Simple Ways to Help Your Child Build Confidence
Parents often spend lots of time working to help their children learn to behave, making sure they eat their dinner, and are ready for school each morning. Sometimes, we forget to focus on helping children build self-esteem. Here are some simple ways to build your child’s confidence throughout your daily routines.
Provide your child with opportunities to be independent! Little things go a long way here. Set aside an extra few minutes in the morning so that your child can put their coat on themselves. While you can certainly do it faster, being able to dress themselves is a huge confidence boost for young children. Provide choices as often as possible, “would you like to eat a sandwich or pasta for lunch?” As your child gets older, increase opportunities for independence. Allow your child to make their own breakfast and pick out their own clothes. Your confidence in your child will help their self-confidence grow.
Celebrate hard work. When your child shows you something they have done, while it is instinctual to respond with “wow, that’s beautiful,” stop yourself. Take a close look at what they have done and find something specific to celebrate, “I noticed you used red and drew lots of lines on the page.” As your child gets older, use this same method when reading a piece of their writing. Phrases like, “that’s beautiful” or “good job” can be confusing for children, especially if you’re not consistent in using them. Try saying things like, “wow, you must have worked really hard on that!” to celebrate hard work rather than finished products.
Provide your child with jobs. Providing your child with jobs around the house can help increase their confidence. Allow your child to help set the table, sort laundry, do the dishes, sweep, or dust. Children appreciate feeling important at home. You might also ask your child to help you with your own project. It is important for kids to see that even grown ups need help sometimes, and everything in life requires some effort.
Model! Take pride in your own accomplishments and hard work. Share this with your children. It is important for children to know that hard work continues to be valuable, even as we become adults. Compliment the work of others. Make your own mistakes and talk about them
Allow your child to make mistakes. If your child says or does something unkind, encourage them to talk to you about it, letting them know that you need to know what happened so you can help them fix it. Talk to your child about mistakes you have made yourself, as a grown up and as a kid. Feeling okay with making a mistake or getting hurt is an important life skill in becoming a confident adult.