8 Ways To Build Your Child’s Confidence

Here’s one of the best bits of parenting advice you’ll ever find: “a confident child is more likely to be a success in life, more likely to be liked in life, and more likely to be happy in life”.

Isn’t that what you want? Because for most parents their success is defined by the children they raised.

Maybe you have asked yourself the question, “why do some parents and children succeed, while others fail?”

There are any number of reasons why some of us under-achieve and never reach our success goals, but for many of us it can be said that we weren’t encouraged to be all that we could be. That blame falls squarely on us the parents…

I will be showing you shortly why self-confidence should be nurtured, literally from the baby’s cradle, but first, here’s why it is so critical for future success.

Michael Jordan is probably the most successful basketball player of all time. Here’s what he said about aspiration and confidence:

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” ~ Michael Jordan

See where I’m going with this? Unless you believe you can win, you’re unlikely ever to try. “Air Jordan” had to believe he could fly before he took to the air… before he could soar and succeed. Today, Nike has several product lines inspired by his fame and success…

child self-confidence and self-esteem

We earn self-confidence by excelling at the little things, until we’re ready to take on the bigger challenges. As kids grow, these “little things” could be stuff like getting up on time in the morning (or going to bed on time at night); eating healthier food; doing their homework for 30 minutes or so a day, or managing their play time with the other kids, etc.

These little challenges help prepare the child to meet life’s bigger challenges – and they’re something any child has the power to achieve, no matter what their circumstances may be.

According to confidence coach Steve Errey (The Code: For a Sweet & Beautiful Life), “your confidence works like a muscle. Use it and it grows, don’t use it and it shrinks.”

Of course, with exercising your kid’s“confidence muscle” you want to give him/her a great head start. But remember you can’t give what you don’t have, and in the second section of this article we’ll look at why as a parent it is your responsibility to develop your parenting skills and build up your own confidence, so you can encourage your kids to be all they can be.

First though, here are 7 parenting tips to build up confidence in your child:

1 – Always praise your child for the things he does right. Even if they are little things, make them important and let her know that he did well.

“Perhaps once in a hundred years a person may be ruined by excessive praise, but surely once every minute someone dies inside for lack of it.” ~ Cecil G. Osborne

2 – Let your child do things. Even if he is not quite ready to do certain tasks, help him make a start and don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out right.

This is a good time to instill in children the notion that when trouble happens – like when they try to walk and fall as toddlers – they must get back up, put themselves back on the path towards success, and put their fall behind them.

When you get right down to it, it really doesn’t matter how often you fall – what matters is how often you get up and keep going.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein

3 – Believe in your child and let him or her know it! Don’t pressurize him/her to be something he/she can’t be. Just let your child know that you believe in his or her ability to (occasionally) do great things.

This is a great time to teach our children to demand the best from themselves… to push the envelope.

4 – Only criticize a behavior – not the child. Always avoid too much criticism of your child when he or she does things wrong. It’s much better to criticize the behavior – that way the child can distance what they do from what they are.

5 – Show an interest in your child’s interests. They will probably be boring to you, and you may not understand them. But they are important to him/her, so show a respect and interest in the things he/she does. And use this opportunity to find your child’s talents – the things he or she is exceptionally good at.As the parent you are well placed to recognize budding talent in your kid that he or she will not even be aware of.

Maybe you get lucky and experience what Daniel Coyle calls the Holy Shit Effect, HSE. Here’s how he defined it:

“The HSE is the feeling of seeing talent bloom in people who we thought were just like us.

It’s the tingle of surprise you get when the goofy neighbor kid down the street is suddenly lead guitarist for a successful rock band, or when your own child shows an inexplicable knack for differential calculus. It’s the feeling of, where did that come from?” ~ Daniel Coyle, in The Talent Code

6 – Accept your child’s fears and insecurities. Never belittle them or brush them aside. Remember the time when you were young and the things that made you afraid – and try to understand.

That said, you need to watch out for these four insidious fears that stop success in its tracks – Fear of Failure, Fear of Success, Fear of the Unknown, and Fear of Confrontation.Most of these fears have their roots in poor self-image as well as self-limiting beliefs. Don’t ever allow these fears to bloom in your child. You can always remind your kid:

“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” ~ Arthur Ashe

7 – They say laughter is the best medicine, and it is.

That’s why you should always laugh with your child and never at him or her. Healthy laughter is a wonderful way to bond tightly. It is also something you will both thoroughly enjoy.

There… seven tips how to build confidence in your child. Now let’s flip this coin!

But remember, I said to give you eight? This eighth is also probably the most important.

Here’s a strange little lesson from the world of aviation and air travel. It used to strike me as odd – but really, it makes perfect sense.

If you are a regular flier, or you have flown recently, you’ll know what I mean. The plane is taxiing along for takeoff and the cabin crew are going through the pre-flight safety routine.

The odd bit I’m referring to is when they tell you what to do with the oxygen masks in the event of the cabin losing pressure. Now, all decent parents would feel the urge to see to their children first. It’s a natural instinct.

After all, you regularly hear of adults throwing themselves down to push a child out of the way of an oncoming truck, with no heed for their own safety. That’s how we are all hired-wired… to do what we have to do to save the next generations.

So what advice are parents given in the airliner?

See to your own oxygen mask first. In other words, see to your own safety and then look after the kids.

Yes, it used to strike me as odd – but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Your kids need you to look after them. And you’re no use to anyone if, whilst trying to assist them, you’re struggling to breathe and start to lose consciousness.

The common sense rule is: see to yourself first – that way you’ll be in a better position to help others. And that way you all stand a better chance of survival.

And so it is with parenting skills.

You want to have the best parenting skills for your family. And while you’re at it, you want to overcome all your family problems and challenges.

Most parents mean well. They want the best. But often they overlook the obvious:

You must first of all look to yourself.

Probably the best parenting skills you can develop are high self-esteem and confidence.

Yes, for you, yourself, not your family.

Their development and confidence will follow on naturally from yours.

Because with high self-esteem and confidence you’ll be relaxed, self-assured, assertive, and you’ll cope in a crisis.

And all these qualities will be like music to your family’s ears! A Mom and Dad who are relaxed, confident and caring in their parenting activities will produce relaxed, confident and caring children.

But today there is a wave of anxiety, fear and panic, not just among parents, but in society in general.

Ask yourself just how confident you are in tackling your parenting projects.

Why not boost your parenting skills by boosting yourself first and foremost? Whether you’re a Mom or a Dad, or even if you want to do this together as a couple, there’s a wealth of resources available.

The more effective your parenting skills, the more balanced and productive our citizens!

And you know what?

Your kids will love you for it!Remember, a confident child is a happy one, more likely to be liked in life, and more likely to succeed in life. Confidence is a wonderful parenting style to apply to your little one today. Raise an achiever… and that will define your own success!

Recommended resources:

Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children

Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents’ Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience

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