How to help your child build their self-confidence

In today’s society bullying and peer pressure have increased in intensity and frequency. Not to mention that bullies tend to find new and harmful ways to break our children down and try to destroy their confidence.

All children face hard times, and it’s a parents job to help equip them with enough confidence to survive and thrive in the world today.

Here’s how you can help build self-confidence in your child:

Show them you love them

Love is the top most important thing you can give your child. The feeling of love and being accepted needs to start with family; the feeling then needs to extend through to other groups such as friends, classmates and their teammates in sports or clubs.

There will be times when you get mad and end up yelling at your child. At times like this you need to give your child a hug and let them know that even though you yelled at them you still love them and that you are sorry.

Discovering unconditional love will be the perfect foundation for your child’s confidence.

Positive feedback is important

Children like knowing that any good work they do will be rewarded and met with praise. When your child learns new things or has a positive achievement make sure to let them know how proud you are of them and that they have done a good job.

In instances where your child fails at something make sure to praise their effort in trying the task. Don’t praise them unrealistically; let them know that it is alright not to be good at everything.

Teach them that practice and repeat effort can help them improve at tasks they are having difficulty with. Though you should also let them know that its fine to move on from the task after giving in the effort to try it.

Work together to set realistic goals

When your child takes on a task of joins their first sports team, it’s perfectly fine to let them believe that they will eventually become the best or end up in the Olympics. However if your child has problems qualifying and still thinks they are the best you need to work together to create more realistic goals.

If their goals seem to be a little far-fetched, discuss some short-term goals that are within reach that will help them along their path.

Teach them to love themselves

Promote self-love within your child as much as possible. Your child needs to see that you love yourself before they can love themselves.

Model this behaviour by praising your own efforts and giving yourself a reward when you do well. Celebrate any success you experience in your life with your children and make them feel included in your celebrations.

Talk about the skills you used and the effort you put in in order to achieve what you have and encourage your children by reminding them about their own set of skills and how they can be developed and used for their own future success.

Teach them to get back up again

Failure is something that everyone has to face in life. Success doesn’t always happen on the first try and kids need to be prepared to properly handle this truth.

Make any failures, criticisms and pain that they experience tools that can be used to teach your child instead of having them dwell on it. While it is important to teach your child to keep trying and not to give up easily, you also need to validate your child’s own feelings.

This will help your child trust their own feelings and be more comfortable sharing them in the future. They will learn that setbacks are just a part of life and can be dealt with. Don’t smother them with pity or put them down about their failures, instead talk about steps they can take to improve and do better in the future.

Encourage independence and adventure

Trying things without fear or the worry of failure is something every self-confident child possesses. Set up situations and things that your child can accomplish by themselves. Make sure to supervise and keep the area safe while also staying at a distance.

Get them comfortable with exploring new and interesting places outside. Trips during the day, outings and trips with classmates or teammates will expand your child’s horizons, increase their confidence and teach them how to handle new situations.

Encourage their passions

It’s great when your child discovers something they excel at, and as a parent you want to respect and encourage their interest. Its fine if your child has an interest that you yourself are not interested in, as long as you praise your child when they accomplish something during their pursuits.

Make sure that this does not cut into school work and any of their responsibilities at home though.

Set rules and guidelines

Confidence can build in your child once they have a grip on who is in charge and what they can expect in their homes. Make sure you set and enforce your rules consistently so that your child will have confidence with what they can or can’t do.

Every house is different, and rules will change as your child grows older. As they learnt to follow the rules they will develop confidence and a sense of security. The older they get the more input they will have on your rules.

Keep the line between being a parent and a friend separate when it comes to your rules. There will be times when your child is under the influence of peer pressure and will ask you to bend the rules, you need to keep your consistency and be able to say ‘no’ at times like this.

Help them develop relationship skills

When it comes to your child’s self-confidence developing relationships with others and creating confidence with this is key. A parent-child relationship is very important, but your child must also be able to expand their social circles and see how their actions will affect others.

Teach your child to keep their inner core of confidence when they are affected by the actions of others. You cannot fix everything, but it is important to teach your child compassion, kindness and assertiveness so that they can handle the ups and downs of relationships.

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Kids Connection was successfully launched in March 2006 by Wendy Beaufort for distribution to parents and teachers in the local Port Elizabeth market. The comprehensive directory for young families from newborn to 12 years, was born because, Wendy, a mom of three, understood the importance of having detailed information related to children that is aimed at assisting young families spend less time PLANNING and more time PLAYING….READ MORE