When it comes to raising children, there are certain worries that seem universal, no matter your background. Will they get on okay at school? Will they get a good job? Will they have a happy relationship? – these are just a few things that cross parents minds as their kids grow up, but a lot of those questions come down to one thing – confidence. Kids who are confident tend to fare better in all aspects of life, and there are lots of things that we, as parents, can do to encourage confidence. Here are a few of them:
Where You Live
Believe it or not, where you live can actually have a bearing on how confident you are. The Confidence Index looks at the 10 most populous cities in the UK to determine which is the most confident and which is the least, surrounding education, finances and career, to name a few. According to their findings, people from Cardiff are the most overall confident in the UK, while people in Leicester are most confident about their health, and perhaps unsurprisingly, people from London have the most confidence regarding their careers and finances.
Effort vs. Achievement
Praising kids for their accomplishments is great, but it’s also important to let them know you’re proud of their efforts regardless of the outcome. It takes hard work to develop new skills, and results aren’t always immediate. Let kids know you value the work they’re doing, whether they’re toddlers building with blocks or teenagers teaching themselves to play the guitar. Effort is important.
One easy way to foster self-confidence in children is to give them responsibilities. Try essential but straightforward tasks, things like helping you cook dinner or taking care of a younger sibling. Children thrive when they have a role to play — when they know they are an integral part of the family. Give your children jobs to take care of regularly, and they’ll become dependable, conscientious, and confident.
Praise Traits, Not Actions
Praise your children for character traits rather than talents or achievements. Point out what is genuinely good and likeable about who they are. When they misbehave, focus on the specific problem behaviour instead of communicating that they are bad. Praise character traits and discipline behaviour. This way, kids will always know that they are good people, even when they know they’ve done something wrong. Positive reinforcement is much healthier than negativity.
Let Them Be Themselves
Children who can be their true selves will grow in self-confidence. Always encourage your children to show how they are really feeling. When children are upset, they can work through it if their feelings are validated. So be a listener rather than a teacher. Try to see things from their perspective and then let them know that you see how they are feeling. Also, allow them to develop their own interests and try to show an interest yourself. One of our favourite things to do as a family is play Minecraft together and it’s enhanced our bonding to a huge degree!