A lack of confidence can lead to many problems for a person. It is an essential factor in one’s personality that can help make decisions, jump on opportunities, believe in oneself, and have a generally solid grasp of their own character. It’s hard enough to live without this during those formative years, but it can be a crutch if a fully-grown adult becomes crippled by their own lack of self-worth and confidence. This makes it so important to start building that up from childhood (without going overboard).
Here are a few things that can help solidify this character trait in a growing kid.
Help them achieve their goals.
A core part of this process is making sure that your child is motivated and able to pursue things they want to improve. Make sure you set goals with them by asking them what they want to learn and track their progress, whether it is a more academically-inclined subject or a recreational activity. Assist them by giving them the tools they need to achieve while allowing them to learn on their own two feet.
Whenever your child can accomplish tasks and check off goals, whether big or small, this can vastly improve their confidence in their own abilities and their capability to continue reaching more of their goals.
Allow them to explore activities that can build up their confidence.
Without being overbearing, you can steer your child toward activities that can really build up confidence with enough exposure. Think theater groups, team sports, and art classes. These develop important social connections and interactions that contribute to their overall confidence. The activities themselves are fun ways to help your kid figure out how to function well even when presented with new activities, crowds, and unfamiliar settings. This is especially helpful if you have a child who is already shy in nature but displays an interest in the arts, as it can be just what they need to bloom.
Lead by example (actions, how you take care of yourself).
Children develop much of their beliefs, habits, and ideals based on imitating their parents’ or guardians’ actions and sensibilities. This is especially true for younger kids who are really reliant on their direct environment to nurture their attitude and disposition. However, though it may seem counterintuitive, family therapists actually note that teenagers also take a lot from their parents’ example.
Puberty is just as crucial an age to bring positive routines to a child’s life as the younger years are, especially with their fluctuating hormones and the perils that usually plague the minds of those navigating growing up. Make sure you yourself display a healthy amount of confidence and that you take the time to give yourself that needed confidence boost as well. When you can show this to your child, it becomes an even more attainable concept.
If you’re thinking about how you can develop your confidence as an adult already, make sure you take the time to think of positive self-affirmations, pursue your passions even as a side hobby, and take care of yourself. If you feel good about yourself, confidence follows suit. Since you have more means than a kid would have, you can even explore things that can make you feel more confident, like teeth whitening (something as simple as perfecting your smile can give you a boost) and other investments that make you more assured over the years.
Make time for their growth.
The worst thing for a child’s confidence is feeling stifled and being put in a box. Allow your kids to flourish on their own. Let them pursue what makes them happy on their own time, and make sure you also set aside time from your own schedule to show up for them and give them support. It can help them navigate the highs and lows without losing their steam.
An important part of this is also putting in the time to talk to your kids, see how they’re doing, and praise them for the good work they’ve done. This should be a sincere act that isn’t spoonfed, and if you’ve given them the necessary tools to excel in their work, they will be able to do things that make you proud.
That said, it’s just as important to be there for the times when they might fail. These are crucial points that can affect how they feel about themselves. Make sure you can comfort them while still helping them learn lessons about failure, as this is a part of growth. If your child can healthily deal with failures, they have a better chance of forging a sustainable path as they grow up and maintain their confidence while still expanding their horizons.
Do this, and you can help your child immensely.