As adults, we are fully aware of how important confidence is. And as most of us will also know, building up that confidence and positive self-esteem starts early in childhood. Parents and teachers are partly responsible for helping them develop a healthy relationship with their self-worth.
After all, confident children are more likely to:
- Try new activities,
- Put more effort into their tasks,
- Better cope with their mistakes,
- Become confident, resilient adults.
In this article, we'll give you a few tips on what you can do as a parent to boost your children's confidence and self-esteem.
1. Create age-appropriate challenges
Give kids a chance to learn – even if they need a few tries. Creating age-appropriate challenges can help them develop confidence in trying new things and dealing with mistakes. Help them learn how to perform each task, and don't create challenges that are too easy or too difficult – this should help them feel more useful, responsible, and competent.
These tasks can vary depending on the child's age. It can be anything from helping take care of a pet, cooking and setting up the table, watering plants, or simply dressing themselves.
2. Call them by their name
A simple and effective way to make children feel acknowledged and important: call them by their name. Make friendly eye contact and do this when praising them, too – and not only telling them off.
3. Avoid making comparisons
Comparisons can make children doubt themselves, leading to diminished confidence in the long run. Statements like 'Why can't you behave like X' or 'Look at X person' can give them the impression they don't meet your expectations.
4. Help them discover what their passions are
Everyone has their favourite topics, and dedicating time to the activities we are passionate about is healthy for our self-esteem and confidence. When children find out what they love and are good at, they can become more confident in themselves – and their abilities.
Help your kids try different activities and create opportunities for them to discover what naturally interests them. Supporting them in exploring what they love will do wonders for their self-esteem. And with that in mind, the next tip will come naturally.
5. Encourage them to develop new skills
If your children lack confidence, they might avoid trying new activities or facing challenges altogether, preventing them from finding out what they are passionate about. Trying new things and developing new skills confidently will ensure that they are ready to tackle more significant obstacles in the future.
6. Support them through their fear of failure
Fear of failing usually means that our confidence is compromised. It also prevents children from trying their best, keeping them from reaching their full potential.
To help them overcome their fear of failure, remind them that mistakes are a crucial part of the learning process. Point out that we can't succeed without a few setbacks along the way.
7. Lead by example
A tip that rarely gets old: lead by example. By improving your own confidence, trying new things, and focusing on what you also love, you are inspiring your children to mimic your behaviour. On the same note, watch how you react to your own mistakes and setbacks – what kind of message are you giving them?
We hope you have enjoyed our tips to make your child's upbringing more supportive of their self-esteem and confidence. Don't forget that fairy tales can play a huge part in sending a positive message during your kids' development.
All photos from Unsplash.