Self-confidence comes from a sense of competence and it is imperative that we focus on the building the child’s confidence from an early stage. Parents have a significant role to play in helping a child feel more confident and sure of himself/herself. Here are a few tips to instil confidence in your child.
Give your child positive feedback as and when he/she does something good. It is important to praise kids, especially when they are really young because they measure their worth and achievements by what you think- but do keep in mind to be realistic about your praises. If the child fails at something or doesn’t show much talent, then praise the effort instead of the result. Reassure your child that everything can’t and doesn’t have to be perfect.
Encourage your child to use problem-solving and decision-making skills from an early age. Give him/her some chores around the house or let them take the pet for a walk. This will teach him/her to be responsible and answerable for his/her own work and will indirectly instil independence and confidence. Praise him/her when he/she completes a task or does it exemplary well. Encourage him/her to solve simple issues and applaud when he/she reaches a solution on his/her own.
It is important that the child spends a good amount of time with his/her peers. Here, he/she will learn group dynamics and how to present oneself in front of others. You should also encourage your child to spend some time with adults. This will expand your child’s world and teach him/her to think in more than one ways. He/she will set role models according to the people you choose to have him/her around- which eventually will help him/her choose the way he/she wants to live his/her life.
Criticism, failures and setbacks can be painful for a child. Use these hurdles as learning experiences rather than fixating on them as failures or misfortunes. Tell your child that effort and hard work does pay by the end of it. Teach him/her to not give up and try harder but also validate child’s emotions. By saying “Don’t be a crybaby” and “Oh, just cheer up” you will end up making your child uncomfortable and embarrassed about his emotions. Show that you understand the way he/she is feeling and that it is natural to react in certain ways. He/she will learn that setbacks are a part of life and will learn how to handle them better.
When children feel they are helping and making a difference they tend to feel more confident. Have your child distribute napkins or serve cookies once in a while. He/she will feel important and will feel like he/she is a part of something big. You can also have him/her assist you in a task of your own. Once he/she sees how you work, he/she will realize that work requires effort which will help him/her prepare better for his/her future.
Observe your child’s interests and skills and push him/her into related activities and subjects. Avoid forcing him/her into activities that you enjoy if he/she doesn’t show much interest in them as it could backfire and result in repressed feelings in the child. Talk to him/her about his day and ask him/her to plan out what he/she wishes to do in his/her free time. This will get your child thinking ahead. Ask him/her what kind of work he/she would want to do and what type of life he/she would want to lead once he/she has grown up and helped him/her connect the dots.
Teach your kid to work towards rewards. If your child realizes that work will pay off then he/she will work towards it with more determination and persistence. Don’t give in to his/her wishes or desires very easily. This will teach your child that patience and perseverance are important to achieve things. Overindulgence can lead the child to become apathetic towards hard work and will eventually result in a disdainful personality.