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Be part of your child’s learning journey!
As a parent, you can have a HUGE impact on your kids’ learning. Our FREE library is bursting with e-books, guides, cheat sheets and tips to help you do just that.
Come and take a look!
How To Raise Confident Kids for Sussessful Learning
As parents, we can raise confident kids through what we do and what we say. Being confident is one of the golden keys to their success and happiness.
The meaning of confidence is sometimes misunderstood; especially by our little ones. They see a child in class for example, who’s always loud, outspoken or always taking over when they play; and mistake it for confidence. As adults we know the child in question may well be confident; but they may also be severely lacking in confidence.
When we talk about being confident, we’re really talking about trust. Essentially, trust in ourselves. In fact, the word confidence comes from Latin, meaning ‘to trust’.
Having confidence; having trust in our abilities, is super important when it comes to our learning. When we’re confident, we make significant progress on our learning journey through:
- Taking appropriate risks with learning
- Trying new things
- Challenging ourselves
- Not being fearful of failure
- Staying motivated to see things through
- Persevering through blocks on the road.
As with most things however, kids’ levels of confidence won’t always be static. Depending on what’s going on in their lives, their confidence level is likely to fluctuate, just like ours does. You may find they sometimes take one step forward followed by three steps back. And that’s OK, so long as they’re making overall progress. Also, remember your child will make progress with their confidence building in their own time, just like in all areas of their learning. Some kids will naturally be more confident than others, and some will build their confidence quicker than their peers.
No matter where you child is on the confidence ladder, you can help them to continue to build their confidence or ensure their level of confidence doesn’t continue to go down over time.
To help you with this, here are twelve ways to raise confident kids to get you started. You may find you already do some of them and now want to add to what you already do. Remember too, that building their confidence will be on-going and you’ll add strategies and modify them as your child grows.
12 ways to raise confident kids
1. Teach the power of positive self-talk
One way to raise confident kids is though positive self-talk. Just as our confidence will take a nose dive if we constantly engage in negative self-talk, so too will our kids. And maybe not surprisingly, we’ll sometimes find them engaging in negative self-talk. They may say things like, ‘My writing is rubbish’, or ‘I’m so bad at reading’, or ‘Nobody likes me at school’.
A great way to steer them away from this kind of talk, is to teach them to speak to themselves as they would a best friend. So, when they say something unkind about themselves, catch it and gently ask them if they would speak to their best friend like that. Often when we do this, they’re shocked at the very thought of saying something so awful to a friend. At this point, you can reinforce that it’s just as important, (or maybe more important), that they say kind things to themselves as well as to others.
Of course, they’ll be some things they’re not good at yet or maybe some things that will never be a strength. At these times, help them to re-word what they’re saying. So instead of, ‘My writing is rubbish’, it becomes, ‘I’m working on my writing to make it better’.
2. Encourage challenges
When we set and complete challenges, our confidence levels receive a real boost. We prove to ourselves that we’re able to do something, which in turn builds our trust in ourselves.
In this way, you can raise confident kids by helping them set appropriate challenges and then guide and support them on how to get there. Take care however, to be with them on their journey to meet the challenge, without doing it for them.
3. Hide your concerns
If you’re worried about them in anyway with regard to them doing something, don’t express your concerns to them. It may be something such as you’re worried that after pushing themselves to audition for the choir, they have very little chance of getting chosen. If you express this worry to them, they may interpret it as you not having confidence in them full stop.
And if they think their superhero parent has no confidence in them, they won’t have confidence in themselves either. Also remember, that your worries may be just that. I experienced the above example, only for my daughter to come home and tell me she got in the choir. Thank goodness I didn’t share my concerns that she wouldn’t get in!
4. Embrace mistakes
To raise confident kids, we need to ensure that when they make mistakes we embrace them as an essential ingredient in their learning. If they’re able to make mistakes and know how mistakes help them further their learning, their success in what they can do, can soar.
5. Journey out of their comfort zone
Encouraging your child to journey out of their comfort zone will do wonders for their confidence. With your support and guidance to venture into new, age-appropriate territory, their trust in their abilities will rise to new levels. It can be in any area of their learning and will be different for each child.
You can also help by exposing them to different experiences, places and people.
6. Be their cheerleaders
When they have the courage to try new things and/or venture out of their comfort zone, applaud them from the rooftops! Having you cheering them on and giving them well deserved praise, will work wonders for their level of confidence.
7. Keep them firmly seated in the real world
In a world where screens are never too far away from kids, take care not to let yours disappear into them. It’s too easy for the line between reality and nonreality to become blurred. Kids’ confidence can become damaged if they start to believe that all they see in the virtual world is real.
This will become more and more important as they get older, particularly with social media. They may start to compare their abilities and lives with others who seem to be more successful. But you can begin to sow the seeds of the distinction while they’re young and provide them with a clear understanding of what is real and what’s not. You can also manage digital parenting effectively to help prevent some of this. You can learn how to do it in this POST.
8. Set chores
Sometimes we may not want to give our kids household chores. I can be guilty of this, feeling that I want my child to just enjoy herself without this kind of responsibility. But in reality, having their own chores to do is great for their confidence. It gives them a sense of independence and reinforces that you trust them, which in turn, increases their confidence. Often the best way to ensure it’s a success and doesn’t turn it into an arguing point, is to let them have a say in what they do and how often.
Also, be flexible. If the chore you decided on is now frustrating them because they’ve been doing it so long, decide together what they could do instead. Or maybe, you could decide from the outset that the chore will be for so many weeks and then it will be changed to something else.
9. Feed listening ears the right food
Our kids are often listening to us, even when we don’t think they are! When we’re trying to have a five-minute chat with a friend as they play, they’ll listen in! This is a great opportunity to sing their praises. Hearing you tell someone else how well they did at something or how good they are at something, can sky rocket their confidence. And of course, the reverse is true. If we put our kids down or criticise them in front of others, their confidence can plummet and undo all the good work we’ve put in.
Playing with your child has a whole range of benefits and one of them is building their confidence. By playing with them, especially if you follow their lead, shows them that you value them, their ideas and the time you spend with them. For more on this, you can check out this POST.
11. Build resilience
In building your kids resilience, you will build their confidence. There’s a complete post on how you can build your child’s resilience in this POST.
12. Show your unconditional love
We often assume our kids know that we love them unconditionally. But they may not always feel it, and not because of anything we have or haven’t done. To ensure they know it at all times, show them and tell them often. A child knowing they are loved unconditionally, has the confidence to go out into the world, try new things and not be fearful of failure.
I believe that confidence is one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids. With confidence, they can reach for the stars. They can explore life to the fullest and push themselves in all areas to achieve what they desire. And as with all our support when it comes to their learning journey, they’ll ultimately be able to enter adult life with the tools they need to make it a success for them. And surely, that is priceless!
I’ll end with this wonderful quote by Nelson Mandela,
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
Over to you…
Does your child struggle with confidence? Do you think these tips would help them? Whether it’s an area that your child is currently having difficulties with or you have tried things that have helped your child, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
References: Psychology Today