Build Confidence In Your Kids With These 7 Awesome Tips!

by | Jan 31, 2021

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

  1. Don’t Overpraise
  2. Discover Their Strengths
  3. Extracurricular Activities
  4. Let Them Fail
  5. Challenge Accepted
  6. No Swooping In
  7. One-On-One Time

Let’s dive into each one further and learn some great parenting tips together! 

*This article contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission from any items that you purchase. 

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build confidence in your kids

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. 

Some Advice

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? 

Great question! 

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?  

Example

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!

Buy It Here!

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!

#parentingwin

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

Don’t Forget To Pin This For Later

build confidence in your kids

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

  1. Don’t Overpraise
  2. Discover Their Strengths
  3. Extracurricular activities
  4. Let Them Fail
  5. Challenge Accepted
  6. No Swooping In
  7. 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! 

Lisa 

Cover Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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73 Comments

  1. Adriana

    I LOVE that you mention how helpful it is to let them fail sometimes. As someone who wasn’t really allowed opportunities to fail as a child – mainly because my parents didn’t give me space to try different things that I may not be immediately good at – I’ve become a grown-up with anxiety issues and perfectionist tendencies.

    Not fun!

    With my kids, I’ve committed to allowing them to build resilience (and therefore confidence) through trying a variety of different things, some of which might require a lot more work to master. The key thing is being there for them as they stumble through the early failures and celebrating their eventual success knowing it came from hard work and persistence!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I love your approach by letting your kids try a variety of different things, knowing that some of those things may require a lot of hard work. You’re right, being there for them through struggles and eventual success is so key. Nice job Mama!

  2. Stephanie

    One of the things my parents instilled in me as a kid was that the most important thing was to work hard. It might not be my “best work” in the end, but if I worked hard on it, that’s what mattered most. To this day, I give everything my all and I’m the proudest when I know I’ve worked my booty off – not because something turns out perfect. I’m grateful that they taught me that because it certainly boosted my confidence!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      What an awesome lesson your parents helped to instill in you. I love that it’s stuck with you even as an adult! Thanks so much for sharing. =)

  3. Genesis

    These are such great ideas! I especially liked that you mentioned the importance of letting your kids fail every once in a while. I feel like it’s important for kids to welcome failure and not shy away from it. It really does help them to build confidence and learn that failure isn’t as bad as they may think it is.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I completely agree! Some of my hardest lessons in life came from big failures and disappointments that I had to learn to deal with in a healthy way. I feel like it was through those times that God grew my faith the most!

  4. simplyjolayne

    Sometimes we see our kids doing great things every day and we forget to tell them that we are proud of them. I need to work on that.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes! Why is it so much easier to point out the mistakes than it is to point out the great things our kids are doing? I need to be better at this as well.

  5. Ayanna

    All these are right on point. As a mom of three girls, doing all of these are important to me.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      So glad you find these tips important with your girls! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Blessings!

  6. Kelly

    I love the idea of one-on-one time! I was an only child growing up, but I want to do this with my future children someday.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes! One-on-one time is such a powerful tool for connecting with our kids.

  7. Yolanda

    Letting kids fail can be so hard, but so necessary. I remember when my (step)son lost a really important baseball tournament when he was just 9. I could see that after the game he was holding in his tears so we walked to the middle of the field with no one else around us and he just wept. Ah, my baby – it hurt me that he was hurting, but it was the first time he’s ever “failed” and it was definitely a learning experience. We can’t make everything perfect, even when we want to. Really great article 🙂

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Yolanda! It can for sure be difficult to watch our kids fail, but failure is a part of life. Learning to accept the losses with grace, and especially to move forward and learn valuable lessons, is so HUGE for kids. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Kelly Bolen

    Letting them fail is the best advice anyone can give. I am a firm believer that we are setting kids up for failure when we never let them fail at a younger age. Kudos to the great advice!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes! Letting them fail is crucial to kids growing in confidence because they learn that the world doesn’t end, and they can actually learn something from their failures! Thanks for caring enough to comment. =)

  9. Phylicia

    This is an awesome post! Very informative and true.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thank you Phylicia! I’m so glad you found these tips helpful.

  10. Meika

    Loved the point about making more time for one-on-one interaction! I’m still working on that one and trying to better every day!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Meika! Never underestimate the power of one-on-one time. It’s so life-giving and makes a huge impact!

  11. Lynne

    This is such a useful article! Thank you for sharing! My little one is almost 3 and I’m already thinking about the next few years. So will definitely be taking on board these points.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Lynne! I hope that as your little one grows these tips come in handy more and more. Here’s to raising confident kids!

  12. Linda

    Beautiful advice and guidance! I’m a swooper, too! And, I hate to see my kiddo fail, but it’s so much a part of life. About 3 years ago, my son began experiencing anxiety and he definitely has some EF challenges. It’s been interesting trying to balance giving him opportunities to figure things out on his own and swooping in when necessary before he experiences a serious setback. Having him at home this last year has been so amazing — to see firsthand what’s going on with him and being able to challenge, encourage and step back on a regular basis. He’s grown and matured so much.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Wow Linda, it sounds like you’ve been on quite a journey with your son. I’m encouraged by your perseverance to help get through tough moments and not always swooping in. That can be hard! Prayers that he can learn good coping skills to help him through this tough road. Thanks for commenting!

  13. Michelle

    Great tips! It’s definitely a juggling act. I have a tween and a just-turned teenager. Sometimes I get the 7 tips right, and sometimes I fail. You’ve just got to hang in there and keep trying to guide them onto the right path.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      All we can do as moms is try our best. Sometimes we will fail, and we have to learn from those mistakes too. It’s a great way to model to our kids that we are clearly not perfect and need to be shown grace as well. Thanks for commenting!

  14. Angela

    These are great tips!! I love this! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I’m so glad you loved the tips. I hope they come in handy with your crew. Thanks for commenting!

  15. Jennifer Passmore

    My hardest thing to do is always to let them fail, even though I know they have to in order to learn from their mistakes!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      So true! It is extremely difficult to let our kids fail, especially when you know what’s coming. Thanks for commenting Jennifer!

  16. Sarah Althouse

    So good! My first thought is to praise and help them when they fail but I have to stop myself and say that’s not helping in the long run.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes, good point! I have a tendency to want to swoop in and help as well, so I have to simmer down my inner swooper and just let her fail.

  17. Adriane

    Letting them fail is so hard for me. My control freak instincts overwhelm me. Great tips.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Definitely agree! Letting them fail is super tough, but in the end it is so helpful! Thanks for commenting.

  18. Alyssa Hixenbaugh

    I love these ideas! I’m expecting my first baby, so I like reading things that will be helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Alyssa! You’re going to have so many parenting tips, by the time your baby comes you could write your own book!

  19. Jessica Goodpaster

    Thanks for these tips! Letting them fail is so tough, but definitely necessary.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Failing forward all the way, even with kids!

  20. Sharila

    What a great post! As a former teacher, I particularly appreciate your advice to let children fail and avoid swooping in immediately. My students with the lowest confidence and lack of self reliance often had parents who meant well but never let them just be and learn.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Sharila! Yes, letting our kids can fail can be tough to follow through on, but the rewards are so worth it in the end. They can learn so much from their failures!

  21. Isabel Talens

    An absolutely brilliant list of so spot-on advice!!!!! Lisa, you’re right… some are difficult to follow and still, worth while following. Excellent piece!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Isabel! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, and I’m so glad you found this article helpful. =)

  22. Sarah Moore

    I love this! I definitely overpraise haha I need to work on it.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      So glad it encouraged you Sarah!

  23. Lauren

    Brilliant tips and advice, thank u. X

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Lauren!

  24. Kristen

    I really like this & completely agree! My parents let me fail & didn’t swoop in to help me. I was so angry with them for a long time. Now, I’m grateful & I’ve thanked them! Without failing, we don’t learn the lesson we’re supposed to or how to pick ourselves back up. If you swoop in to help, they will never be self-sufficient. Trust me, I’m married to one of those & it sucks!

    The only things I might add are to 1. Never compare your kids to one another. They are all different & unique. (Never say you have a favorite child….in front of them!) Unless you say for example, “I have a favorite _______ (age of child) named _______ (name of child). Or I’ll say, “My favorite daughter is Abby! (She’s my only daughter!).

    2. I know realistically you can’t ALWAYS be, but as often as possible, when you are with your kids, be fully present. Not on Facebook or IG. Really take in that moment. You’ll never get it back! When they talk to you, really listen & hear them. This builds trust. They will know that you are a safe place to go when they need to talk. When you just kind of nod & say “Yep, cool” they know you aren’t really listening & over time they will stop coming to you.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks for these insights Kristen! I am definitely easily distracted by social media sometimes or by my phone responding to texts. I need to make an effort to be more present! =)

  25. Jericka A

    Love this list, and helpful to see that I’m actually already implementing a few too! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      That’s so encouraging that you’re implementing some of the tips. Awesome job Mama!

  26. Mitchelle

    Great advice and very informative! Teaching these sort of things can be so hard on kids and parents, but it really is a must! Thank you so much for sharing this and having this information out there for parents to come to for guidance.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! =)

  27. Emily

    This is extremely insightful! Teaching them to fail is so important. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Emily! I’m so glad you found this article encouraging. =)

  28. Tshire

    Insightful tips! I truly believe confidence can take you anywhere so our children’s lives are definitely influenced by their level of confidence. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! Building confidence in kids is definitely an important task in parenting.

    • Kathy Childers

      Lisa
      This is really helpful no matter what age you are in your parenting. I liked what you said at the end too. If you feel overwhelmed with the list, just work one at a time!

    • Lisa

      Thanks Kathy! I’m glad this article encouraged you. =)

    • Lauren

      Great list ! Thank for this! Xx

  29. Ruth Shapter

    I love this! Especially the idea of letting them fail. It’s so important! I wish my mum had these tips back in the day, maybe I would have been a much more confident child. Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Appreciate your kind words Ruth!

  30. Carrie Pankratz

    This is all so important… and so difficult. It’s hard to watch our kids struggle, but that is how they will learn and gain the confidence to be more independent. Thank you for the encouragement!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Carrie! I agree that it’s definitely hard to watch our kids struggle, but in the end you know God will work it out for their good.

  31. Rachel @ Glad To Be Mama

    This post is so helpful! I am definitely going to check out Raising Grateful Kids In An Entitled World. I love parenting books, and it sounds like a great one!

    Reply
    • Lisa

      You will seriously not regret the purchase. It’s one that I will reread many times!

  32. YourBestMamaLife.com

    Wonderful article!! Thanks for sharing. I am going to try these tips out with my 2 children.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Awesome! I’m so glad you’re going to try out the tips. Hope they are helpful with your kids!

  33. Kimberlie

    As an elementary teacher, and a veteran one at that, I couldn’t love tips 4 and 6 more. We have so many children who are so unsure and respond to failure poorly because their loved ones always came to their aid.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Kimberlie for your kind comment! Love that you’re an elementary teacher. Keep shining bright!

  34. Whitney Woodley

    I love this blog post. So helpful! It’s so important to boost the confidence of our youth. Let them fail; let them be great. Thanks so much for sharing!🌸

    Whitney | Healing over Everything

    Reply
    • Lisa

      Thanks Whitney for your kind words!

    • Niraj

      I am in love with this article. It’s just perfect. Most of the things you have mentioned are exactly what I have done and by God’s grace I have 2 confident teenagers. So, this list definitely works!

    • Lisa

      Thanks Niraj for your kind words of encouragement!

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