Every parent dreams of seeing their children grow into happy adults. Confident and satisfied children give parents the comfort that they have performed their responsibilities with efficacy.
Over the years, I’ve observed that parents may not put it in exactly this way, but they’re all striving, first and foremost, to help their children become “strong enough to face adversity” and “become happy, satisfied, and accomplished” individuals.
If children lack confidence, they will always fear failure, avoid trying new things, and eventually grow unhappy with their lives. So, the key to seeing your children become contented individuals is to help them become confident.
The importance of self-confidence in children
Self-confidence entails a positive attitude and an optimistic mindset about your talents and skills. This positive attitude indicates that:
- You understand your strengths and weaknesses well.
- You set realistic goals for yourself and work hard to pursue your dreams.
- You can communicate your thoughts convincingly and assertively.
- You can cope with adversities and failures and have your life in control.
Why do children lack confidence?
Are you concerned that your kid isn’t that confident? There can be many underlying reasons for your child’s low confidence level.
Let us explore the more prevalent factors affecting a child’s confidence.
- Change in the environment: Starting at a new school or moving to a new area can shake a child’s confidence for a while because a new environment holds new challenges coupled with fear of the unknown.
- Negative self-image: If a child keeps on experiencing rejection, humiliation, or criticism by parents, grandparents, siblings, peers, or teachers, this can create a negative self-image in the mind of the child. Children with a negative self-image tend to have low confidence and low self-esteem.
- Overprotection: As parents, we all want to shield our children from harm and negative influences. It is natural, but your being overprotective and over-anxious can stifle your child’s confidence.
- Chronic health issues: Children with chronic physical and mental health issues tend to have low confidence.
- Exposure to childhood abuse: Exposure to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse can have long-term effects on the psychological wellbeing of the child, leading to lower self-confidence.
- Negative role models: If parents, caregivers, and other significant family members model low self-esteem and subdued confidence levels, it can interfere with the child’s development into a confident adult.
- Lack of opportunities to explore the world: Children who don’t get ample opportunities to travel, explore, create, initiate, and take decisions on their own always hesitate to take risks and fear failure.
Ways to build confidence in a child
You need to adjust your parenting style to an optimistic-futuristic mode and help your child transform into a confident, happy person day by day.
Here are some practical strategies for raising a confident child.
1. Give warmth and love
Parenting starts from the very first day you hold your baby. I strongly believe that children who receive warmth, love, attachment, and care as babies transform into happy toddlers. The same is true for every stage of development.
Let your children feel the unconditional positive regard you have for them as persons.
2. Be hopeful and optimistic
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.—Helen Keller
In order to persevere and achieve, children need to have dreams and aspirations. Always give children a hopeful and optimistic perspective on life. It will enable them to work hard for their goals and enjoy their journey.
When an optimistic perspective is ingrained in them, temporary adversities will not disturb them. They will feel more confident when faced with failure or defeat.
3. Model confident behavior
Young children follow the behaviors of their parents and significant family members. Let them observe you tackling new challenges and tasks with confidence and optimism. Having you as such a role model, they will gradually learn to face challenges and novel situations with confidence.
4. Project self-efficacy
As parents, you need to feel confident about your own parenting practices. Mothers with psychologically more stable personalities and higher self-efficacy tend to have more positive relationships with their kids.
It’s essential that you take care of your mental wellbeing and surround yourself with supportive family members and friends. Remember, a healthy mother-child relationship increases the probability of the child becoming more confident and independent in life.
5. Discover their special talents
You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.—Rosalynn Carter
Special talents and abilities provide children with a platform to express themselves and develop a positive self-image. Help your children explore and polish their talents, such as dancing, painting, or sports.
6. Use appreciation mindfully
Appreciating your child for every small step or criticizing every small mistake are both extremes when it comes to parenting.
Use your appreciation mindfully so your child understands its worth and significance. At the same time, avoid criticism; instead, discuss how things can be improved.
7. Ensure your child is healthy
It is confidence in our bodies and minds that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.—Oprah
8. Appreciate efforts
Encourage your children in their efforts to achieve a specific goal. Let them understand that making honest and determined efforts is more important than the end result.
9. Encourage them to try new things
A kid who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others.— Carl Pickhardt
Encourage your children from a very early age to try out new things. Let them develop a habit of enjoying the thrill of plunging into new realms.
10. Protect them from toxic people
Shield your kids from negative influences and toxic company. Avoid exposing your very young children to family members and friends who have sadistic tendencies and enjoy hurting others, be it physically or emotionally.
Take foolproof measures to safeguard your kids from any type of abuse. The scars of childhood abuse brand minds and souls for life.
11. Involve them in community work
Encourage your children and teens to embrace community work. Dropping meals at a nursing home, planting trees in the neighborhood, and visiting an orphanage with sweets are all activities that make them feel worthy as they support others. Involvement in community work also helps children develop gratitude and empathy.
12. Give them responsibilities
Give your children responsibilities by assigning them home chores. The youngster who helps mom with setting the table or making the bed will feel confident and accomplished.
Confidence is acquired, not inherited. There is no simple recipe for raising confident children; it is a long journey of positive parenting. The good news is that you can play a key role in leading your child towards a confident and contented life. Stay positive and be CONFIDENT.
- The Lion Inside: A bestselling story by Rachel Bright about confidence, self-esteem, and a shy little mouse that sets out on a journey to find his roar.
- Raising Independent, Self-Confident Kids: Child development experts Wendy L. Moss, Ph.D., and Donald A. Moses, MD, explain how parents can help their children become confident adults by developing key skills.
- Kid Confidence: Written by licensed clinical psychologist Eileen Kennedy Moore, this book offers evidence-based parenting strategies to help kids develop relationships, competences, and confidence.
- Brain Stages: How to Raise Smart, Confident Kids and Have Fun Doing It: Patricia Wilkinson and Jacqueline Frischknecht, Ph.D., provide tools that will boost your child’s social skills, brainpower, and confidence.