Raise Confident Child, Here Its Tips
High levels of confidence have been linked to better academic performance and social skills. But just telling your child “Good job!” or “You’re a star!” doesn’t build self-confidence. “Think of the ‘self’ in self-confidence,” says psychologist Dr. Erica Ross. “It’s the child’s own viewpoint that matters.” As a parent, what can you do to support your kid’s inner cheerleader?
# Focus on Strengths
Help your child realize what’s special about her. For example, she might like to play basketball, draw, take care of her baby brother, or care for animals. These strengths don’t need to be things that she’s “the best” at, or even things she’s succeeded in—they’re just her unique interests that make her who she is. Appreciating these attributes can give her a boost when she encounters difficulties.
# Practice Confident Body Language
Recent studies show that acting confident actually makes you feel more confident. Teach your kid to use this fake-it-til-you-make-it strategy, speaking with a strong voice and holding his head high every day. As an added plus, other people are drawn to confidence, so your child will also have a chance to make some more friends, says Reiffel. Acting confident even when he’s not feeling that way will also help keep bullies away, who often look for kids who seem insecure.
# Encourage Self-Evaluation
This one might surprise you—a great way to help your child develop some solid self-confidence is to let her evaluate herself first before giving your feedback. Ask, “How do you think you did?” and “What do you think you did well?” and then follow-up with your own praise after. This teaches her the valuable principle of looking within for confidence and assurance, instead of just basing her self-esteem on others’ approval.
# Make Goals
Have your child set a realistic goal
. Guide him to make one that’s not too tough, but hard enough that he’ll really have something to be proud of, like mustering up the courage to jump off the diving board, or learning how to ride a bike. When he reaches that goal, commemorate his accomplishment and help him remember that proud moment by making a certificate or ribbon to put on the closet door where he’ll see it every day