Mark Twain, an American writer and entrepreneur, once said that all we need to succeed in this life is ignorance and some level of confidence. Since Mr Mark is also a humorist, it can be said that this quote is ridiculously humorous, but there is some level of truthfulness in it.
You can argue that ignorance is a disease and that an ignorant person wouldn’t be successful. However, you can’t say there is no relationship between self-confidence and success. As a school, we are against ignorance, and we don’t agree with the ignorance part of Mr Mark’s quote. We, however, believe that self-confidence is crucial to success – as it makes children take reasonable risks, manage stress, perform under pressure, and be proud of themselves.
This post will provide tips on how to build self-confidence in a child. And it is believed that if you follow them, you will raise a child with a solid foundation for 21st-century skills.
How to Build Self-Confidence in a Child
- Give positive and specific feedback
Many parents feel it is unnecessary to comment on good things that their children do, but they are quick to reprimand them if they do something wrong. This parenting approach isn’t good enough. To build self-confidence in a child, as a parent, you must compliment your kid for the things done right.
You must, however, be specific when trying to praise your child for the things done right. Instead of just saying “good job,” “nice one,” and other short complimentary remarks, be specific on the job that was done in a good way and the one that was nicely done.
Say something like, “Good job on your academic performance. I am extremely happy with your result this term. During the exam period, you spent more time with your book, and that has translated into this good result. Keep it up!”
No doubt, this kind of complimentary remark is long and requires more work on your path; however, it is effective in making kids understand the relationship between effort and results. More important, it makes them confident in their ability to deliver excellently if they put in the work.
- Encourage a growth mindset
The idea of a growth mindset stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. She explained the growth mindset – in contrast to the fixed mindset – as the mindset that thrives when faced with challenges and criticism. A person with this mindset sees failure not as a sign of unintelligence but as a learning opportunity, and the person believes that with consistent efforts he or she will achieve the desired result.
Therefore, to build self-confidence in a child, the growth mindset must be encouraged. Make your child see that he or she can overcome any obstacle through hard work and determination and that he or she should always take failures as lessons.
If you want the growth mindset to be a part of your child’s lifestyle, ensure you encourage this mindset at home and you can also enroll him or her in a Thinking School. The teaching methodology in such schools encourages children to be creative thinkers, using the principles of the growth mindset.
- Encourage the child to take healthy risks
In 1969, Dr Haim Ginott coined the term “helicopter parent,” which means a parent who takes all responsibilities for their children. This kind of parent is said to be overprotecting, not allowing the children to be independent or take any risk. The result is that, if this parent continues the style until the children become adults, the children wouldn’t be able to decide on their own.
They will also suffer from self-esteem and confidence. So, if you want your child to be confident in himself or herself, give him or her the chance to make choices and be responsible for some action. Your role in your child’s life is to guide and not to control. Allow your child to be independent and take healthy risks.
- Discover and nurture your child’s talent
Every child is talented, and as a parent, it is your job to discover and nurture your child’s talent. If you discover that your child loves painting, buy him or her painting materials and ask the child to paint the portrait for each member of the family. He or she would be very happy.
A child that loves working on the computer should be exposed to animation, coding, robotic and other relevant computer skills at their young age. Your aim should be to observe your child to discover his or her talent and provide the support needed to make the best use of the talent.
Doing this would make the child feel good about himself or herself and this helps boost self-confidence.
- Teach positive self-talk
There are too many negativities out there – from what we hear in the news to what we see in our immediate environment. Many adults have a way of dealing with these negativities by using positive self-talk. Kids can benefit from positive self-talk too; so teach your child how to use it whenever he or she is feeling anxious.
Aside from helping to reduce anxiousness, positive self-talk has health benefits, such as helping to improve body immunity and reduce stress.
- Teach resilience
This tip on how to build self-confidence in a child is related to encouraging your child to develop a growth mindset – and it simply means; never allowing failure to discourage trying. To teach resilience, it is best to use your experiences as examples. Narrate your personal story and the things you do to become self-confident.
At the same time, talk about the challenges you had overcome and how you were able to meet difficult goals and deadlines. You can as well tell the story of popular successful individuals whose secret to success was resilience. Literature characters who failed but picked up again can also be your reference when teaching your child to be resilient with his or her struggles.
- Encourage your child to follow his or her passion
Like adults, kids have passions. This passion can be drawing, painting, writing, music – and even technology. As a parent that wants to build self-confidence in his or her child, you must allow him or her to follow this passion and provide the needed support to explore the passion.
- Show unconditional love
When children perform exceptionally in school or make significant progress in life, parents tend to show lots of love; the opposite is true when children fail or make terrible decisions. The parent either spank or yell, but as explained in this article, yelling has negative psychological effects on children.
One of the effects of scolding a child in an appropriate manner can negatively impact on the child’s self-esteem. Therefore, to build self-confidence in a child, parents must show unconditional love to their children. When your child succeeds in completing a task or expresses positive behaviour, you need to show how much you love him or her. Shower praises on the child – but ensure you do not overdo it..
In the same vein, when your child fails at something or makes a bad decision, don’t castigate him or her. Instead give positive, constructive feedback, and make it clear that you still love him or her unconditionally, despite the not too pleasant outcome of his or her work. Showing how much you love your child should be consistent and not based on his or her performance.
The above are the tips on how to build self-confidence in a child. Please follow them and watch your child turn out to become a confident person who will never be afraid of pursuing his or her dreams.