Confidence plays a very important role in a child’s life. If a child (or adult) does not feel comfortable with who they are, they will either withdraw socially by becoming emotionally smaller or seek to become emotionally bigger by boosting themselves.
On the other hand, if a child has self-worth, he will be less likely to fall prey to peer pressure. Having self-worth means we don’t constantly seek the approval of others in order to be okay with who we are.
Build your child’s confidence with these 12 steps:
- Talk to your child. Ask him questions and let him know he is worthy of love. Encourage him to express what he is feeling, and don’t dismiss these feelings – acknowledge them and offer support if necessary.
- Give your child age-appropriate responsibilities around the home. This will let him know that you trust him to fulfil these duties and gives him the esteem-boosting reward of having completed a task.
- Create a sense of security with routine – do what you say you will do when you say you will do it.
- Give your child some quality time each day. Even half an hour uninterrupted, one on one time lets your child know that you value him, that you enjoy his company, and that he is worthy of your time.
- Work on your self-esteem issues. The best example you can be for your child is by radiating fulfilment and a worth of self.
- Be authentic. You can’t expect your child to develop trust if you, his primary caregiver, can’t be trusted. Don’t sneak out of the house without telling your child you are leaving; doing so creates fear, insecurity, and a lack of trust.
- Reflect positively on your child’s accomplishments. Have a felt board in his room where you can put up his paintings, certificates or medals etc.
- Encourage your child to find sports and skills where he can excel. Every child has something they can do that enhances their self-confidence.
- Don’t compare your child with siblings and friends. Each child develops at a different pace and each child has different talents.
- Encourage social interaction. Invite friends around, encourage play with other family members – it all helps boost a healthy sense of self.
- Avoid hours in front of the TV and computer – it does little to encourage social interaction.
- Let your child know that you trust him. Show you have confidence in his abilities and support him through any failures.
By Ann Gadd
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