Developing children’s self-worth and helping them feel capable
Kids learn new skills at a dizzying rate from birth. They also gain the confidence to use those new abilities.
As children get older, confidence can become as important as skills. Kids need to trust in their abilities while at the same time knowing they can handle failure if they don’t succeed in something. Developing healthy self-confidence comes from mastery and rebounding from failure.
12 ways to help kids feel capable and get the most from their skills and talents.
Be a model of confidence
Even if you don’t quite feel it! You set a good example for kids by tackling new tasks with optimism and preparation. It doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be perfect. Acknowledge your anxiety, but don’t dwell on it-focus on what you are doing to prepare instead.
Make sure you don’t get upset when you make mistakes
Kids should be taught that everyone makes mistakes, and the important thing is to learn from them, not dwell on them. The most confident people don’t let fear of failure stop them-not because they’re sure they won’t fail, but because they know how to overcome setbacks.
Try new things with them
It’s good for kids to diversify their interests instead of concentrating on what they already excel at. When kids gain new skills, they feel capable and confident that they can handle whatever comes their way.
Give kids the opportunity to fail
It’s natural to want to protect your child from failure, but kids learn through trial and error, and failing at a goal doesn’t have to be fatal. In addition, it can motivate kids to put in more effort as adults, which will benefit them in the long run.
Perseverance should be praised
Having the ability to persevere after a setback is an important life skill. Being confident and esteeming isn’t about succeeding at everything all the time. It’s about being resilient enough to keep trying and not getting discouraged if you don’t succeed.
Find a passion for kids
By exploring their own interests, kids can develop a sense of identity, which is essential to building confidence. Their self-esteem will also be boosted when they see their talents grow.
Achieving goals, large and small, makes kids feel strong. By encouraging your child to make a list of things they want to accomplish, you can help them turn desires and dreams into actionable goals. Then, break down longer-term goals into realistic benchmarks. By validating their interests and teaching them skills they’ll need throughout their lives, you’ll be helping them achieve their goals.
An effort is worth celebrating
Praise is great, but it’s also important to let kids know you’re proud of their efforts, regardless of the outcome. The process of developing new skills takes time and effort, and results are not always immediate. Whether they are toddlers playing with blocks or teenagers learning to play the guitar, let them know you value their work.
Don’t be surprised if they pitch in
While they might complain, kids feel more valued and connected when they do age-appropriate tasks, from picking up toys to doing dishes to picking up younger siblings from play dates. Being needed by your family is more valuable than homework and after-school activities.
As adults, we know that perfection is unrealistic, and it’s important that children get this message as early as possible. Help your children realise that the idea that others are always happy, successful and perfectly dressed is a fantasy – and a destructive one at that, whether it’s on TV, in a magazine or on social media. Instead, remind them that it’s human and perfectly okay not to be perfect.
Set them up for success
Challenges are good for children, but they should also have opportunities where they can be sure to succeed. Help your child engage in activities where they feel comfortable and confident enough to tackle a bigger challenge.
Show your love
Let your child know that you love them no matter what. Whether he wins or loses the big game, whether he’s good grades or bad. Even if you’re mad at him or her. When your child knows you think he’s great – and not just when he’s doing great – his self-esteem is boosted, even if he doesn’t feel good about himself