Here are my three favorite ways to help children build inner confidence. (For more about children and self-esteem, see our activities for kids page.)
3 Ways to Help Your Child Build Inner Confidence
1. You can never be too loving with your children!
Get rid of that old wives tale that hugging them, holding them or telling them you love them is spoiling them.
I can think of many children who suffered because their parents were too busy, too selfish or too preoccupied to spend time with them. I have never met a child who was worse off because their parents loved them too much. It’s just not possible.
A child won’t be harmed by being told every single day that you love them, think they are special and know they are unique.
They won’t be harmed by words that develop their self-esteem and self-confidence.
But remember to make your affection appropriate to the circumstances and don’t embarrass your kids like I did at the school entrance when my son was 12 and I gave him a big hug in front of all his friends! A tussled hair approach or a pat on the shoulder is far cooler for your teenager than a great big sloppy kiss on the cheek!
2. Be a positive role model
Have you ever noticed that you have many of the same attitudes, habits and opinions that your parents had when you were growing up – even though you swore you’d do it differently than they did?
Well, that’s because they were your first, important role models and you are now the same to your children.
Imitating parents is a natural part of how children learn.
That’s why anxious parents produce anxious children and positive parents bring up confident kids!
3. What you do matters!
Don’t be afraid to assert authority as a parent. Rather than telling yourself you are powerless against the influence of the media or your children’s friends, remember you do have a strong, guiding influence over your child. So manage it and remember it is because of these outside influences your role is even more important. So limit your child’s TV and video games and regulate what they are allowed to watch.
“Within eight weeks of beginning the Reading Kingdom, Ben’s progress was enormous. Each day that we continue the programs, he improves. It has also boosted his self-esteem. “– Gail Weiner, parent