Raising Confident Children

Raising confident children should be one of our priorities as parents. Adolescence is notoriously known for being a testing phase for most young people. Having the confidence to face the challenges of growing up can be beneficial both for their personal and academic lives.

Confident children are able to make decisions and are not scared of failure. They are also better communicators both with their peers and adults and have an overall healthy self-esteem.

Sometimes with the best intentions at heart, parents are unintentionally hindering their children’s confidence. Here are some dos and don’ts if you wish to boost your child’s confidence to the next level.

Do
Praise on specific actions. Be precise and describe what aspect of their behaviour or work you are complimenting. State precisely what is admirable about their achievements. E.g. “That really took a lot of practise”; “I am impressed that you kept going”; “I am very proud you helped your sister”.

Don’t
Do not praise with vague and generic phrases such as “well done” or “good job”. They need to know exactly what they are being praised for. Children can see when we are complementing them as a habit or when we are not being honest.

Do
Lead by example. Show them yourself what being confident is by using body language and behaving assertively.

Don’t
Do not just tell them to be confident. You need to show them that you are so yourself. Children learn a lot of more from our actions rather than our words.

Do
Be observant and take any opportunity to praise them often. Frequent affirming words from parents can make a huge impact on children’s behaviour.

Do
Show them you are involved in their interests, their worries and their daily events. Make time each day to have a chat with them and find out what they have been doing. Ask them if there is anything worrying them or just simply have a light hearted conversation about how their day went.
Do
Let them use their own judgment and make their own decisions. Leaving them to decide for themselves is a great confidence booster. They realise you trust them and are there to support them. This will help them develop and increase their sense of responsibility into adulthood.

Don’t
Make all decisions for them. Most parents with the best intentions at heart have the final word in most aspects of their children’s lives. This can be counterproductive in the long term as they need to know they are trusted to be responsible for their actions.

Do
Let them make mistakes and fail. Failure is an intrinsic part of success. If they do not try new things and fail, they will never learn and they will never improve. Let mistakes be lessons and not a reason to give up.

Don’t
Protect them from making mistakes. As adults we are the product of both our successes and our failures. Shielding our children from failure will only hinder them from accomplishing future progress. Let them try new things, let them make mistakes and learn how to overcome them.

Do
Give them responsibilities. Whether it is a house chore or academic results, being in charge of something that depends solely on themselves will make them see how important what they do is. Let them solve problems by themselves and organise themselves unaided sometimes.

Don’t
Do not forget to show them you are human too. Show them we also suffer from failure and make mistakes. Teach them you must persevere because success and happy times are always just around the corner.

Do
Tell and show them that you love them. If you are only able to do one of the things in this list, do this. Knowing that you have people who love you supporting you all the way is vital to become a well-grounded and kind young adult.