5 tips for raising confident children

Confidence is a quality we all desire to increase. Confidence is being sure of oneself and having certainty in our own abilities. As opposed to arrogance, which gives one a feeling of superiority and can lead to condescension, confidence does not bring others down, only builds oneself up. Confidence helps us work hard to get what we want, encouraging us to achieve great things. People are drawn to confidence, making it more likely to have positive friends and healthy romantic relationships when confidence is high.

Confidence also leads to increased happiness and decreased stress. So it’s no wonder that we want to raise confident children. On this road to improving confidence, here are 5 tips for raising confident kids.

Help them discover their strengths and weaknesses

Once children can identify what they are good at, encourage them to focus on those areas that will bring the most success. More confidence is brought by spending time working on (and excelling in) areas we are already good at, rather than becoming mediocre in many different areas we are not good at. Children feel better about themselves when they succeed and their skills are validated by outside sources.

This doesn’t mean that children shouldn’t find areas to improve in. If there is a skill or attribute that your child admires but doesn’t feel confident in, then they should practice to improve so they can have success in that particular area. If your son want to be better at making friends then he needs to practice introducing himself and talking with others, or if you
daughter wants to be in a band then she should practice her guitar to improve her skills. Pretending to be good at something does not increase confidence, but improving their abilities will increase overall confidence.

Provide opportunities to work hard

Children will feel satisfaction as they learn to work hard for something and then see the positive results. Have your children complete chores, grow a garden, or work as a family on a project around the house. Not only do they learn valuable experience by working, but it is rewarding to watch their efforts create or improve something they have spent time on. Earning their own money, through chores or a job, to buy a new toy or possession or to participate in an extracurricular activity that they want is another great way\ to increase confidence. Once they associate working hard to the success of getting what they want, they will start asking you for what they can do to earn rewards, and feel confident that they can earn it on their own.

Encourage independence

With two small children who are still learning how to complete basic tasks, I find letting my children act independently to be difficult on a day-to-day basis, but it is so important that our children learn how to act independently. When children are young give small instructions that they can do on their own, and when they’re older have them create their own task lists and prioritize how they complete those tasks. Learning how to solve problems independently and creating their own schedules is a great foundation for the responsibilities they will have as an adult in taking care of their needs and in their careers.

To start working on this area, teach your children how to do age-appropriate tasks that you’ve been doing for them and then only give prompts and verbal instructions if they need help completing those tasks in the future.

Teach how to give and accept compliments

Giving and accepting compliments are important basic social skills that everyone should learn. Giving compliments is similar to showing gratitude. Giving compliments shows humility, helps your child see the good in others, and ironically, helping others feel good also helps your child feel good. Your child should learn to genuinely praise specific attributes or characteristics of a person and the abilities they observe.

When accepting compliments your child should be able to sincerely thank the person for the compliment and avoid looking away, mumbling, or denying the compliment. It is a common tendency to deny compliments, but teach your children that denying compliments is rude to the person who has taken the time to acknowledge something positive. Confident children can accept what they’re good at.

Praise your child’s efforts

Giving children general verbal praise helps to create a positive environment, but specific praise is a lot more effective in reinforcing behaviors you want your child to continue doing. In addition to telling your child “Good job!” be specific about the effort your child has made and how it benefits them for doing that positive behavior. For example, “Good job! You worked so hard cleaning up all the toys off the floor. When you put your toys back where they belong you’ll know where to find them want you want to play with them again.”

LEARN THE SKILL OF EFFECTIVE PRAISE

Acknowledge your child’s improvements, no matter how small. Children will be motivated to continue working on a skill or attribute if they receive praise for the effort they are
making.

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