Confidence in Children

We all want our children to grow and be the most confident they can possibly be. To not let anything bring them down when encountering negative situations in life and let’s face it, there are a few.

We all want our children to have no worries when addressing new situations or challenges. Or to not let a bully in the school playground upset them or make them doubt themselves.

It is scary being a parent, and you want to wrap them up in your arms of protection. My heart beats with worry when I see my son go into play school with his red hair. We were so surprised when he was born as my husband is blonde and I am brunette. My son has the most beautiful, auburn red hair.

But one thing I do think about is, how well will his beautiful auburn red hair be accepted at school? Will he get picked on?

The only way for me to really feel relaxed while my son is at school is to enable him to be fully equipped and armoured with “Self Confidence”.

It doesn’t matter what he encounters if his self-belief and confidence are in-tact, then he can deal with anything that comes his way. While I am sitting at home without a worry.

So how do we make sure our children have self-confidence?

As a teacher of Social Skills, I have a lot of parents come to me and say, “He’s so quiet”. Or “I wish she was a bit more assertive”.

Well, I often have said to them that being loud and assertive doesn’t necessarily mean a child has confidence. A child can be reticent and introvert and still have confidence.

Confidence is inner strength and yes, sometimes being loud and assertive is a product of internal power, but sometimes this isn’t the case.

A child can be reticent and still have the right level of self-confidence. They may not feel the need to be loud and assertive in every situation.

My point is that it is you, the parent that instils confidence within your child.

How do you feel about them? What do you think? Are your thoughts negative? Are you fuelling any fears they might have? Are you commenting on their inabilities and showing your concerns?

All of this is picked up by your child, and they trust your judgment.

I had a parent come to me in my class only a few weeks ago saying, “My son is really struggling, I am so worried about him, he has no confidence”.

I took him into the class, and yes she was correct he had low confidence, and he struggled, but I saw great potential in him as I do with every child in some form, but I can see past the lack of confidence. I’m a teacher of ‘Social Skills’.

Sometimes it’s hard as a parent due to ‘worry’. We can be negative without even knowing it.

After the class, the mum then was keen for him to continue. She said to him as we were discussing this “Now this class will help you with your shyness and lack of self-belief.

All negative comments.

It’s also confirming issues vocally and this gives them the ‘Power’ to exist.

The next time I had the opportunity to speak with the mum, I suggested that by talking this way in front of her son, there is a danger of making him be this way.

If we are called ‘Shy’ we tend to be ‘Shy’. It’s ‘labelling’.

By the mum making an issue out of it, fuelled it and confirmed it in the boy’s mind. He now knows he’s shy and lacks self-belief.

So here is my advice in enabling your child to have the right level of self-confidence.

1. Be your child’s biggest fan. When they do well, notice this and sincerely praise them. Tell them how proud they make you. It means so much to a child if mummy or daddy are proud of them. Even if it’s for something small. It’s an accomplishment so praise them.

2. Show your child Love. Even if you mess up and have an angry moment, I mean, who doesn’t we are all human. If you hug your child and tell them that you are sorry and say, “I love you” then this is what’s important. Showing love to your child gives a strong foundation for confidence. Accept the fact that we all make mistakes, and it’s how we deal with the mistakes that really counts. Don’t dwell on them.

3. Spend quality time with your child. As much as you can, you will know when it is “Quality Time” because you will enjoy it as well. This builds good relationships. Remember, life is not all about paying the mortgage or getting a bigger house. It’s about enjoyment.

4. Help your child to set realistic goals. Teach them to not strive for perfection but to strive for excellence. This is important as your child will gain more confidence through achievement. They will not encounter failure if the goals they are setting are achievable. Enable your child to understand that it is good to have dreams, but it is also good to start small and work their way up.

5. Work on yourself. In my experience, nearly all children are a reflection of their parents. If you lack self-belief and focus on the negatives, then your child is likely to do the same. Don’t think that it doesn’t matter about you, it does, very much so. Trust me when I say this, it is what I see over and over again. Be self-confident. Acknowledge your fears but don’t let them consume you. Be positive. The only way to be positive is to focus on the positives, no matter how insignificant you think they may be.

Remember if you have inner strength, then your child will too. That’s where it starts. Parenting is the hardest job, be kind to yourself because to be a parent, you are pretty awesome!

Stay Powerful.

Miranda Wilson.

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