In this series, “Building Kids With Character”, I am taking the time to go through four character qualities that I feel are essential to any child’s success, and ways that you as a parent can encourage your child to develop these qualities. I have talked about motivation and perseverance already. The third quality that I feel is important to build into your child is Self-Confidence!
You, more than anyone else in this world, have the power to give your child the amazing gift of knowing that you believe in them!
Self Confidence is simply believing in yourself. A child who believes in himself or herself will try harder, work longer, train with a more positive attitude, and be happier. You, more than anyone else in this world, have the power to give your child the amazing gift of knowing that you believe in them. This will give them the self confidence and buoyancy to accomplish whatever they set out to do in life. Here are some ideas for helping your child to develop a higher level of self-confidence:
Let your child know that you believe in him or her! Make sure that whenever your child is facing a challenge or a daunting task that you take the time to let them know you believe in their ability to accomplish it! Phrases like “I know you can do it!” and “I believe that you will accomplish your goal!” are things that will boost your child’s confidence level. Don’t spend all your time telling them how to do it or why they need to do it… Sometimes all they need to know is that you believe they can!
Teach your child how to act with self-confidence. Acting with confidence is a big part of having self confidence. Confidence is a skill that children can be taught, just like good manners or diligence. Just like anything else, it needs to be practiced until it is mastered and becomes a habit. Teach your child how to stand straight, hold their chin up, and look someone in the eye when they are speaking to others. At first, this is easier for them to practice with you or someone else that they are very comfortable with. As they improve, work on being able to do it with anyone! Another aspect of self confidence is positive self-talk. Teach your child to make hopeful, believing statements about themselves, like “I know I can do it”, or “I am going to work at this until I get it!”. If you ever hear your child say something negative about themselves, like “I am never going to be able to do this”, encourage them right away with a statement that tells them you believe in them, and then help them to think of a more positive statement to say about themselves.
All they need to know is that you believe they can!
In my experience as a professional gymnastics coach, athletes who believe in themselves go much farther. I also believe that children’s confidence levels are directly influenced by the amount of self-confidence their parents model as well as how much they encourage their children and let them know that they believe in them. Remember this: “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can”