Self-confidence originates from the intense feeling of self-belief and competence. In today’s epoch, people who lack self-confidence will struggle more than those who possess it. In fact, a lot of people can achieve their life goals by using their confidence as a ladder.
It is only natural for parents to want to instil confidence in their kids early on. Confident children can face challenges by themselves. It is an essential factor for a happy and fulfilling life. According to psychologist and author Carl Pickhardt, a child who does not have this ability will be reluctant to try new things. This unwillingness can end up holding them back later in life.
Nowadays, suicide is the leading cause of death among many young Australians. For every youth suicide, there are around 100 to 200 more attempts. One out of every five students under age 18 says that they have been bullied.
And the top reason bullied children do not seek support or help is the fear and embarrassment of being labelled as “weak.” These reasons are enough to prove why bolstering our children’s self-esteem is crucial. Here are some ways to build self-confidence in a child:
Provide encouragement often
As parents, how often do we find ourselves doing things for our children instead of teaching or encouraging them on how to do it? When was the last time you acknowledged them for their hard work? How many times have you told them you believed in them?
It is important to remember the big difference between encouragement and praise. While encouragement acknowledges the effort, praise only shows approval to a child’s worthwhile actions. Too much praise sets a child up for failure as it can set the need for constant approval from others.
We all need encouragement in our lives. Children are no exception. Here are some few examples of encouraging phrases:
- Good job on trying something new today!
- You worked so hard on this project. Great job!
- That is very kind and sweet of you to share your toys with your friends.
As tempting as it could be, do not be over-protective of your child. Allow them to make mistakes and let them treat these mistakes as building blocks for learning. Teach them to understand that no one succeeds at everything all the time. There will be failures, criticisms and pain.
Many kids can be cruel, using braces here in Townsville as a subject for teasing and bullying, for instance. The adage “Try and try again” has merit, especially in teaching kids to stand up against these types of setbacks.
If your child does poorly on a test, avoid smothering him with pity or worse, criticising him for the bad job. Instead, guide him on what steps to take to prepare and do better for the next exam.
Model positive self-talk
Children have always been known to learn by imitating adults. As parents, it is important to remember that whatever you model, your child will most likely learn and emulate. They will quickly pick up behaviours, habits and perspectives that could last a lifetime.
If a child, for instance, sees their parents treat others in a demeaning way, they are most likely to act the same towards their peers. Talking to them about respect is simply not enough. They need to see how it is being done before they can mirror the behaviour.
Similarly, if a child sees their parents or people close to them struggling with self-doubt, they themselves will struggle with insecurities.
Confidence in kids comes not from failing again and again, but from the experience of learning to pick themselves up, try again and finally succeed. This requires a lot of emotional support and encouragement from parents who also model the same qualities.