Children who lack confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others. This could lead to problems in functioning later in life. For this reason it is important to instil a healthy confidence in our children. Here are 7 effective ways to do this:
1. Allow your child to make decisions for themselves
Competence builds confidence. If you’re always making decisions on behalf of your child they will not learn to trust their own decisions. They need to realise they CAN make the right choices for themselves.
2. Show an interest in what they do.
Pay attention to what your children find interesting and talk to them about. This lets them know that their interests are valid and important. This will help children feel more comfortable expressing their interests outside of the home and feeling secure in those interests. Interests build a sense of identity in children.
3. Encourage practice and curiosity.
Treat mistakes as building blocks for learning. Children need to learn to take setbacks in their stride. Encourage your children to ask questions. Don’t make them feel silly for those questions. Encourage them to make an attempt even if they are not perfect. No one is born knowing how to do anything. Everything takes practice. Praise efforf and gently guide them in the right direction instead of criticising them.
4. Be sure to show affection.
Children also require attention and affection from their parents if they are to develop healthy self-esteem. There are many ways love can be expressed. Some children feel loved with verbal reassurance. Others with cuddles and kisses. Discover how your child feels most loved and implement that in your relationship with them.
5. Have an approachable and open attitude.
Let your children know it is safe for them to come to you about anything. This will make them feel secure with the knowledge that there is someone there to support them when they may need it. Be open to trying methods that work best for your child. There is no one way fits all for building confidence.
6. Be sure to have clear boundaries.
Modelling healthy boundaries with your children will encourage them to do the same with others in the future. People with healthy boundaries know that they have a right to protect and take care of themselves. This will give them the confidence to be assertive about their needs.
7. Love them for who they are not what they do.
The way our kids believe we see them has a profound impact on the way they see themselves. Let your child know they are loved even when they are not doing great things. This allows your child to gain confidence in things other than their achievements. It lets them know they have worth just as they are.
8. Build confidence in yourself.
Lastly, children learn a lot from what they see. If they see you model confident behaviours they will likely follow suit. On the other hand, a mother that often complains of her weight gain will produce a child that sees weight gain as a negative and will come to be insecure about that in themselves. Learn to love yourself and try not to vocalise your insecurities to your child as they will take on those insecurities too. Acknowledge some of your achievements in front of your child. Get your child to acknowledge when they have done well too!