Confidence is an important thing parents must constantly work on with their children. The lack of it may lead to negative and long-lasting effects on their mental health. The BBC reports that in 2020, 17.9% of boys and 10.8% of girls aged five to ten have these issues. It's also notable how it results in worsened mental wellness when left unresolved, as children aged 11 to 16 are still affected negatively.
Self-esteem has a deal to do with mental and overall wellbeing. If it is nurtured in children, they will be able to have a more positive outlook on life, assert themselves, and find value in themselves as individuals. As parents and guardians, there are many things you can do to hone their confidence and here are just some of the ways you can do so:
Let them be independent
A great way to let your child build their self-esteem is to allow them to have activities on their own. This gives them the chance to build their character and individuality that are necessary for their development. This can be done in small ways such as letting them make their own way to school or going to the nearby shops when you need something for your household (provided they are at an appropriate age to do so).
If you are looking for bolder ways and bigger steps to allow them to assert their independence, signing them up for a day camp will be fruitful. Our past article 'How Your Child Will Grow at Camp', describes how they learn important social skills while also building their confidence in camps. They can then interact with peers and aim for different milestones and goals that will help them feel good about themselves. These camps also have different activities (ranging from football to laboratory experiments) that will surely keep your children active and engaged.
Give them role models they can follow
Another way you can encourage your child to build confidence is by giving them good role models they can follow. These are people your kids can look up to, and ones who can inspire them and help them understand their own potential. They can range from family members, people within your area, or even yourself as their parent. This is especially important as children tend to emulate what adults around them do.
As Bridge International Academies highlights, community role models are crucial for children as they can offer a sense of empowerment. They demonstrate to your kids the potential they can reach when they set their mind to it. This is especially true if they can see themselves in the people they choose to look up to, such as someone with similar interests and traits. Introducing your children to role models will build their confidence and allow them to believe in themselves and their potential more.
Let them make mistakes
Coddling your child too much can have adverse effects in the future. They may not be prepared for failure and if the time comes that they make a mistake, they will end up taking it too harshly. Children who are overprotected can find it hard to cope when presented with challenges. This is why it is important to allow your children to slip up every once in a while. Grit is a huge factor in tenacity and self-confidence.
Time Magazine explains how teaching your children that it’s okay to stumble sometimes will teach them how to survive and build their self-esteem. This can be done in small ways like being there to guide and mentor them during revisions, instead of giving out the answers directly. Instead of doing their coursework, be there to help them with what they don’t understand. It is also important to give them praise when they deserve it. This way, they will know that it is okay to take pride in their achievements and will let them know that you are proud of them too. It will help them develop their self-esteem and lessen their feelings of self-doubt.
Confidence is often overlooked when it comes to childhood development, but this shouldn’t be the case. Helping your child build theirs will allow them to be happier, more sure of themselves, and proud of who they are.
Written exclusively for barracudas.co.uk by Cassie Lewis