Confidence is the feeling of being certain about the truth of something or a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. Being confident in who you are as a person all stems from our thought process. Thoughts are constantly influencing our bodies because the neurotransmitters that are located in the brain are in control of interpreting messages/thoughts to help prepare the body for the next expected thing to come. Our thoughts and beliefs can change the way our bodies respond and react to the things we experience. Since everything begins with a thought, it is important to keep a positive way of thinking. Building self-confidence can be challenging, especially when you are young and influenced by peers/social media. Building confidence from a young age helps you stay on the right path to success.
There are four things you can do right now to help develop your child’s confidence that will help them navigate through life.
1. Ask their opinion, give them options, and ask them for advice.
- When we give children opportunities to make decisions for themselves it builds their self-confidence and gives them something to be proud of.
- Asking for an opinion tells them “I value what you think”, instilling that what they think matters.
- It shows kids that it’s okay to ask questions and ask for help when it’s needed.
2. Practice positive self-talk.
- The way we think and talk about ourselves is very important. It’s important to point out the negative self-talk and turn it into something positive. Most people are so quick to get down on themselves when they fail. When you hear your child say “I can’t” , “I never”, or “I’m terrible at” help them rephrase it with “I can”, “I will”, and “I am”. Help them realize where they’re succeeding.
- Continuously remind them of their strong qualities. Build them up and, most importantly, practice positive self-talk with yourself to give them a model to look after.
- Let them overhear you speaking positively about them to others. Hearing you talk about them to others reaffirms what you tell them and makes it even more believable and meaningful.
- Discourage comparing themselves to other kids. When children, or worse – parents, compare one child to another, it causes children to doubt themselves, and feel as though they cannot meet set expectations. This can cause them to lose confidence in themselves. Encourage them to be their unique selves. How boring would the world be if we all did everything the same?
3. Self Discovery
- Encourage children to try new things. We can easily get discouraged from discovering new passions and hobbies due to the lack of confidence we carry. The fear of the unknown can be powerful. Discovering new interests and developing new skill sets allow them to gain confidence in their abilities.
- Ask questions about themselves.
- Allowing kids to participate in multiple sports and activities, trying new foods, etc. allows them to decide what they like, are good at and where they need to improve.
4. Overcome the fear of failure.
- Remind them that success comes from failure. Failing at something doesn’t mean you as a person are a failure, it means the approach you took didn’t work and it’s okay to try again.
- Encourage and celebrate failing as a learning opportunity.
- Focus on effort, not ability.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway. Talk with your child about why they are fearful. Help them discover ways to overcome that fear.
Confidence is so important in shaping a child’s life. So much of that confidence can be greatly influenced by parents and other adults in their lives. When we give children the opportunities to feel capable and competent, they grow to feel loved and confident!