Everyone can benefit from more self-confidence. But very young children need some added guidance as they learn to believe in themselves. As you send your child to kindergarten, this is a great time to make sure your child is confident and emotionally ready to face the challenges.
We can help our children with the important task of developing self-confidence.
As you help your kindergartener develop their belief in self, model confident behaviors and tell them how important they are they’ll begin to realize that everyone has value, regardless of whether they are big or little, old or young. That’s a great lesson for anyone to learn!
Physical Activities to Build Self-Confidence
For kindergarteners, there’s nothing better than the approval of their parents. You can show them your approval by helping them discover their own physical capabilities.
Try these ideas:
- Encourage a sport
What is something they love to play that also comes naturally for them? Maybe it’s running, riding a bike, baseball. Avoid forcing your child to play something he or she doesn’t enjoy. This can be a simple sport you play in the backyard or an organized team sport. The idea is to get them trying something new and reminding them when they do something well.
- Make time for you and your child to play together each day
It seems like such a small thing to do but playing with your child has big benefits. Playing with your child every day shows to them they are important and deserving of your undivided attention and time. Blow bubbles, play a game, kick a ball around – the point is to spend undivided attention with the little ones that mean so much to you.
- Encourage a healthy weight through exercise
It can be challenging for a child who is overweight. Start while they are young and make exercise time fun. Consider outdoor play together, head to the local swimming pool or go for a walk together. Make some sort of exercise part of a routine.
Your kindergartener will learn a lot from the example that you set, the time you spend together, and the encouragement you give them to try new things and explore the world. As long as you don’t push them too hard, they’ll feel empowered to choose what they like and to learn from those choices.
Mental Activities to Build Self-Confidence
Mental prowess is important for self-confidence, too. Some people have more natural intellectual aptitude than others, but all people can learn. Regardless of where your kindergartener falls on the IQ spectrum, you can help them realize their full potential.
Consider these activities:
- Involve your child in age-appropriate games
Games like those from Brain Quest can be fun and also stimulate the mind.
- Encourage your child to ask questions
Then answer those questions honestly. Commend them for speaking up and using their words to ask, especially if you know it was a difficult topic for your child. The more they are encouraged to ask questions, the more they will ask.
- Ask questions of your child
Conversation is a two-way street. Ask questions of your child and allow him to answer. This not only builds more confidence in your kid but it builds a deeper connection between you and your child. By asking questions your child gets the message that you care about him.
- Be the example
Engage in your own intellectual pursuits. These pursuits can be big or small. Maybe you join a club, or do something small at home. Even something simple like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, reading a book, listening to an audiobook, helps your child realize you are growing your brain and learning too which makes it easier for them to do the same thing.
- Allow your child to explore the world
The curiosity of a child is one of the most precious things in the world. Too often instead of allowing them time to explore, we want to make them confine to our guidelines. Take a deep breath, look around and see what you can do to allow your child a little more curious freedom.
Social-Emotional Activities to Build Self-Confidence
One of the most important skills our children can learn is how to work well with others, without losing who they are inside. This is a crucial part to building self-confidence at any age. Each of the following tips can be used through out your child’s foundational years.
- Help them make friendships
Get them in the habit when they are young so it becomes second nature as they grow up. Set up play times with other children they know through church, neighborhood, preschool or other activities. Avoid sheltering a child so much that they don’t get to interact with others. Learning appropriate social interaction behaviors is critical to building their confidence!
- Help them maintain relationships
There are so many opportunities for a child to learn about relationships as they grow up. Learning about different situations will help grow your child’s confidence especially when they encounter similar situations in the future. For example, if you hear of a friend that has missed school sick or due to injury, encourage your child to make that friend a card.
- Be the example
Help them see how you are a friend to others and how you maintain relationships. The more actively you are involved in friendships the easier it will be for them to see how it is done and have confidence.
- Allow them simple tasks
Doing the little things for themselves adds up to big confidence in young ones. At home help your child to have independence in combing his hair, putting on his clothes, packing his bag. At a restaurant have your child order his own food. At the store, he can help bag items during the self-checkout.
These may sound like simple things to do, but they can have powerful impact for the confidence of your child. Creating good habits and building confidence at a very early age is a great way to give a child the best possible start in life. As an added bonus, you just might discover more confidence in yourself at the same time!
Kindergarten is a vulnerable time for children because they are being exposed to more people, the structure of a school day, and to new social dynamics. It can be an overwhelming experience! If they have confidence in themselves, they will go farther, be happier, and be less likely to be targeted by others who might not want to treat them fairly.
While you can’t protect your kindergartener from everything, you can equip them with the tools they need to stand up for themselves. By teaching them self-confidence, you give them hope and strength for the future.