How Kids Can Build Self-Confidence
KIDSTUFF - Alexa Montecillo (The Freeman) - July 22, 2018 - 12:00am

May be all parents wish their children to grow up with self-reliant and with good sense of self-confidence. Of course, it would be so awkward for grown-up kids to remain dependent on their parents for anything. Even growing children have to face some hard knocks now and then, and so it’s important to equip them with enough confidence to not only survive, but thrive.



Self-confidence comes from a sense of competence. A confident child needs a positive yet realistic perception of his or her abilities. Such confidence mostly comes from the child’s achievements, great and small.

Their parents’ encouraging words can help develop this confidence in kids. Earnest efforts or abilities to succeed shall be pointed out the kids. And the kids themselves have a role to play in developing their own self-confidence.

Here are tips to help kids build self-confidence:

Notice how much your parents and siblings love you. This should be easy, but it really takes some effort to see love amid the familiarity in the family. A child’s need to feel accepted and loved, beginning with the family and extending to other groups such as friends, schoolmates, sports teams, and community. If you yell or ignore or make some other parenting mistake, give your child a hug and tell her you’re sorry and you love her. Unconditional love builds a strong foundation for confidence.

Accept praise gracefully. It’s important to appreciate praise and positive feedback. It is a good fertilizer for your developing sense of self-worth. Be proud for your every achievement, no matter how little. If not for your achievement, be proud of your effort – and celebrate when others praise you for it. It’s okay not to be able to do everything perfectly. Sometimes it’s okay to move on after you’ve given your best effort.

Set realistic goals for yourself. When you are starting out in a particular sport, for example, it’s fine to think you’ll eventually be on the Olympic team. But if you fail to make it to your school’s the athletic team, then perhaps you need to shift adjust to more realistic goals. Try to set reasonable goals in order to avoid feelings of failure. Remember that you may adjust your goals accordingly along the way.

Develop self-love and do positive self-talk. You must love yourself first before you can truly love others. Praise – or even reward – yourself when you do well. Whether you get an “A” in class, announce it at dinner at home so you can reap praises from the family, too. Solicit ideas from your parents and siblings about the skills and talents and efforts needed for you to achieve accomplishments. When you succeed, they’ll each feel that you are part of the success.

Learn to be resilient. No one succeeds at everything all the time. There will be setbacks and failures, criticism, and pain. Use these hurdles as learning experiences rather than dwelling on the events as failures or disappointments. “Try, try, try again,” an old adage says. Setbacks are a normal part of life and can prompt you to try harder. Do not give up too easily; for all you know, those initial little failures are a way of preparing you to the grand victory!

Develop a sense of independence and adventure. Self-confident children are willing to try new things without fear of failure. With younger children, supervision by their parents may be necessary, without getting in the way of the kids’ endeavors. The parents will only be there to ensure that all of the kids’ endeavors are on the safe side.

For example, Mom may demonstrate how to make a sandwich and then let her little girls try it on her own, without Mom hovering or intervening. Welcome opportunities for exploration, whether it’s a trip to a new park or new foods at mealtime. Daytrips and outings, new hobbies, vacations and trips with teammates or schoolmates can all expand your horizons and build confidence in your ability to handle new situations.

Engage in sports or other physical activities. No longer the sole domain of boys, sports help both girls and boys build confidence. Sports help kids learn that they can practice, improve and achieve goals. Other benefits: the kids will learn to recognize their strengths, accept or strengthen their weaknesses, handle defeat, expand their circle of friends and learn teamwork. Another confidence-boosting bonus: sports make children stay fit and learn to respect their bodies – and they develop great forms.

Pursue your passion. Everyone excels at something, and it is great when you discover what you’re good at. Do more of what interests you – even if you’re the only one in the family who’s interested in it. Share stories about your interests with your parents and sibling; they will soon understand and become interested, too.

For example, if your talent is playing guitar in a band, look around for opportunities to do just that as long as it doesn’t interfere with responsibilities like schoolwork. Of course, you won’t have free reign in your line of interests; you need to let your parents know of your every activity.

Acquire relationship skills. Confidence in relationships is key to your self-confidence. The most important initial relationship is the loving parent-child relationship. But as your social circle begins to expand, you will see how your actions affect others – and, with your parents’ guidance, learn to maintain an inner core of confidence when someone else’s actions affect you. Always remember that your parents are there to help you along the way. Although your parents may not  “fix” every situation you get yourself into, they can teach you the compassion, kindness, self-assertiveness and, yes, confidence to handle the ups and downs of relationships.

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