In order to get through life, we all need to have an element of confidence about us.
Confidence doesn’t need to manifest itself as brash behaviour or showing off to be centre of attention. It’s about having enough trust in ourselves to make decisions, and conviction to make our choices happen. If we’re not, we may shy away from even the most basic of tasks.
I see it at the playground or play groups all of the time. Some kids are born with all of the confidence in the world, and some fear everything. My eldest is definitely the former, and will give everything a go. Her younger brother is more reserved and will often take a bit of ‘warming up’.
That’s okay, however, because confidence and self-esteem is something that can be built and honed. It’s not binary.
As parents, we all want the best for them. It’s unlikely that they will excel at everything, but we want them to go out and enjoy doing the things that they do – whatever they may be. In order for them to do so, they need to have confidence. Without it, it’s likely that opportunities may pass them by. Again, I see this regularly. The shyer kids are the ones who need their parents by their sides at all times, so naturally they won’t be included in games that are happening organically with other children.
No parent wants to see their child missing out because of self-doubt and shyness though. We all want them to grab things by the scruff of the neck and attack them with all of the belief in the world.
If reading this makes you think that your child could do with a little boost, here are a few ways you can up their self-esteem.
Set An Example
Moods are infectious. When you turn up to a social event, and everyone is silent, awkward, and on their phones, it’s hard to generate an atmosphere. We mirror what we see. The same applies to children. If they see that you’re bouncing around the house with enthusiasm, they’ll probably feel the same way.
If, on the other hand, you approach certain tasks negatively with constant sighs and sourness, then they’re going to behave that way, too. Kids often grow up with a spring in their step when they’re in a home full of positivity and happiness. Try to create an encouraging environment that will positively push them.
Go Out And Do Things
Actually going out and experience the world makes a big difference to someone. You can learn about stuff from textbooks and you can develop knowledge in the house, but there’s nothing like actually experiencing life.
Not only will it give them the skills and understanding at that time, but it will also be beneficial further along down the line. A child who goes out and experiences a lot of stuff often grows up to be a more competent teenager and adult.
When someone has a passion that they’re deep into or even just a little hobby that they take part in frequently, it gives them a sense of purpose. School or work also gives us that feeling as though we’re here for a reason, but a hobby or passion keeps us happy and excited about something.
Encourage them to find something that can really sink their teeth into. There’s nothing quite like finding something you love and getting lost in it. Schools often have a plethora of different activities and projects. If you can’t find something for them, then perhaps something like school sports teams or school ski trips might interest them. Confidence can grow from realising how good someone is at something – a hobby, a passion or a basic activity could be a catalyst.
There’s a time and a place for discipline. Obviously, if they’re misbehaving, then you should act accordingly. Reacting to things negatively doesn’t always get the best reaction, however. People all over the world build confidence when they feel good about themselves.
Whenever your kids do certain things, you should react positively and push them. Even if they’ve completed the most basic of tasks, getting a big happy reaction can make them want to continue with high self-esteem.
Let Them Fail AND Learn
People need to make mistakes in order to learn. Trial and error are basically how we got here, and it is how all the most successful people in the world reach the summit.
You don’t get good at something straight away – it takes practice. When kids mess up, they often get down, cry, and then pack it all in forever. Let them know that failing is normal so that they can progress.
We all need to do chores and run errands in order to live life. Grown men and women that don’t know how to do basic domestic tasks are a result of never being taught. These incompetent people, unfortunately, tend not to function in society anywhere near as well as people that were given things to do as kids.
Having that basic competence in doing the most fundamental things in life gives people the assurance that they can handle themselves independently.