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5 ways to boost your child’s confidence

by Sinead McDonnell

Confidence plays a key role in your child’s development and learning. It’s what allows them to try new things, make new friends and persevere after failures.

By creating an environment in which positive self-esteem is celebrated, your child will become equipped with important tools to conquer life’s challenges, both now and well into adulthood.

The tips listed below provide simple and easy ways to boost your child’s confidence, helping them to be the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves.

Celebrate your child’s individuality

As your child develops they will begin to discover various aspects of their personality which make them unique. It is important that these changes are recognised, supported and cultivated by parents as they take place.

Encouraging your child’s interests, skills or hobbies is a great way to teach them to be confident and proud of who they are.

You may choose to do this by enrolling them into classes around things they are interested in such as art, sport or music, or allowing them to pick their own clothes, or providing a creative space for them such as a desk or reading chair. Simple actions such a these give your child the freedom to express themselves while also teaching them to be confident in their individuality.

Encourage your child to express their feelings

Showing your child that their opinions and feelings are valid and always heard does wonders for their emotional self-esteem. Be on the look out for opportunities in which you and your child can have open and honest talks about feelings. This may include sitting your child down for a talk after they’ve had a tantrum to discuss their feelings and the situation, explaining when a family member or pet has passed away, or even discussing emotional situations that arise in TV shows or books.

It is important that your child is given the tools to understand their own emotions and the emotions of others from an early age. By doing this, they will feel confident addressing and vocalising their feelings, rather than avoiding them now and in the future.

Limit the use of labels

Labels such a “naughty boy”, “you’re lazy” or “you’re too shy” can be very limiting for a child and can destroy their self-esteem through feelings of shame. A great way to avoid the use of labels is to focus on the action itself rather than using it to characterise your child. For example, if your child breaks something they’ve been told not to touch, instead of saying “look what you’ve done, you’re so clumsy”, try reinforcing that the broken item highlights why they were told not to touch it in the first place and encourage them to ask for an adult’s help next time.

Make time for your child

Making time for your child and showing them that they are loved and appreciated is the greatest way to build your child’s self-esteem.

Adding designated family time to your schedule is a great way of showing your child that they are a valued member of the family and that their inclusion is important to you. This may include reading them a story before bed, sitting down for half an hour after dinner to talk about everyone’s day or getting out of the house and going to the park for a couple of hours on the weekend.

Give your child freedom

As a parent it is completely natural to want to protect your children from potential mistakes and failures, however, doing so can stunt their ability to think and learn for themselves. In order to feel confident in their abilities, children must be given the opportunity to try new things, make mistakes, and learn vital lessons from these mistakes.

By experiencing failure without being rescued children are able to develop problem-solving skills which help them to become self-sufficient. Through this process your child will realise that failure is a part of life and that it does not define who they are, and it is important to always try again.

It’s no secret that confidence is an incredibly beneficial skill to have no matter how young or old you are. Keeping these five tips in mind as your child develops is fantastic way of laying the foundations of a confident future!

Interested in early childhood education?

A Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care from Open Colleges is the most current diploma qualification in child care and children’s services and will equip you with the skills to not only work effectively with children, but also to also take on a supervisor or management role in child care.

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