Confidence is key for accepting and loving yourself. Children who experience confidence will most likely grow up into confident adults. Confidence is not something you are born with and it has to be developed over time, making it important to build up your child’s confidence. This can be done throughout the day with very little extra time or energy. Therefore, we created a list of 10 ways you can start building and encouraging your child’s confidence.
- Give lots of Attention. Throughout the day, it can be hard to give your child undistracted attention. You may be cooking meals, answering phone calls, cleaning, folding clothes, and anything else parents have to do. It’s all too easy to put your child in front of the TV or give them a coloring book to doodle in while you get your work done. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with this (we know how much work parents have), it is also important to “give your child your undivided attention.” Find a time where you can sit on the floor and play with your child. Show them that they are important and that you do have time to just “be in the moment” with them. They will feel valued and important which will boost their confidence.
- Give Encouragement. Children need encouragement, especially children with special needs. Life is hard and it is even harder if you don’t have someone constantly supporting you. Providing encouragement will give a child the confidence to keep going and to keep trying to succeed at whatever the task might be. You aren’t rewarding the task when providing encouragement, you are rewarding the person. You are showing your child that you support and believe in them. Doing this can only increase their confidence because they know they have someone rooting for them.
- Provide little Responsibilities. Giving your child responsibilities will make them feel important and needed. It is important to pick tasks that your child is capable of handling. For example, your toddler could pick up the toys before bedtime or your older child could perhaps be in charge of asking other family members what they would like to drink with dinner. Having a little task to do will make the child feel useful and help increase their confidence.
- Don’t stop Failure. We all learn from our failures and so do children. Interfering with every little task to maintain success can only inhibit your child when they actually do fail. Also, you should allow the child to feel disappointed when failing. This will help your child understand emotions and develop skills to handle them. When children realize that failing is a part of life, they won’t lose confidence every time something goes wrong and they will learn to maintain and build confidence through failure and success.
- Be Optimistic. Going off of the last tip, it is critical to be more positive and help your child be more optimistic also. Your child will not always succeed and in order to keep their confidence in tact, be positive about the situation and help them figure out how to improve or fix a certain situation. Don’t just say kind words, take it a step further and make a plan with the child that will help them succeed the next time. This will help them be confident about their skills and know that there is always room for improvement.
- Don’t Label or Dismiss Feelings. Feelings are what make us human and making a child feel ridiculous for feeling a certain way can destroy their confidence. Don’t tell a child not to cry. Understand why they are crying and have a conversation about that. Talk about the child’s feelings and make sure they know it’s normal to feel a certain way from time to time. A child who has parents that understand and support their feelings can be more confident.
- Following Interests. A child is going to take confidence in something they are interested in and enjoy doing. You can also take interest in that hobby and give encouragement to your child. You could use the hobby to help the child connect with their peers. You could find a club for those children to join or even create one about that hobby. It is important to show you support the interest in order to keep the child’s confidence about it.
- Realistic Goals. Setting goals can be a huge confidence builder for your child. You have to make sure they are realistic and that your child could actually complete them. Perhaps it could be a physical therapy goal or a school related goal. Once you do this, encourage and support your child throughout the process of reaching for the goal. They will gain confidence throughout the process and feel proud when they complete the goal.
- Lead by Example. You can’t expect your child to be confident if you don’t act confident. They see and feed off of you so it is crucial to demonstrate confidence and love to yourself. Praise yourself when you do something great or reach one of your own goals. They will see you being an example and learn to grow more confidence by you.
- Unconditional Love. Show and tell your child that you love them all the time. Only offering praise and love when they do something good can lead to them to think you only love them when they do something good. You need to show and tell them that you love them even when they fail. This can boost their confidence because they know you support and love them no matter what.
There are many small things you can do throughout the day to increase your child’s confidence. Giving them undivided attention and following their interest are just two easy examples. Your child’s confidence will expand into adulthood so helping them build it is critical. These tips can be included in the day-to-day life and we hope they help you help your child’s confidence grow. If you have any ways that can help build a child’s confidence, please submit them through a comment.