Raise more confident kids with these actionable tips on boosting confidence and self-esteem
Helping Your Child build self-confidence
Confident kids are strong and independent. And a goal for how we want our kids to be when they are adults.
My daughter has gone through different stages in life with her attachment to me.
When she was younger, she told me she was going to live with me forever.
When she turned around 7 to 8 years old, she said she was going to buy the house next door so we can always live near each other.
Now, at the age of ten, she wants to make sure I live in the same town as her. Close enough to see me every day.
And this makes my heart burst with joy (she DOES love me!). Even though I know it won’t be a reality when she’s an adult. Heck, even as a teenager.
But that’s OK.
Because I’m not trying to raise her to be clinging to her mom for the rest of her life. I’m raising her to be independent and get out there to experience life for herself.
And to do this, I need to raise her with confidence and high self-esteem. So she can go out into the world not needing her mom(wanting her mom is OK though!).
There will be no greater reward as a mom, then to see my daughter grow into an independent adult who is confident in her abilities.
How to Raise confident kids
1 – Love them and Show Them you love them
While it seems like this is obvious that as parents, we love our kids. But a way to give them confidence is to make them FEEL loved.
The more loved a kid feels by their parents, the more likely they are to trust you when a situation comes up.
So hug them more often, shower them with kisses randomly. Tell them you love every single day.
The more they realize you love them and believe in them, the more confident kids they will become.
2- Praise Them when they deserve it
Don’t be afraid to give priase when praise is deserved. And it doesnt need to be a major achievement. It could be as something as small as them making their bed or brushing their teeth without being told to do so.
Using Positive Parenting embraces the use of praise towards kids for small deeds as a way to build confidence. You can read a lot more about Positive Parenting techniques and how to boost your kids self-esteem.
3 – make realistic goals
Yes, we all want our kids to be amazing and so much better at everything than other kids. But expecting that is just setting them up for failure and ultimately making them less confident.
Celebrate the small wins. Did they score a goal during soccer? No need to expect them to score the most points!
Teach them to set their own realistic goals and when they meet those goals, they will be excited on their own and feel more confident.
4 – teach independance
While we love that our kids need us, it’s ultimately our goal to raise them to be independent. They will leave us eventually and it’s important to teach them how to be independent so they can go out into the world and thrive.
Teach them independence at a young age by letting them do more things in their own lives.
Let them dress themselves and brush their teeth. They may not be perfect at it, but it’s better to let them learn how to do it rather than you doing it just to make sure it’s always done perfectly.
I have a hard time letting my daughter clean around the house because it’s never done quite the way I want it to and I will have to re-do it anyway. It’s easier for me to just do it myself.
But by doing that, I’m never allowing her to learn all these important life skills.
5 – encourage teams and sports
Sports are usually associated with teams and coaches. Coaches on any team promote teamwork and skills. Having your child be apart of a team will build self-confidence because they will have a whole team of kids around them cheering them on.
Even if they aren’t the best, coaches will encourage all teammates to celebrate small wins and encourage each kid to do their best.
What better way to promote confident kids than that?
6 – less controlling and more coaching
This is often the part parents struggle with the most. We want to do everything for our kids or we want them to do it perfectly.
To raise confident kids, it’s super important to TEACH them how to do things.
It’s OK to let them flounder or let them fail.
Coach them into trying it again, or a different way. Let go of the control you feel inside to do it all on your own and let them learn.
7 – spend time with them
Sometimes we don’t realize how little time we spend with our kids. Especially if we work full time and run a house.
I know I get home from work and have to make dinner and get things ready for the next day. And I’m so exhausted, I fall onto the sofa to try to relax. Before I know it, it’s the end of the night and I barely spent any time with my daughter.
When I took a hard look at this issue, we started instituting an ‘hour a night’ policy. The last hour before her bedtime is mommy-daughter time.
Sometimes we do activities together like watch a show. And sometimes we do our own thing. She’ll make friendship bracelets and I’ll use my favorite Sloth adult coloring book. But just being together without any distractions makes her feel loved and more confident.
Here are some activities you can try together:
- Pick a show and watch an episode a night
- Do ‘self-care’ and use face masks or give lavendar lotion massages
- Color or draw together
- Read books side by side
- Play a game. Candyland for younger kids, the Game of Life for older kids
- Meditate or use calming acitities together
8 – use your encouraging words
Along with the use of positive parenting, try using more encouraging words with your kids. The more encouraging you can be, the more confident they will become in themselves.
Try downloading my list of 50 Positive Sayings you can use with kids that will encourage great behavior and confidence!
9 – don’t set them up for failure
Sign them up for a sport because it’s good for them, or they want to have fun. Don’t sign them up to try to make them the next MVP in Major League Baseball.
More importantly, don’t always jump in when they are about to fail. As much as we want to rescue our kids and save them from harm, we have to let them fail sometimes. But setting those realistic expectations and not setting them up for failure is majorly important.
10 – say “yes” more often
It’s so easy to say no to our kids a lot because we are the parents and we know what’s best, right? WRONG!
We try hard to protect our kids from so many things but in the end, we are just sheltering them from learning anything on their own.
My daughter has loved to climb things from an early age and sometimes she would climb odd things like walls and trees at the park. Other moms would make comments about her falling but my response was always the same. “It’s OK, she’ll have to learn one way or the other.”
I wasn’t afraid to let my daughter fall because I knew the 2-foot drop might cause a scratch or even a sprained ankle. But she would survive!
What she would ultimately get was the knowledge of what her body can do and what her body can’t do.
So she’ll feel confident enough to try new things, but smart enough not to try anything unsafe.
And when we traveled to Belize when my daughter was 9 years old, she was the first to want to try zip-lining, climbing rocks, snorkeling… you name it!
She wasn’t scared because she had CONFIDENCE in herself!
11 – teach effort, not results
Let your kids know that winning and failing are not the keys to success. TRYING is the key to success. And with success…. (you got it!)… comes confidence.
I don’t care if my daughter wins the game or falls flat on her face. What I care about is that she TRIES. I care that she wants to try and that winning or failing won’t stop her from trying new things in the future.
Because when they get to be adults, they will fail. All the time. In relationships, in jobs, with money.
It’s not about setting them up to have a perfect life (ask any adult and you’ll know that ain’t possible!).
It’s about setting them up to learn how to handle the ups and downs of life.
12 – Model positive self-talk!
How do we expect our kids to be confident if we are not? Monkey see monkey do!
If you berate yourself being fat and having wrinkles and stepping on the scale every day… do you think your daughter is going to grow up to have confidence in her own body?
So just like our kids, learn how to TRY. Learn how to fail, learn how to make mistakes. And don’t try to hide all your mistakes from your kids.
If all they see is a perfect parent, they are never going to have realistic expectations for themselves either.
You may also enjoy:
- Easy Ways to Be a More Patient Parent
- Skills Your Daughter Should Know Before She Becomes an Adult
- 20 Easy Ways to Be a Fun Mom
- Easy Ways to Bond with Your Child