For many adults, memories of childhood are associated with feelings of lack of confidence and self-esteem, a lack of resilience at certain moments. Our childhood experiences influence the way we raise our children: what our parenting style and approach is. All this affects our children’s self-confidence. But what do we mean by ‘confidence and self-esteem’ and how do we raise our children properly so that they grow up to be confident individuals? What do our children need from us for their development?
How does confidence and self-esteem manifest themselves and how do we recognise them in our children?
This can be defined as:
- Willingness to try new things
- Willingness to contribute their ideas
- Ability to understand other people’s feelings
- Making eye contact; smiling
- Tolerating failure well
BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR DEVELOPING YOUR KID’S CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM
The practice of positive parenting will help to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. This parenting style is based on creating an atmosphere in which your children want to communicate with you. It involves you actively listening to them, discussing and being very clear about what you want from them. You set clear boundaries, show firmness and consistency and say the same thing every time. In doing so, disagreements between parents and children are seen as an opportunity to develop problem-solving and negotiation skills.
Below are four basic principles to follow:
Ask your child. By asking questions, you show that you value your child’s position.
Reliability. Do what you promise to do, including fulfilling the conditions of “being there”. This builds your child’s sense of security and, as a result, increases their confidence and self-esteem.
Be empathic. Try to understand the feelings behind your child’s behaviour or words. Imagine what your child is feeling and talk to them about it.
Encourage your child to explore and learn about the world.
Confidence and self-esteem are important conditions for a child’s future happiness, health and success. Confident kids are more able to cope with difficult life situations: pressure from classmates, responsibility, disappointment and other negative emotions.
So, what is the key to developing a child’s confidence and self-esteem? Use these 12 effective strategies to do so.
Exemplary confidence and self-esteem
A good role model for your child would be your own behaviour in difficult situations, your optimism and problem solving. But that doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be perfect. Acknowledge your anxiety, but don’t focus on it – focus on the positives.
Encourage positive thinking
Encourage your child in what he or she says and how he or she thinks. If they think “I can’t” do something, show them that if you look at the situation from a different perspective, everything can be done, help them to find a way out of a situation that is difficult for them.
Remind them of past achievements. This helps build their confidence and self-esteem and promotes a ‘can do’ attitude.
Setting goals will help to build their confidence and self-esteem
Try to set small, achievable goals: Finish a book, clean the bedroom, do their homework, etc.
These goals should be achievable and you can make a short list of them. Your child will get a real sense.
Helping others in surprising ways can help your children grow their confidence and self-esteem
Encourage your child to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return. This can even be done as part of the previous strategy by setting some goals.
For example, you could ask your child to call grandma or grandpa to ask how they are doing or to help you make a new recipe, to help a pet or a younger sibling as needed. Selfless acts of making others feel good will, in turn, do wonders for their own confidence and self-esteem. Such special tasks will help your child feel useful, responsible and competent and increase their confidence and self-esteem accordingly.
Get their opinions and ideas and making age-appropriate choices
By seeking your child’s opinion on age-appropriate topics, you let them know that you value them and their ideas, which boosts their confidence. These can be, for example, decisions about watching a cartoon or what we will have for dinner, or what clothes your child prefers to wear outside. These can be more serious decisions, such as where to go on holiday or what language to start learning.
Get them out of their comfort zone
Here we are already setting more difficult (but achievable) goals. This is where the real growth will begin.
The task should be one that makes your child feel a little uncomfortable – maybe raising their hand in class if they normally try to avoid it, playing a musical instrument in front of an audience, speaking at an assembly, etc. Encourage them to ‘give it a try’ and once they do, they will realise that they ‘can’. Overcoming their limits helps them realize that they can achieve things they never thought possible, and builds their confidence and self-esteem.
Accept imperfection as inherent in building confidence and self-esteem
It is important that our children understand that the world is imperfect: other children are not always happy. The picture of social media is not always the same as reality.
Allow your children to fail. Trial and error are how children learn, and failure to achieve a goal helps children realise that it is not worth stopping.
Praise your child and celebrate their achievements
Praising children for their achievements is wonderful, but it is also important to let them know that you are proud of their efforts even if the result is not entirely positive. You need to explain to your child that results are not always instantaneous and sometimes you have to put in a little more effort. Your job is to let them know that you appreciate their hard work and effort. This will build their confidence and self-esteem.
Help children find their passion grow will also give them a huge boost to their confidence and self-esteem
Help your child find their own interest, which is very important for building self-confidence. Of course, seeing their talents grow will also give them a huge boost to their self-esteem. Encourage them to try new things to develop new skills. Children who lack confidence often avoid trying new things or tackling new tasks. Learning new skills helps children feel capable and confident that they can do anything.
Compare them to others is one of the hugest mistakes when growing a confident child with self-esteem
Avoid comparing children with siblings or classmates by asking questions like, “Why can’t you behave like him/her?” or “Look how well your sister is doing at school! Why can’t you?”. Such comparisons cause children to doubt themselves, to believe that they cannot please you or meet your expectations, and eventually lose confidence and self-esteem.
Show your love
Your child needs to know that your love is unconditional: win or lose, good grades or bad. Even when you are angry with him or her. Letting your child know that you think they are your favourite – and not just when they do great things – will boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Spending time together builds confidence and self-esteem
One way to build confidence is simply to show your child that you enjoy spending time with them. Be genuine, because the child will feel if you spend time with them on duty, their confidence and self-esteem will suffer. The key components are love and acceptance. That is why parents need to spend quality time with their children to show that they are valuable. Take him or her for walks, eat dinner together, play games in the SmartPlayhouse or do any other activity that allows you and your child to spend quality time together.