catharine toso -a parent's guide- blog header

Most of the time, a child’s confidence stems from learned behaviors of the adults around them. As a parent, the ability to raise a child beaming with poise can become challenging. Along with setting a good example as a parent, here are some tips to help any child feel better in their own skin.

Encouragement, Not Criticism

Whether they win or lose their soccer game, children should always be appreciated for their efforts. Discouraging a defeat or mistake often leads a child to feel a sense of embarrassment – a key factor in lack of confidence. Whenever an attempt at something new is made, the child should receive praise, even if they stumble along the way. Of course, as children age, they seek constructive criticism in areas they want to thrive in. However, at younger stages, consistent encouragement to avoid active embarrassment guides them towards self-assurance.

Trial Without Error

Every new experience in a child’s life should be looked at as a trial, without any assumption of error. Say the child wants to join a ballet class, yet the parent knows difficulties are likely to arise as her child is not very coordinated. Allowing the child to try this new endeavor with no preconceived notions of failing gives them the confidence to walk into the class and start fresh, even if they do end up falling a few times.

It is important to allow your child to discover traits about themselves independently because it gives them the courage to continue exploring new areas of life without having to consult you on whether it would be a good idea or not. Show the child there is no shame in needing to work hard at something because not everything will come naturally to them. Adults make mistakes and struggle with things as well. Be honest with your child and, when possible, attempt to resolve these mistakes in front of the child, as it shares a noteworthy lesson in confidence construction.

Foster Independence

An obvious way to ensure a child is brought up knowing self-worth is allowing them to discover their independence. This doesn’t mean that you should stop monitoring them, but it’s important to give them space to make their own decisions. For example, encourage your toddler to pick their own clothing or choose what’s for dinner one night.

As the child ages, more intricate and important decisions will require parental guidance, but allowing them to seek certain fates on their own will help boost their self-assurance. Mistakes are bound to be made, but treating them as building blocks for learning instills confidence within errors.

Don’t Always Rescue Them

Of course, no parent wants to see their child get hurt, but sometimes letting them problem solve and find a solution without stepping in and completely solving the issue is the right move. Parents.com notes that when a parent constantly rushes to their child’s side to save them, they are likely causing more harm than good and the child thinks they will always need a parent to fight their battles.

It would be hard to find someone who claims raising a child is easy. Do not look for a guide on the “right” and “wrong” ways to raise a child. Every child is different and requires a unique strategy. The great thing about these tips for raising a confident child is that they are adaptable in order to suit the needs of various styles of upbringings!