Children develop self-confidence by realizing their own achievements and by hearing words of praise from their parents for specific efforts. Following these tips could help to raise a more confident child.
It takes confidence to be a child. From making new friends to playing new sport games, there are many unfamiliar territories for children to explore. In order to take on all these challenges, it is important that children feel good about themselves and, over time, learn to trust in their own abilities. The best way to help children feel good about themselves, and ultimately to build their confidence, is by recognizing their achievements.
Try the following general advice to improve your child’s confidence.
Recognize effort regardless of if it’s successful or unsuccessful
The psychologist Carl Pickhardt recommends appreciating a child’s efforts. So whether your child steals the ball successfully from the opponent in the basketball game or not, applaud their effort. Children should never be embarrassed of trying regardless of the outcome, otherwise they will become scared of failing or disappointing others.
Motivate children to practice to develop their skills further
Whether your child is interested in playing the piano or scoring goals, encourage them to practice. Practice is, essentially, investing effort into the positive expectation that improvement will follow at some point in the future, the psychologist explains. However, it is important that parents do not start to put too much pressure on their children in order to keep expectations in line.
Let children learn by solving problems themselves
It is better to encourage and support children as they attempt to tackle a difficult task and let them try to solve the problem on their own rather than figuring out the solution for them. As Pickhardt explains, when parents help children solve a question, it can impede self-confidence. It will be difficult for a child to develop problem-solving skills and build up the confidence to believe in their own ability when their parents do the work for them.
Encourage children to ask questions
It can get tiring when children ask endless streams of questions, but children should be able to ask as many questions as they have, as this helps them develop knowledge and take in new information. The British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ reported that children who ask curious questions have an advantage over their classmates, because they can learn better and faster by taking in the teacher’s information.
Increase children’s responsibilities by giving them new challenges
Build up a child’s confidence by showing them that they can accomplish goals in their life and that every small goal can build up to a bigger one. For instance, when a child is ready, parents can teach them to ride a bike without training wheels. A child’s confidence will rise automatically knowing that they met an increased responsibility and will try to engage with new challenges more easily.
Do not criticize them
It is absolutely fine to give useful feedback or making suggestions, but never criticize them. Children will be discouraged to try new things or be confident about something when their parents criticize them.
Encourage them to learn from mistakes
Treat mistakes as an opportunity to recover and learn from for the future. As Pickhard explains, learning from mistakes will build confidence and shows children that they do not have to fear failure. When children are able to make mistakes, they can learn how to better approach a situation the next time, by using advice from their parents and understanding what went wrong.
Expose children to new experiences
Opening the door for new experiences teaches children that no matter how different or new a situation is, and how unprepared they might be, they can conquer it and learn something new that may help them in the future.
Be a good role model
Set good examples for your kids and share your knowledge with them, by teaching them what you know about how to think, speak and act. Children will be more confident in their own abilities when they watch their parents succeed. This also includes the willingness to learn. When children see that their parents are excited about them learning, they will be too.
Teach them to live with setbacks
Life is a challenge and every child will have to learn to live with disappointment at some point. It is important for parents to teach their kids that setbacks are a major part of every road to success and that these experiences will increase resilience.
Praise courage to take on challenges
It’s important to applaud children when they take the initiative to try something new. Whether they want to go on their first roller coaster ride or learn a new language, comfort is always helpful to conquer a new challenge.