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Helping Your Child Build Confidence

Confidence is a very important skill for children to develop. A confident child has greater self-esteem, independence, motivation, and a sense of belonging. Yet, parents of young children sometimes notice that they hesitate to try something new. Here are some ways you can help your child build confidence in a supportive way.


Listen to your child and acknowledge their feelings


Sometimes your child might seem to lose confidence in something without an obvious reason. In these situations, have a calm and uncritical conversation about it. Avoid comparison or saying something that might inadvertently make your child feel guilty. You can offer suggestions if it seems appropriate, but focus on simply listening with compassion. Ensure that your child knows you love and support them no matter what.


Create a secure environment for healthy risks


All parents want to protect their children, but taking risks and failing are key components in confidence. You can help your child learn that failure is a great learning experience by fostering a safe environment. For example, if your child wants to help you get breakfast ready, let them pour juice for everyone. If they spill it, remain positive and show them how they can clean it up.


Give your child ownership over small choices and tasks


When your child feels a sense of ownership over something, they naturally feel more helpful and competent. Try giving them age-appropriate choices that may not feel major to you, but are valuable to them—such as choosing their own clothes or bedtime story. Along the same lines, making your child “in charge” of small household tasks will help them feel more valuable and boost their self-esteem. For example, your toddler can be the one to put toys away before bed, or your preschooler can be the designated plant-waterer in the garden.


Encourage your child to pursue their interests


When your child pursues their own interests, they will feel a sense of accomplishment and identity. Ask your child what they like doing or learning about, and think of ways you can encourage them in these interests. For example, at My Place Early Learning Center, our STEAM-based activities keep students engaged and excited through educational games, creative art, and age-appropriate engineering projects.


Model confidence


When your child sees you trying something new with a positive attitude, they’ll learn how it’s done. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to be perfect or claim that you’re not anxious. In fact, it’s a good lesson for your child to see you trying despite these feelings. If you try something and make a mistake, don’t berate yourself. Instead, acknowledge that it didn’t work, but you’re glad you tried it. Brainstorm ways you can try it differently next time.


At My Place, we’re committed to encouraging kids to ask questions and find solutions by collaborating with their peers. When it comes to building your child’s confidence, be patient, compassionate, and help them to learn more about the world around them.

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