Building confidence in your children is extremely important for many reasons. Confidence is important to their happiness, success, and their overall well-being.
It’s so much more than them feeling good about themselves, it is also about them believing in themselves and what they can accomplish. A child without confidence won’t reach their goals or try for their dream job. Instead, they will sit on the sidelines and take what they can get. And I don’t know about you, but I want to raise my child to go for their dreams. I want them to believe they can have whatever they are willing to work for. I want them to have the world.
And the thing is, building confidence in your child isn’t as daunting as it seems. There are simple habits that will help you to reach that goal. Here are 12 ways to boost your child’s confidence.
1. Set small weekly goals.
Each week, especially with older kids who understand, sit down and ask them what is important to them. Some weeks, this might be their math test, and others, it may be their accelerated reading goal or even just finishing their favorite game. Whatever it is, write their goals down. Keep them simple and achievable (but not too easy.) And encourage them to make a plan to help them get there. When they reach their goal, mark it off or highlight it for them to see it and feel a sense of completion.
2. Give them ‘special tasks.’
Give your child age-appropriate special tasks. An example of this might be getting your 10-year-old to write out the shopping list as you call it out. Or, getting your toddler to wipe down the coffee table as you cheer them on.
3. Model confidence.
You cannot expect your child to be confident if you aren’t. If you have problems with being confident, now is a good time to work on those, so you can set a good example.
4. Allow them to fail.
As a parent, it might seem counterproductive to let your child fail. However, to see that failure is not the end of the world and also to learn that you can learn from failure, they need to experience it. So, step to the side and let them learn through failure from time to time.
5. Don’t make a big deal out of mistakes.
When they make a mistake, don’t make a huge ordeal out of it. Let them make their mistake, explain what went wrong, and move forward. If you make a big deal out of mistakes, they are going to be terrified of trying anything.
6. Engage in positive self-talk.
Encourage them to participate in positive self-talk. If you hear them speaking negatively about themselves, re-navigate their self-talk in a more positive direction. For example, they might say, “I can’t do it. I’m not smart enough,” you could counter with, “That’s not true, you have been making all a’s and b’s and doing a great job at everything you try. No one is perfect when they first start, you are going to get better. You are smart enough. You’ve got this.”
7. Push them outside of their comfort zone.
Another thing that might be tempting is to keep them in their comfort zone. But, there is no growth there. So, instead, push them a little bit at a time to get out of their comfort zone. Do it slowly, you don’t want to shock them. But little by little, they will learn that just outside of their comfort zone is where they want to be.
8. Ask for their opinion.
Ask them for their opinion about things. You might ask what they thought about the new furniture you are looking at, or what they would cook for dinner if it was up to them. When you ask them about small things for their opinion, they can see that you value their opinion.
9. Give them chores.
This is another thing that you need to be age-appropriate about, but it’s important to give your child chores. Giving them a set of chores to do each week will give them something to be responsible over, and in turn, will build confidence.
10. Help them find their thing.
Pay attention to your child, what they enjoy and what they are good at. Help them to find their thing and once they find it- encourage them to get better and better.
11. Embrace imperfection.
Let them know that perfection is impossible. Do this by embracing imperfection and letting them know how important it is to have flaws.
12. Praise their efforts.
Don’t reward their talent or praise sheer talent, instead, experts say to praise their efforts. For example, if they passed their test – don’t say, “Oh wow, you are so gifted,” instead, say, “You worked hard and studied for your test and made a great score. I am so proud of you!”