Helpful Advice To Encourage Kids To Be More Self-Assured
If you are wanting to learn some powerful and meaningful ways to build confidence in your kids, then you have come to the right place my friend!
As parents, we have a tricky job of wanting our kids to be self-assured and confident, but not wanting them to come across as arrogant and self-absorbed.
How do we find that healthy balance?
I have just the thing!
Here’s a great list to get your noodle turning about helping to instill confidence in your kids, the right way! I’ll give you the list first, and then go into more detail about each one. All of these ideas are equally important, even #4!
7 Awesome Tips To Build Confidence In Your Kids
- Don’t Overpraise
- Discover Their Strengths
- Extracurricular Activities
- Let Them Fail
- Challenge Accepted
- No Swooping In
- One-On-One Time
Let’s dive into each one further and learn some great parenting tips together!
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1. Don’t Overpraise
What do I mean by overpraising?
If your child is constantly praised for everything they do and it’s always the best, most amazing thing in the whole world, you’re most likely not being honest with them.
We all love our kids and want them to believe in themselves, absolutely! But I think sometimes we go a bit overboard with our affirmations.
I’ll give you an example from my own life.
My daughter Addie is a spunky, vibrant, and very bright almost 7 year-old. I love her to pieces. Just because I love her, doesn’t mean that I need to praise her for everything she does.
Not all of her homeschool assignments are her best work. Sometimes she rushes through things just to get it done and turns in a “sloppy copy.” Not all of her work is worthy of a gold medal, and that’s okay.
If an olympic athlete works their tail off to even get on the podium, you can bet that medal means a lot to them.
The same is true with our kids.
If you want your child to grow in their confidence, don’t praise them all the time.
The praise and affirmations will be much more meaningful to your kids if their effort and dedication are reflected in their work.
Kids that are overly praised by their parents can end up developing a complex because they actually don’t know what they’re good at.
In their parents’ eyes, everything they’ve ever done is amazing, spectacular, and worthy of a standing ovation.
On the inside, though, that child may feel very unsure and lack self confidence altogether. Check out my post on helping kids deal with anxiety. It’s filled with great tips!
Affirm your kids when it’s necessary. Give them opportunities to earn it!
In doing this, you are helping to build confidence in your kids.
2. Discover Their Strengths
Another way to build confidence in your kids is to help them discover their strengths.
What do you mean by this?
There are some kids who just seem to be good at everything, and their problem lies more in choosing which activities to do.
However, there are many kids where it takes a bit more digging to discover their strengths. These kids take awhile to see where they shine brightest, but when they find that one thing, oh boy can they shine in their element.
As parents, it’s our job to help our kids discover their strengths.
Some great questions to ask when you’re analyzing one of your kids would be:
What are they passionate about?
What comes very naturally to them?
Is there an activity that really makes him come alive?
Is there something else she could try that I haven’t thought of yet?
What fuels her fire and gets her excited?
As you can see, taking a short survey of your child by going through these questions can be very eye-opening. These are questions you should answer as their parents, but also have your child answer as well.
If you have multiple kids at home, there will most likely be some natural born entertainers and crowd pleasers, and maybe a couple who enjoy being backstage and doing things that go unnoticed.
Whatever your child is passionate about, help them discover their strengths. Give them lots of opportunities to use those skills in order to help build their confidence.
3. Extracurricular Activities
If you’ve discovered your child’s strengths, now it’s time to get them signed up or involved in some sort of extracurricular activity.
Whether it’s organized sports, sewing lessons, a dance class, choir, drama club, cooking classes, or speech & debate, find a way to get your child involved.
These kinds of activities are so helpful for kids, especially when it’s time away from their parents. Don’t worry, I’m no hater! I’m a mom myself.
But sometimes our kids will blossom when they’re away from us, and that’s a good thing.
Just think, our kids are around us all the time. Usually their mom’s voice is the one they’re most familiar with. As moms, we are with them during the day, in the middle of the night, fixing their meals, driving them to their activities, and so much more.
Having another authority figure in their life, like a coach or a teacher, is a great thing. It can be a tremendous gift in a child’s life, if as a parent you are willing to entrust your child to someone else’s care and influence.
Real Life Example
I have a great example for this one from my days teaching kindergarten.
I had a student one year that really struggled academically. I’ll call her Rachel. She was an awesome kid, but just seemed to be behind a lot.
I learned as Rachel got older that she discovered a love for art. She was so creative and really gifted in this area.
Even as a 5th grader, her confidence had grown exponentially because Rachel was given opportunities to shine with her art. Such a gift!
If you want to help build confidence in your kids, find an activity that they can do and give them opportunities to shine!
4. Let Them Fail
I’m sure some of you are asking, “How is letting my child fail helping to build their confidence?”
Let me explain.
My first principal used to have a term she called “failing forward.” She reminded us that as teachers we will most certainly fail during the year. Everyone makes mistakes.
It’s not about making the mistakes, but more about how you respond to them, learn, and move forward. It’s something I’ve carried with me since that first year of teaching. An amazing lesson! I talk more about failing forward in my post about staying motivated as a parent.
This same principle can be applied to our kids.
Some of the best and most important lessons that we can learn in life happen from our mistakes and errors.
Any parent knows that their kids aren’t perfect. Their little lives can sometimes seem like one mess after another.
The question to ask is what will your response be when your child fails? If you see a failure coming, are you going to try and stop it, or will you let it play out so that a lesson can be learned?
Maybe you have a 4th grader who is super unorganized and tends to forget their folders at home all the time. The policy at Jake’s school is that if you forget the folder, the homework is considered late or incomplete, resulting in no recess.
One morning you walk into Jake’s room and you see his homework folder laying on his bed. You could bring it to school and save the day, or you could let him learn from his mistakes.
Quite the conundrum!
I’m not endorsing to let your kids fail every single time. Besides, how many times as moms do we forget the dance shoes or the diaper bag and have to turn the car around to go back and get it?
There are definitely times to show grace!
On occasion though, if it seems to fit the situation, let your child experience failure, not to shame them, but to help them grow and build their confidence.
Just think, the next time Jake remembers his homework folder on his own, he will be so proud! “I did it Mom! I remembered my folder almost every day this week. You didn’t even have to remind me!”
I’d say that letting kids fail sometimes can be a very useful tool.
Your kids can see that even though they failed, the world didn’t end, and life kept moving. They may have even gained some confidence in the process too!
A Helpful Parenting Book
Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World by Kristen Welch
This is my all time favorite parenting book. It’s not just about raising grateful kids. There are so many more lessons within the pages of this book. Trust me: if you purchase it, you will not regret it. You will end up recommending it to all of your friends!
5. Challenge Accepted
If you want to build confidence in your kids, you also need to challenge them!
Is your child terrified of heights? Go find a low ropes course to do together.
Do you have a child who is amazing at putting things together, like Legos or puzzles? Challenge them with a 500 piece puzzle.
Is one of your kids known for quitting when it gets too hard? Offer an incentive: “If you finish this puzzle and don’t quit, I’ll take you out for ice cream.”
Whatever it takes, right?
Real Life Example
Addie is very good at puzzles, Legos, following picture directions, etc. This is something I’m not great at, lol!
Addie has this set of Gravitrax that she loves. If you have a kid with a construction, puzzle-working brain, I highly recommend getting a set of Gravitrax!
This past weekend Addie wanted to put together one of the tracks. Jesh decided it would be a good opportunity to challenge Addie to make one of the tracks, following all of the directions, completely on her own.
When Addie realized that no one was going to help her, there were definitely some tears and frustrating moments. However, after Jesh helped her get started, she did it.
As each section was completed, the confidence was building. Addie was so proud of herself, and we were very proud of her efforts and perseverance.
Seriously, I’ve put one of those tracks together on my own and it was very challenging for my brain.
Watching Addie go through the grumbles and complaining at first wasn’t pleasant, but in the end Addie grew in confidence and realized that she can do so much more than she thinks.
She just has to try!
If you want to build confidence in your kids, give them a good challenge and watch them grow!
6. No Swooping In
I’m sure without much explanation you know what I mean by swooping in.
Building confidence in your kids means that you’re willing to simmer down your mama bear instincts to swoop in and rescue your kids from every argument, injustice, or unkind thing spoken to them.
Sometimes kids just need to fight their own battles and advocate for themselves.
Are they having an issue with their teacher at school? Give them a chance to talk to the teacher on their own before a parent/teacher conference is requested. Obviously if they’re really young, they will need your help! Use your judgment.
Have you ever been hanging out with another mom while your kids are playing in the other room? You’ve barely had 3 sips of coffee before there’s some kerfuffle.
Honestly, my tendency is to be a swooper and go save the day. I need to tame my inner swooper and just let things play out. Kids can actually solve their problems pretty well, without adult intervention.
Think about all that they’re learning when they have the chance to advocate for themselves.
You can seriously have a kid go from, “Mom, you have to talk to her parents about this. She won’t leave me alone and I don’t know what to do,” to “That’s okay Mom. I want to see if I can work this out on my own first. I’ll let you know if I need your help.”
That’s some serious progress. How did that happen?
You stopped swooping in to save the day, and in return, you have helped to build confidence in your child!
7. One-On-One Time
This is a great tip to end on!
One of the best ways to help build confidence in your kids is to spend one-on-one time with them.
These are opportunities to speak life into your children, away from the distractions of the house and other kids.
I have plenty of friends that try to do one-on-one dates with their kids. These outings and times together can be hard to schedule into an already packed calendar, but are more than worth the effort.
Do you have a middle child that seems to be slipping through the cracks? Make a date and ask them what they’d like to do with you for an afternoon. Maybe it’s something simple like walk around the mall and pick out a new outfit.
Is one of your kids into video games? Maybe they’d like for you to sit and attempt to learn one of their games and take an interest. The conversation may be sparse at first, but your actions of taking the time to be with them are speaking louder than any actual words you might exchange.
Just like you desire to have a date night with your spouse every now and then to connect and have good conversations, that same effort should be made with your kids.
Think how awesome it will be for your kids to grow up knowing that their parents initiated time with them, together and individually. What a confidence booster!
If you’re wanting some great ideas for connecting with your kids, read this post! Top 10 Fun-Filled Family Activities That Don’t Involve Screens
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Let’s Wrap It Up!
You made it this far, congratulations! That means you definitely care about how to build confidence in your kids. So important!
For all my note takers and list lovers, here’s the list one more time.
7 Awesome Tips To Build Confidence In Kids
- Don’t Overpraise
- Discover Their Strengths
- Extracurricular activities
- Let Them Fail
- Challenge Accepted
- No Swooping In
- One-On-One Time
If you’re overwhelmed by the list, no worries! Just pick one and make an effort to implement that this week.
Practice makes progress, right?
And I know we can all agree that progress in parenting and in building confidence in our kids, is something we can all celebrate!
Lots of love to each of you!
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