Tips to instil confidence into our children

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I think it's something we are all focusing on right now that the children are trying to adjust to yet ANOTHER routine and change in their life. How can we possibly instil confidence into our children giving the current circumstances? I know even with the liveliest of children it can be difficult (speaking from experience). It's almost like my son has developed a small amount of anxiety and has started hiding back in his shell since the new school year started just a few short weeks ago. Youngster just started nursery or high school? No matter the age gap there is something relatable here for you to read. I gathered up the best advice from all our fellow parent bloggers out there to hopefully help you back on the road to some kind of normality with your little ones. Below we have some amazing tips and advice that can be applied in everyday life and situations not just related to the current worldwide pandemic. 


Build them up no matter how small the things they do are. If they draw a picture that just looks like scribbles then praise them and let them know how brilliant they are. Teach them to believe in themselves and be confident with who they are by praising them and helping them know their worth!

We encourage them to try a wide range of activities everything from indoor sky diving to llama trekking so they feel that they can handle new situations and it widens their horizons.

Let them learn through example. If they see you being confident they will begin to mimic those actions. Avoid using negative words to describe yourself- I'm certainly guilty of doing that!

Take an interest in something they are passionate about. Get involved, talk to them about what they’re doing and praise them for effort and perseverance, not just end outcomes.

Physical activity is important to children. I found that certain classes like swimming, football, dance or taekwondo really boost kids’ confidence.

1. Hold your tongue when they're trying to do something. Resist the urge to say "be careful". Yes, it's difficult sometimes - especially when you see your precious child doing something that is remotely dangerous - like jumping on the bed, climbing a tree, running as fast as they can. "Be careful" doesn't really help (I mean, be careful of what exactly?) and only tells them that you don't think they can succeed. If you must warn them of something, then be specific. "Look out for that rock" or "Jump in the middle of the bed so you don't fall off" are both better than a generic "be careful".

2. Also remember that your job as a parent isn't to stop them from doing these things that children do. Your job is to make sure they're able to do them - jump, climb, run etc - in safe areas. So, take them to a trampoline park, a gymnastics class or to the beach and let them do what kids do.


Take them to lots of new places, so they feel that there is a big world out there and they are fine to explore new places. Does not have to be fancy holidays, different parks, the beach or a woodland walk - they all help to build up their confidence in being ok with new experiences.


Let them make their own choices and support them through it. Whether that’s an activity they love, taking up an instrument, trying a new sport and so on, even if it doesn’t work out, at least they’ve tried, found it out for themselves and now know. It’s a step closer each time to working out exactly who they are and with you standing by them they will feel loved and supported through that process. 

Give them freedoms and responsibilities that are age appropriate. Small things like taking a piece of rubbish to a nearby bin can lead on to going to the counter at a soft play to buy a bottle of water. Doing these “grown up” things for themselves can be a huge confidence booster. I also think running errands and playing out build confidence once they are old enough.

My son recently said someone laughed at his drawing at school and it’s really knocked his confidence. I said you’re drawings are beautiful, you have an amazing imagination and I love that you put that to paper! You look in a museum and see all the different types of art there is, you may want to laugh or think some aren’t very good but everyone has different tastes, the world would be boring if we all liked the same thing. You are also amazing at “” “” and “”. We can’t be good at everything. I encourage him to do what he loves and compliment at it. We also do a journal at night time where we right an emoji of the day how they felt, three good things about their day and a word about a certain family like for dad - funny etc then I write a good sentence about how he was that day.


I’ve read The Hidden Chimp with my two - it’s got some great examples which they easily relate to around confidence.


Try to cover up any of your own personal anxieties or fears. For example I am nervous around dogs and flying but when I am with my children I do my level best to slap on a smile and enthusiastically stroke that dog and always get on that plane without any fuss so that they don’t have their confidence in situations damaged by my own issues.


I just thought of something else we do... it is natural as a human to notice when you are better at one thing than another, but I am trying to work really hard to not allow my children to create their own limiting beliefs i.e. I am rubbish at maths. If and when they say negative things like this about themselves I also try to reframe it is as opportunity to improve and offer them an alternative positive sentence so instead of saying I am rubbish at saying I am going to work on getting better at.... I find... difficult so I am going to sit with mummy and get some help with it. 

We point out that we are all different. That one of us may be a good musician, another good at football, you might be funny or kind and all those things are important. Focus on your strengths not your weaknesses and that as long as you try that is fine. Trying your best is what is important. If children know they won't get in trouble for failing then I find their confidence increases and they're more willing to try different things. 


 I want to quote what my late and adoptive Dad always told me. He used to say that I should put my shoulders back, stick my chest out and face the world with confidence "because you are as good as anyone else, no better but just as good" Wise man that Dad of mine and good to be reminded of that advice on the very date he picked me up from the children's home to become my Dad

All progress is progress. Even if you child has just learnt how to count to five, ride their bike without stabilisers or tie their shoe laces, it is an achievement. Praise them for it! And don’t just praise the academic achievements... sporting, musical and social development are vital too. Support them to realise that it doesn’t matter how they are in comparison to others. They are unique and what’s important is they are kind, caring and do their best.

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