Best Way to Increase a Child’s Self-Confidence

Children with low self-confidence are more likely to experience emotional and educational difficulties, have little faith in their ability to deal with everyday problems, be afraid to express their own ideas for fear of ridicule, and prefer to play a passive role in social relationships.

The foundations for self-confidence are laid at home—the way you interact with your child plays a major part. The more positive the interest you take in your child’s life, the more likely he is to realize you value him, and the more likely he is to value himself. Spend a few minutes listening to your child’s stories-no matter how boring and trivial they may seem; your attention will have a positive effect on your child’s self-confidence.

Child’s Self Confidence Best Way to Increase a Child’s Self Confidence

Consider how often you make derogatory comments to your child about his behavior. If your child is going through a particularly difficult phase, in which he whines and demands lots of attention, try to avoid falling into the habit of constant­ly reprimanding him. Repeated negative remarks from parent to child will reduce the child’s confidence. It is better to ignore the small incidents, or to take action without actually saying any­thing: for instance, by simply removing the pen he is using to draw on the back of his hand.

Psychologists have shown that self-confidence is also relat­ed to the way discipline is exercised at home; children with lots of self-confidence tend to have parents who have clear expecta­tions about behavior and who are prepared to follow them con­sistently. A child thrives best in a family environment that has predictable and consistent standards. Sometimes you knowing­ly let your child break the rules, perhaps because you are too tired to bother. This is perfectly normal, but if it becomes a reg­ular pattern, and if discipline fluctuates from day to day, then your child’s self-confidence will drop.

The use of praise is important. Parents of children with high self-confidence tend to use praise to encourage their child’s good behavior rather than punishments to discourage bad behavior. While discipline undoubtedly has its place, repeated punishment has the effect of focusing attention on a child’s wrongdoings. Punishment emphasizes the child’s negative characteristics and weakens his self-confidence. A more effective strategy is to praise your child when he behaves well, when he does what you expect of him. This technique makes a child more aware of his positive characteristics.

You can increase your child’s self-confidence by letting him make basic decisions about his day-to-day care. Family life is hectic, and it is often a lot easier for you to make all the deci­sions, yet your child needs to have some control over his world. Allow your child the opportunity to make some choices, whether he wants Cheerios or granola for breakfast or whether his new shoes will be brown or black. A child who makes such decisions will tend to have higher self-confidence.

Child’s Self Confidence 1 Best Way to Increase a Child’s Self Confidence

Succeeding in a challenging task is the greatest boost to self-confidence. You know what it’s like when you try to learn a new skill. At first you think you’ll never do it. Then (after extensive practice) comes that sweet moment of success, that moment when you feel everything connect. A great feeling, isn’t it? A child feels the same way when he achieves success.

Whatever skill your child tries to master, a useful approach is to break the task into very small steps, each one a slight pro­gression ahead of the previous one. For instance, the first stage in learning to ride a bicycle could be for your child to sit on the bike, hands on the handlebars, while you hold the bicycle steady. The next step could be for your child to sit on the bike while you push it along the road. Continue this progression until you reach the last step, when he can pedal the bicycle him­self. Each stage should be just a little bit harder than the previ­ous one, yet not so difficult that your child feels it is beyond his reach. At every stage that your child is successful, shower him with praise.

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