Children face a lot of confidence challenging activities while growing up. Remember the first day of school, the first time on the soccer field, the first time trying out for the school play? Successful kids need confidence and as parents you can help your child gain the confidence they need to face every challenge head on. Every child is unique, but parents can help each of their children believe in themselves and gain the self-confidence they need to succeed.
The Truth About Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is a belief or trust in not only your abilities, but also your character and decision-making. It comes from feeling competent in these same areas. Your children develop their own self-confidence as a result of their achievements, no matter how small. Every new achievement develops greater self-confidence as they begin to see themselves as capable and able of accomplishing tasks successfully on their own.
This isn’t to say, praise and encouragement from you don’t matter, because it does, but be sure your words of encouragement are regarding your child’s efforts (successful or not so successful) and their new achievements and abilities. Kids learn rapidly – learning to walk, brushing teeth, tying shoes, reading a book, riding a bike – and with every accomplishment comes a new measure of self-confidence. For kids, each new skill adds to understanding “I can do it all by myself!”
As parents, you can help your children gain the self-confidence they need by providing opportunities to try and try again as they learn to master the skill, whatever it is. Let them make mistakes, encourage them to try again when they do, and offer praise and excitement when they put forth a good effort as well as when they succeed. Your provision of opportunity, guidance and patience allows your kids to master basic skills so when greater challenges come along, your children have the confidence to try knowing they can succeed.
No Hovering Allowed
Before you object, yes, children need supervision for safety’s sake and as parents you want to be a part of everyone of their achievements. Even so it is important they you give your children space, allowing them to try new things, make mistakes, and learn. When your child wants to try something new, begin by showing them how to do it and then step back and let them try. This means, let your child try, start to finish, without you stepping in for additional guidance. If you jump in and finish the task for him or her, no self-confidence develops and in truth, the opposite could occur. Instead, be patient, allow mistakes, answer questions, and soon you’ll see the self-confidence you hope for as your child completes the task.
Overcoming Frustration with Encouragement
When learning new things, your children can get frustrated. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your child overcome these feelings and encourage them to be persistent – to try and try again. When you get them to try again, they quickly learn they can overcome the challenge and succeed. Don’t simply praise the final success, encourage the persistence and tenaciousness with which they continued to try.
Every step toward self-confidence means you are teaching your children independence and the skills they’ll need as the grow into adults. And the final result of self-confident and independent children means you and your children develop deeper bonds and your relationship grows richer.