Self-confidence is typically something that is unknowingly taught and parents or caregivers are the teachers. Don’t fear! You aren’t expected to stand in front of a whiteboard and spell out C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E. Instead, self-confidence is learned through experiences that help children feel loved, abled and determined. Through those feelings, children learn to love themselves; learn that they are able to do whatever they plan for their futures and are determined to do so because they are strong, healthy and capable.
Self-Confidence Starts at Home with Love
It all starts with love at home. From the day you lay eyes on your children, love them with all that you have. Then spread your love from just your family at home to introducing them to extended family and friends. Allowing your child to feel loved from many people, all who offer up a little bit more love, helps to build a strong foundation for self-confidence.
Remember that love is shown in many ways. When your children are newborns, love is shown by caring for them, holding them, and so on. As children grow older, love is shown by still caring for them, but in different ways. Ensuring that your children are eating healthy, exercising daily, and brushing their teeth two times a day for two minutes are just some different ways you can spread the love.
Additionally, in order to love someone else, you should love yourself first. Self-love is the ability to be in touch with your inner self, your overall happiness, wellness, and confidence. Take the time each day to remind yourself that you are special and loved too. Even if your children are too young or don’t have the ability to express their love back, they do love you!
Self-Confidence Means Letting Go
At a certain age, you have to teach your children to do tasks on their own. From getting dressed every day to simple age-appropriate chores, you have to let your children do things on their own. By doing this, you are building up their ability to know how to do things on their own, allowing them to become more confident in themselves when it comes to future challenges – no matter how big!
Start small. Let your children pick out their own outfits. Even if it doesn’t match perfectly, you are still letting them have an opinion and if they feel good in whatever they are wearing, then that is all that matters! Moving on from that, allow your children to help you make meals, or make their own. I am not talking about gourmet dinners. But when you trust them to make a healthy decision, plus demonstrate your confidence that they aren’t going to make a big mess, it all helps to build the strong foundation they need for their future.
This also means letting them get hurt, fail, or lose. These are all lessons that must be learned because unfortunately, mom isn’t always going to be there to catch all of the children when they fall. Encouraging your children to be involved in team sports teaches them the importance of being just one part of the team, but also about winning and losing. If children don’t have the confidence to play their role on the team, then they could let their team down. But when children are confident in their skills and abilities, they can contribute to the team. And even if children have all of the self-confidence in the world, sometimes they are going to lose. But losing is part of life and self-confident children will know how to learn from their losses or mistakes and move on. Almost all parents want to build resilient children.
Encourage Instead of Discourage
Maintain a positive environment around your children. Self-confidence blooms when children are encouraged instead of discouraged. Redirecting behaviors or activities to ensure your children are positive also helps to reinforce self-confidence. For example, if you are playing a game with a child who is getting easily discouraged because of not understanding the rules or can’t comprehend the concept, redirect that child to a different game or activity that you know he or she can have some success. It is ok to just forget about the first game for now. Re-visit the game another time and maybe try explaining the rule or concept that was misunderstood in a different way. Don’t let children feel frustrated when “playing”. Playing is supposed to be fun and smiles are supposed to shine!
A Healthy Dose of Self-Confidence
From the moment children step into pre-school until the day they graduate from college, they will need some form of self-confidence to make it through. Start early helping your children understand that they are important, that their ideas do matter and that they have a voice to speak their opinions. Self-confidence can develop in so many ways, beyond what could ever be discussed here. But you know your children best and can help lift their spirits better than anyone else.
What are some ways you have helped boost self-confidence in your children? Share some fun examples that we can try too!