When you are raising boys, you think a lot about how to teach them to respect women. Girls on the other hand, you think about teaching them to honor and respect themselves. For girls and boys you explain sex and puberty, and go over the basics of personal responsibility.
When your kids are younger, you teach them how to walk, talk, write, read, play, and share. As they get older, the focus is more on doing chores and doing their school work. However, don't forget to teach your kids to be confident and understand their own self worth.
Confidence and self-esteem is built in the home first, so as their parent, it is up to you to make sure they feel good about themselves, and they will be happier and more well-adjusted children. This in turn allows your child to be honest, loyal, and kind to others. Here are some tips for raising your child to be confident with high self esteem.
Why Self-Confidence is So Important
Before getting into how to raise a child who is more confident, it helps to understand why it is so essential. Here are some different reasons why you need to constantly build up your child's confidence throughout the different stages of their life.
They will be happier - Plain and simple, confident kids are happier kids. They feel good about themselves and their accomplishments, which makes them well-adjusted, delightful, and happy children. This is really all a parent wants in their child. Let your child enjoy their life by raising their confidence.
It raises their self-worth – Building confidence in your child can also raise their self-worth. This gives them excellent self-esteem and makes them feel like their life has value.
They will have less social anxiety – A lot of social anxiety in children stems from feeling like they aren’t good enough or can't compare to others. If your child feels more confident in himself\herself and their own abilities, their social anxiety won't be as bad.
Your child will be motivated – You want your child to be more motivated in general, to want to try harder and learn new things. This is yet another important benefit you get from making sure they are confident.
Start Young With Your Baby
Confidence in boys (and girls) start when they're babies. The method of parenting is one you can choose on your own, but it has been shown that being close to your baby makes them feel secure, which can then increase their sense of value as they get older.
You can increase their security by paying attention to their cues and spending a good portion of your baby's life right there beside them.
The more time, love, and attention you give to your baby during their first few months of life, the more valued and special they are going to feel.
Continue with this type of parenting from the time your child is born until they start paying attention to the time and attention you give him, and it will naturally increase their own personal self-confidence. This early nurturing is important for babies and toddlers to feel love from their parents.
Be a Good Role Model For Self-Confidence
As your child starts to get older, a lot of their self confidence comes from what they see, not always what they are told. Children are big observers, even when you don't realize they are watching.
They are going to take cues from their parents, older siblings, and other people in their life that they look up to. As their parent, it is up to you to show that you are confident about yourself, teaching your child it is okay to model this same behavior.
If you're not careful, the behavior you don't want them to learn is exactly what they will learn because it is what you are modeling for them. So, if you also need to build your self-confidence, do it. Both you and your child are worth it. You will also be better equipped to help them as they get older.
Remain a Self-Confident Person
It can be hard to keep saying good things about yourself and showing your child that you are a confident person with high self-esteem. This behavior is sometimes looked at like you are being conceited, but what you are doing is teaching your child it is okay to be proud of your accomplishments.
If you do something good, bring it up and allow others to praise you. This doesn't mean you are talking about your good qualities 24/7, but that you are taking full advantage of those moments when you believe you shined, and when you think your child and other children can learn a valuable lesson from it.
Keep Certain Misgivings to Yourself
There are going to be moments when you don't like how you look, you feel like you could have tried harder during a project, or you straight-up made a big mistake and feel really bad about it.
While it is okay to let your child see that you notice your flaws and where you could have done things differently, don't focus on them.
Never mention that you don't like your own appearance or show that you are overly upset by something you did wrong. This is only going to teach your child they should feel this way about every failure in their life.
Teach your child that failing is okay but there is a lesson to be learned.
Find a Good Balance of Praise
There is a delicate balance between offering your child compliments and praise for things they have done well, and giving a little bit too much praise to where when they do fail, it hits them harder than it should have.
Kids, and boys especially, need to understand that mistakes will happen. You don't always want to praise only their best work, but their efforts as well.
Focus On Encouragement
The reason too much praise can sometimes keep your child from succeeding as much as possible is because it might set the bar too low.
When you tell your child after their first attempt that they are doing an amazing job and it is perfect how it is, they believe that is the only result they will get. It makes them feel like they don't need to keep trying harder, because they are already doing something perfectly.
This is why when praising, you should focus more on encouragement. Tell them it was a really good effort, but with a little more, you know they can be amazing.
Teach the Importance of Trying Again
You also want to show your child it is okay to do something good, but also to want to try again. Part of praising your child means telling them they did a good job, but as mentioned previously, really focusing on the effort they put into it.
If you praise them by telling them they made a good effort, they know that what you really liked was how hard they tried, so they keep wanting to try harder.
When to Offer Your child Praise
There are times when offering your child a lot of praise is entirely appropriate and recommended. For example, when your child tries something new and succeeds, definitely praise their efforts. Also praise them if they have tried something multiple times then finally gets the result they were hoping for.
Let Your child Take Some Risks
Raising a child with self-confidence means you are letting them try new things. While it can be a scary concept because you can't guarantee how it will turn out, you should also try to encourage them to try new things.
Of course, this is in healthy and safe new things, but definitely give them the opportunity to take some safe risks.
Leave Room For Your child to Diversify
Just because your child excels in one area, doesn't mean they can't also try and succeed at other things. Part of allowing your child to be more confident, is showing that they can do a lot of different things well.
Give them the chance to really try a lot of different things until they find what makes them feel good about themselves. Give them encouragement to try new things and see what else they are good at, whether they are great at math, good at reading, or exceptional at building things.
Let Them Solve Problems On their Own
This is often difficult for parents to do because you want your child to learn the right way to do things. However, there are times when it is better for their growth and development to take a step back and let them figure out things on their own.
If your child has made a poor decision, ask them what could they have done differently to get a better outcome and discuss the various options they come up with.
This helps them to develop critical problem solving skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
No matter what age your child is, there are moments when it is best to let them solve a problem on their own. They will feel immense satisfaction at their accomplishment, which does wonders for a kids confidence.
Encourage Them to Do their Own Thing
In addition to letting your child try new things, also encourage them to find their own hobbies and passions in life. This is another way to build their confidence.
You are letting them explore things they might be interested in, not just what they are good at. When they find something that is a true passion of theirs that they thoroughly enjoy, it really helps them feel good about themselves every time they participate in this activity.
For example, your child may find that when choosing video games, they really like games like Minecraft. This game actually can teach your child a lot, so by letting them explore something they really enjoy, you are actually letting them learn tons of important lessons.
Minecraft can help them learn the basics of building, what is required to find or create items to build something from scratch, engages them, lets them choose and finish a goal, and allows them to be more creative.
Let your child try new things, be creative, and explore their many talents and abilities. By doing this, they are happy, motivated, and will grow up to be a strong and confident man or woman.
One exercise I like to give to kids is picking a daily mantra. It is a positive phrase they choose for themselves in the morning and repeat it to themselves throughout their day such as:
- "I am unique and special just the way I am"
- "I am strong and able to accomplish anything I want"
Repeating statements like this subconsciously builds their confidence and gives them a tool to use when they are feeling down about something that has happened.
Do you need some help with building your child's confidence?
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This activity includes 21 Confidence Builders to use as their daily mantras and the 5 Things I Love About Myself worksheet to help them to actively discover the great qualities they possess to build their self-esteem.
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