As adults, we know what confidence can do for us. If you feel confident, you become more competent, your self-esteem blossoms, and you feel more happy and secure. So, imagine what confidence can do to your kids! Confidence and self-esteem are founding stones of your child’s happiness and success as an adult. A child who is insecure or does not feel good about himself/herself is more likely to grow up into adult with an inferiority complex.
What Can Parents Do To Instill Confidence In Children?
Confidence is your child’s passport to a great life ahead. It will help him sail through life challenges, get along with others in life in a confident way. Children who are raised having poor self-worth turn out to be adults who cannot take decisions and feel less valued than others. How a person values himself, performs in life, handles difficult situations, etc. all stems from self-confidence of a person.
The good news is there is plenty you can do to help your child become confident. Here are some of the tips that will work wonders to boost your child’s self-image:
12 Tips To Help Your Child To Raise His Confidence
- Coach, not control: Do not do things for your child. That will not help them in the long term. Instead, if you support your child as she does things that will boost her confidence. Do not be a helicopter parent!
- More carrots, less sticks: Offer praise for a job well done. More you praise, more competent they feel. Even if your child fails, try to praise the efforts (“That was tough – but you did your best. That’s what matters.”). However, use punishments only when absolutely necessary. Usually, ignoring a bad behavior works much better than creating a scene. In fact, shouting at a child in public and/or spanking are known to deplete his/her confidence level and self-image
- Do not over-praise: While praising is necessary to build confidence, overpraising can do more harm than good. If you shower them with praise 24×7, they will either think they are perfect (which is a difficult standard to live up to) or they will think that you are praising only to cover up their weaknesses (especially true for older kids)
- Push gently: Your child solved a 15 piece jigsaw puzzle? Awesome. Do not yet buy that 100 piece puzzle yet! But a 30 piece one and when your child has mastered that, buy a 50 piece one and so on. Giving them extremely tasks will only position them for failure, thereby depleting their confidence. Do not set them up for failure
- Improve, not perfect: Do not look for perfection. Look for improvement. Continuous improvement is achievable and key to success. Perfection is an unrealistic goal
- Develop a can-do attitude: Tell your child that there is nothing that is truly impossible. “I know it is very difficult to do this. But let us give it a try and practice till we get it right”
- Set right expectations: Children flourish when others expect them to flourish. They fail when others expect them to fail. So you need to be positive, and expect your child to succeed. You also need to communicate your confidence in your child’s ability clearly to him. That said, be realistic. “Performing well in exams” or “Getting A1 in all subjects” is a realistic expectation. “Getting 100/100 for all subject” is an unrealistic and unfair expectation to force on your child (remember, do not set him up for failure)
- Accept your mistakes: This is one way to let them know that perfection is not possible. You make mistakes too. It is okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them and not repeat them. The idea is to make “new mistakes”!
- Let them take risks: It is difficult to be competent in this world if you are very risk averse. So it is important that your child does not continue doing only those things where they are confident they will do well. It is important to push boundaries and take healthy risks. Get a toddler to carry a tray full of glasses with juice. Get your school-going child to compete in a new sport. Get your teenager to apply for a public speaking internship. And if they fail, help them clean up their own mess
- Let them choose: When they think they can make their own choices and decisions (age appropriate ones, of course), they feel empowered and this strengthens their confidence. This holds good for their interests too. If they are passionate about something, let them follow it. Encourage them with full heart. Do not try to make them follow your passions
- Do not label them: This goes without saying. Never insult them. Never call them names. Never make them feel small
- Show unconditional love: Tell them you love them. Always. When they know that your love is unconditional and is not dependent on their successes and failures, they will flourish