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15 ways to raise confident children

Confidence doesn’t have anything to do with a child’s genetic makeup. Any child can grow to be confident as long as he or she receives the right guidance and support from his or her parents.

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How do parents raise confident children?

Before we answer that question, let's look at some misconceptions that people have about confidence in children.

  • Confidence is in the genes
  • By the use of some magic formula, children can become confident instantly
  • Only some children are destined to be confident

The truth is...

Confidence doesn’t have anything to do with a child’s genetic makeup. No magic formula can make a child instantly confident because confidence is built through diligence and perseverance. If you think that only a chosen few are destined to be confident, then you are wrong. Any child can grow to be confident as long as he or she receives the right guidance and support from his or her parents.

While it’s true that every child has his or her own temperament, it’s not true that only sanguine or choleric children can be confident.

Here are some things that you can do to raise confident children:

1. Make your child understand that nobody is perfect.

All people make mistakes. The best way to help them comprehend this concept is to model it for them. When you make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up. Tell your children that you have made a mistake but it’s alright because you can learn new things from it. But make sure that this will not be a license for inappropriate behaviour.

2. Tell them that they are unique and important.

Highlight their unique and special skills. Help them to understand that no two persons are alike so they shouldn’t compare themselves with other children or their siblings.

3. Help them to discover their passions and encourage them to develop their talents.

Observe what your child’s interest is as this is what he or she would love to do most. Support them by allowing them to enrol in supplementary courses. Children feel confident when they are able to do at least one thing expertly.

4. Allow them to make decisions.

It is not healthy for parents to always decide for their kids. Since young children are still unable to make complex decisions, parents can give them clear choices. Instead of saying, “What would you like drink?”, parents can say, “Would you like milk or orange juice?”

5. Don’t be a superdad or supermum.

Instead of always trying to rescue your kids, give them a chance to sort out their own problems. Just provide guidance but don’t solve their problems for them. Overparenting will produce kids who will be afraid to take risks and who will always just hide behind their parents.

6. Give them responsibilities.

Assign your kids to do some chores at home. You can ask them to do simple things such as setting the table or dusting the furniture. Doing this, will teach them responsibility and also make them feel proud of being able to contribute something at home.

7. Encourage and compliment them often.

However, you have to be careful that you don’t give out your compliments carelessly. Make sure that you only compliment them for things that they do extraordinarily well or if they have gone above and beyond their "duties". For example, don’t compliment them just for doing regular household chores, but if your son decides to rearrange all the shoes in the shoe cabinet (out of his own free will), take a moment to compliment him for his initiative.

8. Be their best critic.

If they do something wrong, don’t just ignore their mistakes for fear of hurting their feelings. It is fine to let them know when they have done something wrong but be specific when correcting them. Your motivation for pointing out their mistake is not to embarrass them but to help them to improve.

9. Talk with them often.

As parents, you have to know what your children are going through. Spending time with them regularly will make them feel loved and accepted. This will also help them to learn how to express themselves freely.

10. Express your love through simple gestures.

A simple hug or kiss can make your children feel really happy. If you do this regularly, they are sure to feel secure of your love.

11. Comfort them when they are troubled.

When you know that your children are going through some rough times, try to find ways to help them relax. You can give them a treat or you can just have a stroll with them.

12. Encourage them to help others.

Children who think of the welfare of others grow up to be more confident than those who only think of themselves. You can start training them on this by asking them to help you when you are doing something. Then you can find opportunities on how they can help the less fortunate. You can visit an orphanage and give out gifts to the children there, or you can drive around town and give out food to the needy.

13. Teach them to be optimistic problem-solvers.

If your child feels down because of some disappointments, help him or her to look at the brighter side of things. Prevent them from wallowing in self-pity. Help them to think of ways on how to improve their situation.

14. Encourage them to build relationships with other adults.

While it’s nice for them to be close to kids their age, it would be good if they can establish a bond with some adults. This will help them see things in different perspectives allowing them to broaden their way of thinking.

15. Help them to set goals.

Let your kids dream big dreams. Constantly ask how they envision themselves in the future. Then ask them to come up with plans that can bring them closer to their dreams.