So it’s only natural for us to want to try and build self-confidence in our children. But how do we do it?
Well, we’ve pulled together what we think are the top 10 ‘easy to follow’ tips and ideas to help you to boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem.
1. Encourage a positive mindset
Try to encourage your child to be positive in the things they say and the way they think (and you should try to do this too)! If they say “I can’t” do something, show them alternative ways that they could try to do it or you could help them to prove that they can!
Reminding them of things that they achieved in the past – especially things that they thought they couldn’t do – helps to build their confidence and encourages a “can do” attitude.
2. Set Weekly Goals
Try setting small, achievable goals for your child each week. It could be simple goals such as finishing a reading book, cleaning their bedroom, doing 60 skips in one minute etc.
Alternatively, it could be a longer-term goal such as improving their SAT’s level in maths by the end of a school term.
Whatever the goals, they should be achievable and you could create a short list of them. Your child will gain a real sense of accomplishment when they’ve achieved them and can tick them off the list. All helping to build their confidence and desire to achieve in the future.
3. Encourage them to help others
It’s amazing how self-confidence can grow when we do selfless things.
Encourage your child to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return. This could even be set as part of the weekly goals above.
It could be something as simple as telephoning a Grandparent to ask how they are, helping a friend if they are struggling with something at school, making some cakes for a neighbour etc.
Doing selfless things to make others feel good will do wonders for their own self-confidence in return.
It sounds obvious but having a healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep can really make your child feel better about themselves.
Eating well and exercising boosts endorphins – the body’s natural ”feel good” chemicals. This makes them feel better on the inside and can stimulate a more positive mood.
You could try dancing, a bike ride or a game of tig but whatever it is will help your child’s self-confidence.
You could use our Routine Printable and make sure your child finds time for regular exercise
5. Push them outside of their comfort zone
Set your child a real challenge – something that is safe but you know is outside of their comfort zone (unlike the little achievable goals in tip number 2).
This is when the real growth starts.
Ideally it would be something that could make them feel a little uncomfortable – maybe putting their hand up in class if they normally try to avoid it, playing a musical instrument in front of an audience, presenting in an assembly etc. Encourage them to ‘ have a go ‘ and once they have done it they realise that they ‘can’.
Pushing past their boundaries helps them to realise that they can achieve something that they never thought was possible and builds self confidence in the process.
6. Ask them for their opinions and ideas
Asking your child for their opinion on age-appropriate topics lets them know that you value them and their ideas, boosting their confidence.
This could be small things like deciding what the family watches on TV, what you will eat for dinner or which clothes you should wear.
Or it could involve bigger decisions such as where to go on holiday, choosing a new car or selecting a secondary school.
7. Give them responsibility & independence
Try giving your child some “special jobs” to help them feel useful, responsible, and competent. Using the word “special” can also give them an even bigger confidence boost.
These special jobs could be things like being your assistant chef in the kitchen one day, caring for a pet or walking to school unaccompanied – assuming it’s safe to do so.
Having the extra responsibility and independence can really help to boost their confidence in their own ability.
Make some time, away from all distractions, to talk to your child. At least once a week have a meal together and encourage them to discuss their emotions both positive and negative.
This is a great opportunity to praise them for their efforts and also to explain that nobody is perfect. Let them know that everybody has flaws – even the social media influencers – and that’s what makes them unique.
Self-acceptance is key to feeling confident.
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9. Create a Wall of Fame
Keep visual reminders of things that make them feel good by creating a “wall of fame” of all the great things your child has done.
This could be photos of them participating in sporting or other favourite activities, art projects or certificates.
Having a wall of fame shows your pride and appreciation in them as well as highlighting their effort and determination. And seeing these things around them can give them a real confidence boost in times of self-doubt.
10. Surround them with people who make them feel good
The more your child is around people who are confident and positive the more confident they will become.
So try to make sure that you are being a good role model to them (even if you’re not always feeling it). Positive words (tip 1) can help and you could also encourage friendships with other children who are confident.
Friends who uplift and encourage your child rather than tearing them down will have a great effect on their confidence.
These are just a few ideas that you can use to help give your child confidence.
We hope they are of use to you and you can help give your child one of the best gifts for life – self-confidence.