Boosting confidence in your child is one of the best things you can do for them. Everything in life is better when your self-esteem is high.
A child with high self-esteem will do better in school, be more likely to avoid drugs and sexual activity, and be happier in general.
As a parent, you have a tremendous influence on your child’s self-esteem. So what can you do to help boost confidence in your child? Here are 14 easy ways to boost confidence in your child.
Create opportunities for success
Give your child a meaningful task to do that you know will result in success. Success breeds confidence and more success. Give your child regular opportunities to experience success.
Create a wall of fame
This can be a place to put awards, report cards, artwork, ribbons, badges, etc. Seeing their accomplishments on display is a daily reminder of what they have accomplished. This will increase their confidence and pride in their self-worth.
Monitor your children’s friends
Let’s face it, some friends are more kind than others. Try to steer your child toward children that are kind and supportive. Limit time spent with children that aren’t supportive or kind. Have open conversations with your child on what it means to be a good friend. Talk with your child about interactions with children who may still be learning how to be a good friend.
Give easy opportunities to make decisions
It’s easier to have self-esteem when you feel in control of your life. The easiest way to avoid a battle is to give your child choices, but you create the choices. For example, “do you want to wear a red shirt, green shirt or blue shirt today?” is a better question than, “What do you want to wear?”
Give opportunities for independence
Small opportunities for independence can boost confidence as well as leadership in a child. For example instead of simply ordering for your child at a restaurant, allow him to order his own meal. When buying a trinket, pack of gum or drink at the store, allow your child to pay for it himself.
It’s a mistake to make a child feel less loved because of misbehavior. Definitely address poor behavior, but avoid withholding your love. Make sure your child knows that no matter what, they are always loved by you.
Nothing sends the message, “You’re important” as looking your child in the eye and giving him your full attention. So that means, put your smartphone down and listen. Your child is more interesting anyway, right? They are only this age once!
Teach that failure is a part of success
Failure is not something to get upset about or to try and avoid. It’s not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It’s just a part of life. There’s always the opportunity to try again. Remind your child that sometimes we have to fail in order to succeed. Introduce them to great leaders who had major failures in life before finding success. Share examples of failure in your own life and how it transformed you.
Give credible compliments
Your child knows if his drawing of a dog actually looks like a cow. So keep it real when giving compliments. You can find plenty of legitimate reasons to give your child compliments and praise, which in turn will boost his confidence.
Compliment your child to others
Everyone loves a compliment! What’s even better is being complimented in front of others. Compliment your child in front of friends and family. This doesn’t even have to be something you do when your child is standing right next to you. If your child is within earshot of your conversation with someone else, speak up and compliment him to your friend. Hearing that you talk so well of him when he’s not around will boost his confidence and your bond.
Set goals and work on them together
The goal might be for your child to tie his own shoes or to get an A in math. Teach your child to work toward his goal each day. Write out the goal and put it where you can both see it.
Lead by example
The more confident and comfortable in situations when your child is around, the more secure they will feel. Your child is watching you for cues. If you’re obviously uncomfortable in certain situations, such as meeting new people, your child will be, too. Set the example you want them to be. This may mean stepping outside of your own comfort zone.
Address behavior, instead of your child
Saying that it’s wrong to lie is a better option than calling your child a liar. Avoid putting negative labels on your child. Saying something like “I’m disappointed in your behavior at the restaurant” is better than “you were awful at the restaurant.” The first statement keeps the blame where it should be, on the behavior. The second statement is incorrect as it implies the child himself is awful and that is how the child hears it. If a child repeatedly hears that he himself is awful, naughty, bad, etc – then he starts to seek out and fulfill that label put on him.
Show love and affection regularly
Show your children they are loved and appreciated every day. This can be as simple as a morning hug, goodnight kisses, a note in their lunchbox or time together reading a book.
It’s never too early to start boosting your child’s self-esteem. Providing a good foundation can prevent a lot of challenges in the teenage years. Act while your child is most impressionable. You can’t control every experience your child has, but you can control enough of them to make a huge difference.