Building Self Confidence

Many children struggle with self-esteem issues, especially as they get older. But, did you know that the parents can be partially to blame for stunting the growth of self-confidence? Often times, parents intervene too much when something is going wrong, such as bickering with a friend on the playground or falling over. When the parent intervenes, it only solves the short-term issue but overtime this can negatively influence their confidence.   Child development experts Dr. Tovah Klein and Angela Hanscom shared their advice on how to navigate helping our children while also raising confident children by using 5 different strategies.

  1. Build a secure relationship with them.
    1. Building a strong relationship with your child gives them something to fall back on. They feel empowered to explore more and take more risks while also knowing that their parents will be there to help if something goes wrong. This provides them with confidence to try new things because they know that they will be okay if something doesn’t turn out as they thought.
  2. Don’t correct their mistakes.
    1. This can be tricky. Many times, parents think they are helping by pointing out where the puzzle piece goes when doing a puzzle with their child. Instead, help your child figure out the right answer and encourage problem solving. Instead of giving them the answer, help guide them to the right answer. Ask them questions and help them find that “aha moment.”
  3. Take them outside.
    1. Outdoor play is essential for the development of self-esteem and confidence. Kids are more likely to take risks and overcome challenges when playing outside. Outside play offers more room to jump off things, spin around, and explore the surroundings. Not only does this improve confidence, it also builds strength and balance.
  4. Praise them- but not too much.
    1. It is important to recognize the hard work it takes for a child to be successful rather than putting a value on their success. Saying things like “You are so smart” may make a child doubt themselves when they cant figure something out. Instead, focus on what the child did to get there to help make them feel like they can take on more challenges in the future.
  5. Back off.
    1. Let your child problem solve for themselves. Stepping back and observing allows the child to work through problems by themselves which improves confidence in their abilities for the future. Klein said “Confidence is this feeling of ‘I can do it.’ They need us to back off so that they can do it.”

For more information, check out the article:

5 things parents can do to boost a child’s self-confidence