Confidence is crucial because it what allows us to step out of comfort zone, try new things, and feel comfortable in certain situations, like when meeting new people. Essentially, it’s what allows us to feel more prepared for life’s experiences, no matter how big or small. Children who are confident in their abilities are also usually more independent because they don’t feel the need to rely on others. With this in mind, it’s a good idea for parents to try and help their child become more confident using various tactics. I have teamed up with a sixth form in London to share some ideas of how you can help.
Encourage Them to Try New Things
A confident child is one who isn’t afraid to attempt things they have never done before, and this takes practise. With that said, don’t do everything on your child’s behalf, like introducing them to a new person or tying their shoelaces for them; let them give it a go on their own. Don’t try and rescue them every time something isn’t going to plan, because they will never develop problem solving skills or have the self-assurance to go it alone. As a result, they are more likely to panic when you’re not there to hold their hand through a new experience. Eventually, they will realise that nothing is as scary or as difficult as it first seems, and they won’t be afraid to try new things going forward, with or without you.
Give Them Chores
Asking your child to help you with the household chores will give them the opportunity to learn a variety of key skills that will help them with their independence and serve them well throughout life, such as cooking or hoovering, setting the table, or sorting laundry into coloured piles. As they become increasingly more proficient at these tasks, they will start to feel more confident in their abilities and feel more in control. What’s more, asking them to complete tasks that you would normally do shows them that you trust them, which will further boost their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves.
Encourage Extra-Curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities are great for a child’s confidence and general wellbeing. They are a chance for your child to meet new people and make new friends, so they will become better communicators, and feel comfortable in the knowledge that they have a strong support system. In addition, they will develop skills like teamwork, perseverance, and time management, to name but a few. Again, this will help them feel more self-assured and positive and they can use their newfound skills to help them in other areas of life.
Embrace Mistakes & Failings
Your child won’t get everything right every time. They will make mistakes and things won’t go to plan; they are only human after all. Try to help them see these mistakes and failings as a chance to learn. If they are worried about failing, they will feel insecure and will be afraid to try in the first place. So, don’t be too hard on them when things go wrong.
Be an Optimistic Role Model
Try and focus on a glass half full approach around your child by looking on the bright side and showing them that things aren’t always as bad as they first seem. For instance, if you have to cancel plans with their friends due to sickness, say something like “As long as your friend is ok, that’s all that matters, we can do something else exciting today instead”. You should also encourage them to set realistic goals that they can work towards, so that they can approach the future with a confident, positive mindset.