As a parent, confidence is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. With confidence, they will be able to do – or at least try – anything they want to in life, and they will have a great number of opportunities that a less confident person would either not see or choose not to pursue. Yet it can be hard to know just how to help your child feel confident. It’s so important that it can feel rather daunting, and parents can feel anxious and stressed because of it.
Being stressed isn’t helpful for you or your child, so the key is to relax and think carefully about what you might be able to do to boost their confidence. Here are some ideas to get you started – bear these in mind, and you will be well on your way to have a highly confident child who can really make the most of their life.
Appreciate The Effort Put In
Growing up, although it’s great to win, it’s really more about learning than anything else, and sometimes that will result in a loss no matter how hard you try. Yet just because a child lost at a game or they didn’t do too well on a test or they weren’t picked for a part they wanted in a play, that shouldn’t dent their confidence.
No matter what the outcome, it is the effort they put in that is important, so that’s what you need to focus on. A win is a bonus, of course, but that can almost be forgotten when you applaud them for the hard work they showed. Never let a child be embarrassed for trying something out, even if it didn’t go according to plan.
When your child finds something they are interested in, they can quickly lose confidence when they realize they are immediately perfect at it. This is where a parent can help. If you see that your child has a passion for something and that they perhaps even have a talent (although this is not always necessary – you don’t have to have a particular skill to enjoy something), you should encourage them to practice. The more they practice, the better they will become (or at least they will understand more about what they’re doing), and this will quickly boost their confidence.
Just remember that it’s crucial not to put any pressure on your child. It can be exciting that they have found something they enjoy in life, but it’s easy for a parent to get carried away and push too hard, potentially making the child lose interest. Keep a respectful distance, but always be encouraging, and always encourage practice.
Leave Them To Figure Problems Out For Themselves
You will want to help your child when they have a problem to deal with. However, if you always help them, they will never learn, and they will never have the confidence to make their own choices. Of course, if things look difficult and they are truly stuck as to what to do, you can help guide them, but you should never offer an entire solution. If you leave the child to figure things out for themselves, they will have much more confidence in their own abilities, and they will feel confident to try different things in the future since they will know they can deal with anything they need to, positive or negative.
Let Them Act Their Age
All children mature at different times. Some will be keen to look at a piercing shop or develop their own clothing style or discover their own taste in music, for example, whereas others will stick with the same clothes and music and accessories (if any) that you helped them with when they were younger.
Neither way is the wrong way to be. All children should act their age, and trying to make someone grow up too soon, or, conversely, trying to keep someone a child for longer than they are comfortable being, is bad for their confidence. If you try to make them grow up, they will always feel unconfident because other children seem to be able to do more than they can. If you try to make them stay young, they won’t have confidence because everything they try to do to express themselves is met with a negative.
No matter what your child feels or who they become – or even when they become it – trying to make them something they aren’t will never do good things when it comes to their confidence.