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When we think of all of the most important values to instill in our children, there are a few things that often come to mind. We want to raise happy kids, successful kids, or even healthy kids, but what about confidence?

Confidence is such a necessary trait to instill into a child for so many reasons. I would even argue that confidence is the backbone of so many other arguably important values and traits. For example, if your child is confident, they will find it easier to be successful. If they are confident, they will make friends easier. And if they are confident, they are going to be happy. But, how do you instill confidence in your child? Here are 12 ways to boost your child’s confidence.

1. Model self-acceptance.

Stow your inner critic while you are around your kids. Because children are like sponges, regardless of our intention, they pay attention to what we say and what we do. If you are constantly tearing yourself down, they are going to tear themselves down too.

2. Give them room to trust themselves.

For a child to feel confident, they need to have room to do things on their own. Your first instinct may be to do everything for them or to step on and take over. However, when you do, they will never learn to do anything or to trust in themselves.

3. Encourage them to find their thing.

Help them find their thing. Be on the lookout for what brings them joy and what they are naturally inclined to do. When you notice it, bring it up to them. “I’ve noticed you are so good at painting! How would you feel about taking a few classes or trying some new paints?”

4. Don’t make a huge deal about mistakes.

Children are humans, just like we are. When they make a mistake, don’t make a huge deal about it. It’s likely not the end of the world, and if you make a huge deal out of mistakes they are going to be terrified to try anything.

5. Allow them to fail.

Give them room to fail. Hear me out. Failure is how we learn. If you never fail, you never learn how to handle failure and later on, this skillset is going to come in handy.

6. Praise consistency.

Praise your child for consistency and effort, not just for their accomplishments. When you praise consistency and effort, you simultaneously encourage them to continue to put forth more effort, which will only pay off down the line.

7. Give them age-appropriate tasks.

Through each accomplishment, your child will gain confidence in themselves. An easy way to encourage this is to give them special tasks that are age-fitting. Examples of this might be making them your cooking assistant or allowing them to help you watch an older sibling.

8. Ask them for advice.

This is another one where age-appropriate is a big highlight, but asking your child for advice can boost their confidence. One example would be if you are picking out some furniture, you could ask them what they think about two comparisons. Or, if you are struggling with something at work, you could ask them what they think.

9. Teach them about goals

Teach your kids early about goal setting and how to set reachable goals. Work with them to come up with a goal and break the big goal down into smaller goals and then help them achieve it.