Your child’s confidence does not grow in a vacuum. It is heavily influenced by the stimulus around them. If a parent is continually dismissing their achievements and pushing them too hard, they are liable to think that nothing they do is good enough, and this will show in their behavior. The same goes for how teachers, their peers, and of course, their siblings treat them.
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While some children are more boisterous than others, and some may have more of a sensitive disposition, it’s important to do everything you can to help your child build natural confidence. This should run counter to being obnoxious or overly sure in their competence, but they shouldn’t feel like a nervous wreck whenever something new comes their way. You can implement small changes to boost your child’s confidence.
Bring them out of their comfort zones. Does this mean you’re to force them onto the stage for the school musical this year should they really not want to be part of it? No, of course not. But you may have them try a sport that they haven’t experienced before, such as martial arts or dancing. You may have them keep their bedroom in a good, tidy condition depending on their age. These little efforts can make it easier for them to find a job when they are a late teen, or put themselves forward for other things. Comfort zones can harm us all if adhered to in the harshest possible terms, and so subverting them healthily can be a worthwhile pursuit for most children.
It can be easy to praise your child for anything. In their early years, this is important. Praising them for a picture they have drawn of you, or a tower they have made from building blocks, or how cool they look in their superhero outfit. But as they get older, you will find that you can’t always praise every single thing they do. For example, let’s say they are playing for the school soccer team -they let a goal in. You could make excuses for them, saying that they played perfectly and it’s their team who let them down, but that just leads to a child with a bruised ego. On top of that, they know that their performance wasn’t great. So instead, find better things to praise, like their team spirit. You also shouldn’t be afraid to only praise them when they have put a real effort forward. It’s also important to not make your boundaries for praise too high. That can lead to children who never feel they are good enough.
Show your child that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. For example, studying math worksheets could help them overcome a problem they were having in their homework. Spending time attending an extra sporting session could help them play more appropriately when the next big game comes along. When you show them that effort can always help success, they will learn that lesson at an early age.
With this advice, we think these small efforts can help your children grow more confident.