Confidence: The Key to Success
What do most successful people have in common? Confidence!
Undeniably, it’s an important trait to cultivate in a child who will soon have to go after their dreams in this fast-paced, growing and challenging community.
Helping kids build confidence in themselves can be tricky, especially if you’re dealing with an exceptionally shy kid or one with a low self-esteem. Most kids still have quite a way to go in the journey of discovering themselves amidst puberty, peer pressure, physical challenges, intellectual issues, family problems, etc. However, it is essential that they be brought up confident and comfortable with themselves so that they can take charge of their own lives, carry out their responsibilities successfully and help others along the way.
Here are some things parents should know about building self-confidence in children.
Offer praises, but don’t overdo it
A child’s self-confidence thrives when he or she feels secured with the honest admiration of their family. In a way, honest praises from a loved one helps to boost the child’s natural ability to develop competence. On the other hand, over praising your child on a simple job done well can be misunderstood to mean that he or she no longer needs to push themselves to work harder. This might jeopardise the chances of developing further confidence from trying something new, failing and then trying it over and over again until they succeed.
Another negative impact of over praising is, instead of wanting to be the best that they can be for their own good, they might feel that they need to be perfect all the time to win their parents love. In other words, their parents’ love needs to be earned.
Radiate self confidence yourself!
While children of self-confident parents may not necessarily be so themselves, it’s much easier to teach kids about confidence if they can see that mom and dad are confident, self-assured people. After all, you don’t want to be telling your child that they can be anything they want to be in their lives, yet emit lack of confidence in everything you do.
Remember too, that they should be allowed to do things for themselves and should be encouraged to try new things. Keeping them from trying out new things or giving them very little responsibilities would only be saying that you have no confidence in them. Hence, how will they have confidence in themselves?
Assure them too, that their concerns, opinions and thoughts on any subject matters to you. This builds trust and lets your child know that home is always a safe haven for learning and improvement.
When your child is talking to you, give him or her your full attention! That means putting your cellphone away or stepping away from the computer. You can even ask him or her to give you a few minutes while you fix a quick snack for the both of you to munch on while you talk. Simple gestures as these are confidence-building already in their own way, for they know that mom or dad takes them seriously and wishes to help sort out whatever the issue they have that needs attention.
Traits of confident children
Children who are truly self-confident display the following traits:
- They like to ask questions. Asking is usually perceived as a sign of weakness but confident children are secure enough to understand that they have limitations to what they can accomplish on their own. A confident child does not think they have all the answers, and more importantly, they are not afraid to be wrong.
- They avoid bragging. Bragging is actually an indication of insecurity in a child. Instead of exaggerating on facts or situations to impress their friends, self-confident children are more interested in listening to what others have to say and they tend to be respectful of others’ opinions too.
- They don’t yearn for attention.
- Sure, every little girl wants to be the pretty princess in the annual school play, but a really confident child would be just as proud to play the role of the tree or random rock – and do it really well!
- They’re not discouraged by failure. Confident kids have no issues trying to reach a goal numerous times before achieving success. For confident kids, there is no such thing as being too short/untalented/not smart enough. To them, it doesn’t matter if they’re not good enough now because they know they can get better later on.
- They’re generally really nice kids. Like adults, children too, tend to lie, gossip and even bully to make themselves look better in comparison to others. Self-confident children however, don’t have to do these things because they already like themselves.
If your child seems to be attached to an overly assertive friend who likes to pressure kids into behaving differently in school, the last thing you want to do is get in-between the “friendship”. Instead, what you could do is encourage play sessions with as many friends as possible of similar age. Children with a wider social circle tend to be more socially adjusted and less dependent on any one friend.
Create Family Rituals
Children are creatures of habits, and family rituals are a fun way of rewarding or celebrating a moment with your children! Make bedtime special with the bidding of ‘goodnight’, and, always kiss goodbye before dropping your children off at school. For more bonding moments with your child, you might also want to take up a new hobby with your child, but you should never force your child if he or she is not interested.
Your patience gives them confidence too
Keeping things positive yourself will work wonders, so if your child seems to lack confidence in certain situations, patience is the key, and no matter how tempting it seems to show that you’re disappointed, don’t! While you’re at it, do remember that all good things in life take time. Hence, working on building up your kid’s confidence should not be seen as a chore, but rather, an investment of your time and effort for your child’s future success.