Confidence is what allows us to step out of our comfort zones to try new things and meet new people. It helps us believe in ourselves and be optimistic about the future. Lots of children struggle with their confidence, but fortunately it’s something that can be worked on and improved and tends to progress with age. I have teamed up with an international school in Somerset to share some advice with parents who want to help their children become more confident.
If your child lacks self-esteem, it’s important to carefully consider the way you talk to them; could you potentially be making it worse? Children don’t really understand banter so what you think is light-hearted teasing might actually be knocking their confidence. Try and focus on the positive side of things around your child to show them that you have faith in them even when things go wrong. For instance, if they break something at home, you can say “Don’t worry, thank you for owning up to it and helping me clear it up”, rather than telling them off. If they get a bad grade at school, you can tell them that you’re proud of them for trying hard.
Give your child lots of encouragement. When they’ve had a bad day, remind them that there’s always chance for a fresh start tomorrow. Help them understand that all humans mess up sometimes but the people that matter still love them anyway. Ask your child “What’s the worst that could happen?” if they appear to be worrying about something, so that they begin to learn that the worst-case scenario is never as bad as it seems.
Suggest some options of extra-curricular activities that your child could join, like a sports team or music lessons. They provide opportunities for your child to make new friends and develop a range of key skills, like time management, teamwork, dedication etc, which consequently contribute to improved confidence.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post