Small Ways to Build Big Confidence
Every parent wants their child to feel confident and feel they can accomplish anything (I mean who wouldn’t want that??). The question remains, how do we do that? Children develop self-confidence not because of the praise received from others but because of their own accomplishments and achievements. Kids that are confident are naturally able to face new challenges without fear and believe in themselves. While every child is different, there are definitely a few things we can do as parents to build their confidence!
Over-Praising is a Thing
Sounds crazy, hey? Of course you want your child to feel loved and encouraged but the truth is, over-praising your child can actually do more harm than good! If kids are constantly being praised for everything, they will think they’ve already accomplished everything and won’t feel the need to push themselves. Confidence stems from trying and failing and continuing to try again. Inaccurate praising can cause them to think they’re already perfect or can influence them to attempt perfection all the time which is obviously unachievable and leaves them feeling actually less accomplished. As hard as it may be, stepping back and letting them experience trial and error with subtle praises can go a long way.
Make Time for Playtime
Put on your tiara or your super-hero cape because playtime is one of the best things you can do for your child! By simply giving them your undivided attention and playing with them, they are able to see that they are valuable and worth your time. Even if you don’t realise it, children are extremely perceptive and will be able to tell if your mind is wandering (that even means putting the phone aside!). Just spending a bit of time with them in their imaginative world lets them know you are listening and they are worth listening to.
Small Jobs for Small People
If children have small jobs or chores to do, they will see that their contribution is important, recognised and they get to show off their skills! Giving them small household chores (setting the table, making their bed, picking up toys, sweeping, putting away laundry, etc.) allows them to be involved and experience trying new things. Think of what your child likes to do and give them a job that revolves around that. When children accomplish any task, they always feel more confident. If the tasks start to become boring to them, working with them can bring the spark back up while also teaching them that sometimes work comes before play and that resilience is buildable.
Encouragement is Key
Encouraging and praising are two very different things. Encouragement rewards the person while praise rewards the task. It’s always better for your child to see that it isn’t the task that is important, but rather their effort and sticking it out till the end. Think about the last time someone told you they believed in you or encouraged you and acknowledged your hard work? Encouragement is the best kind of confidence a child can have because (just like it may for you!) it helps them keep going!
By providing children with heaps of encouragement (not to be confused with praise!), spending quality playtime with them and providing them with small chores, you will nourish their growth towards feeling confident about themselves and that they can accomplish anything they set their little minds to!