – to try out for a sports team, take part in a contest, speak up in class – and what better place for that boost, in the form of encouragement, to come from than from his or her parent. Encouraging your child to strive for their goals, go out on a limb, work hard for what he or she wants, and take risks when needed and appropriate, are all great ways to set them in the right direction to building a healthy level of self confidence.
Show Your Support
A parent encourages their child to try out for the hockey team, reassuring him that he is a great player, and finally he does, and makes the team effortlessly. So the parent’s job is done? Far from it! The most important thing any parent can do for their child, in not just helping them build self-confidence, but in helping them in so many other aspects of their personal development, is to support them in all of their endeavours. This could be a variety of things whether it’s going to their games, helping them practice after school, volunteering to car pool for practices, and then bringing along the refreshments for afterwards. No amount of support is too much!
Make Room for Failures, Mistakes, and Downfalls
No parent is perfect, and the same goes for children. They will, at times, make mistakes, have failures, and be disappointed in themselves. The best thing a parent can do in these situations is to let them have the room, and the freedom, while letting them know that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes, that no person can be perfect all the time, and that the way they are feeling will not last, and the parent is proud of them no matter what. Making room for these blunders will give them the freedom, and the confidence, to pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and get back on their feet again!
Two great books to consider when you are really wanting to make a difference in your own parenting styles to better your child’s self-confidence are Your Children Are Listening and The Happiest Kids in the World. The words you offer your children at a young age are what will stick with through out their life. In the book, Your Children are Listening, the author helps you understand just how important both the positive and negative words you say AND ABOUT your children will impact them. Sometimes, we stay far too busy. Sometimes, it is even a good kind of busy. In the Happiest Kids in the World, the author hepls you understand how the Dutch raise their children offers so much happiness. What do they do and NOT do with their children that is making them the happiest kids in the world?
Parents all want what’s best for their child, and want them to grow up to be independent, happy, and successful adults. The steps to accomplishing this starts during their childhood, and helping them to become self-confident kids will in turn, years from now, result in self-confident adults.