Children are natural learners. They’re born ready to absorb everything about their new worlds and the roles people around them play. As they grow, every milestone gives them a little more confidence to try bigger and better things.
It’s important for parents to help kids build on this confidence so they feel ready to tackle more difficult tasks. But what’s the best way to do this?
Certified child psychologist and director of the Unicorn Children’s Foundation Clinic at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, Dr. Roseanne Lesack lists five ways parents can instill confidence in their growing children.
1. Tie your child’s hard work to their successes.
Always comment on your child’s work ethic even if it didn’t result in a big win.
That way, your child will learn to take pride in, and feel good about, their hard work. Otherwise, their self-confidence may erode when they fail despite their best efforts.
2. Compliment yourself in front of your child.
Show them positive self-talk and tell them about your successes that came about as a result of your own hard work and skills.
3. Compliment your child on their skills.
Get specific with your compliments and point to a strength they own.
That will help them know where they do excel and how to talk about it without self-aggrandizing.
4. Also talk about their weaknesses.
It’s good for kids to know in what areas they need to work harder or practice more.
This also helps them tie success to work ethic instead of just being cocky.
5. Tie success back to teamwork.
Don’t let your child think they were the sole star of the team or group project. Speak positively about other members and their contributions, and encourage your child to do the same.
It’s good for your child to know they may not have performed so well without the help of the rest of the group.
If we want our kids to become successful adults, the time to instill healthy confidence is when they are learning to overcome obstacles, which is now.
With a few changes in how we give praise and view strength and weaknesses, kids can learn to believe in themselves.