The world can be a very scary place for children, filled with uncertainties and worries that their developing brains may not be able to solve on their own. This can cause long-term damage to their self-esteem, which can lead them to feel inadequate in key areas of their lives such as work and social settings. This piece will describe a collection of unique ways you can help instill a healthy sense of confidence in your child, ensuring that they can go on to achieve their future goals with ease.
Signs Your Child Is Lacking in Confidence
Increased Levels of Anxiety
It’s normal for children to feel some anxiety in their lives, especially when faced with important changes such as starting a new school or joining a new sports club. However, if you notice your child is feeling nervous about all aspects of their lives, it may be a sign that they don’t feel confident enough to face their fears. Children who feel this way may avoid trying new things or shying away in the corner when placed in a new environment.
Uses Negative Statements About Themselves
Negative statements work to change the way we feel about ourselves and our performance and can also lead children to feel as if they don’t deserve respect from their peers or elders. Hesitant children may say things like ‘I can’t complete my math homework; I’m too stupid.’ or ‘No one wants to play with me; I’m weird.’ These statements, though usually untrue, can leave a child with lifelong insecurities and damage how they view themselves and their abilities.
Lack of Connection With Other Children
Children are social creatures who thrive on being interconnected with one another. Yet, when certain children lack a secure sense of self, they tend to distance themselves away from their peers. As such, these children can fall behind on the social ladder and can end up having minimal friendships or relationships that only go surface deep. This can cause children to dread school and feel isolated in the presence of their classmates.
Decreased Performance in School
When children feel anxious in their place of learning, they may feel hesitant to ask certain questions or ask for help with their work. In turn, these children may suffer a decline in their grades, which can also leave permanent gaps in their knowledge. Over time this can affect their academic progress, making it harder to excel in institutions like college or internships.
Beginning to Adopt Negative Coping Mechanisms
For those raising teenagers, you may notice that your child takes on a wealth of unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to cope with the stressors of their daily lives. They may begin smoking or engaging with children who are a bad influence on their self-esteem. If this is the case for your family, it is advised that you contact your child’s guidance counselor for more support at school.
7 Effective Ways to Help Your Child Build True Confidence
1. Take Them for a Haircut
Our hair can help us feel like a million bucks, boosting our confidence tenfold. However, shy children may feel the need to hide behind their hair, shielding their gaze under a messy mop. A simple trip to the beauty salon or barber shop can help your child reinvent themselves, allowing them to feel refreshed and able to start again. This process can also educate children about vital hygiene practices, which may make them more approachable on the playground.
2. Help Them Develop a Skincare Routine
Acne is one of the more unfortunate aspects of growing up and can cause children to feel unattractive. Though this common skin condition is not necessarily caused by being unsanitary, a new skincare routine can help target key areas and work to clear up the affected spots. As time goes on, your child will begin to feel more comfortable in their own skin and will even gain a new sense of responsibility by conducting their own routine by themselves.
3. Teach Them Practical Skills
As children grow, it is vital that they learn to do things for themselves so that they don’t have to constantly rely on their parents. For example, it may be a good idea to teach them the basic principles of HVAC so that they know how to fix the air conditioner and the heating in their own apartment in the future. In addition, it can help to teach your child about the home’s water system so that they can transform into plumbers if the worst were to happen.
4. Upgrade Their Wardrobe
A new outfit can really make us feel better about ourselves, giving us the confidence to go out and show the world what we’re made of. For children, this can help them feel similar to their peers, which can increase their chances of social acceptance. In contrast, some children enjoy standing out from the crowd. If that’s the case for your child, encourage them to experiment with nuanced jewelry designs and off-beat outfits to help them foster their own sense of identity and personality.
5. Help Them Pursue Their Hobbies
Although your child may struggle to make friends at school, they may have better luck if they’re surrounded by children with similar interests to them. This could be at an arts and crafts summer camp or at an exclusive performing arts school, giving children the chance to chat with some new faces and find joy in their passions. These establishments can also be a safe haven for those having a tough time at school or home and are looking for a fun place to escape. Be sure to conduct some lengthy research about the clubs located in your area and discuss them with your child before signing them up as this can help them feel better prepared and less nervous about participating.
6. Celebrate Their Accomplishments
A firm sense of encouragement can help your child to feel better about their hobbies and work ethic, inspiring them to keep up the good work. Whether it’s getting a good grade on a spelling test or serving up an array of delicious BBQ food at the family cookout, make sure that you are complimenting your child on their work. Unfortunately, there is a fine line between encouragement and bombardment, so be careful not to use this praise too often or try to control how they are completing certain tasks. It is also important that you don’t compare your child’s performance to others as this can lead them to feel insecure and vulnerable.
7. Take Them to Therapy
If these solutions don’t help, or you feel that your child’s lack of confidence is a serious issue, it may be time to contact a mental health professional. A psychotherapist can help your child get to the root of their problem and offer them a wealth of coping skills to help them handle when negative thoughts arise. Some children benefit from taking medication, in which case, it’s best to get in touch with an experienced psychiatrist to help manage the dose and side effects of these drugs. Though not the same as a traditional therapist, a psychiatrist can also offer ways to manage your mental health, which can help your child gain better control of their emotions. It’s important that parents don’t feel ashamed about taking their child to therapy as it is actually very common. Reports show that many children received some sort of mental health help throughout the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, so your child can rest assured that this is completely normal.
Benefits of Raising a Confident Child
Better Willingness to Learn
Confident children aren’t afraid to ask questions or admit that they don’t know about certain things because they don’t fear the consequences of their lack of knowledge. This can promote strong feelings of curiosity, which also increases their passion for learning. As these children continue to learn, either academically or socially, they are better able to use these new skills to solve problems and form appropriate attachments. Thus, confident children have a firmer foundation for growth due to their constant need to learn more.
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, resilience is the ability to remain happy, even when something difficult or harmful has occurred. A good level of self-confidence will help children understand that bad things happen all the time, but they still hold the skills needed to overcome these difficulties. Thus, they will often roll with the punches and not feel too downtrodden when they experience negative events such as bereavement, rejection, or loss. Resilience also inspires children to keep trying in the face of failure, ensuring that they can achieve their goals no matter the circumstances.
Increased Sense of Creativity
Creativity doesn’t just relate to pieces of art or literature; it can also help us produce imaginative solutions when times get tough. A child’s vivid imagination can also increase their playfulness, giving them the prime opportunity to create games and scenarios that other children will want to take part in. Thus, by encouraging your child to enjoy creative activities such as drawing, painting, or acting, they are more likely to be popular with other children. An interest in art can also help children develop their future careers, giving them a lucrative goal to work toward if they ever feel aimless or lost.
Helps Them to Become More Empathetic
Empathy is a crucial component of any human relationship, aiding us in creating strong bonds as well as mutual respect for each other. Confident children are less likely to experience jealousy or bitterness when their peers succeed as they understand that they can also achieve good things in their own right. As such, these children can celebrate the work of others and build extensive friendships with those around them. Empathy is also a useful trait for when you need to show comfort and care to a loved one. By instilling confidence into your child early on, they will know how to show adequate amounts of empathy at the correct times, potentially making them a very caring and generous individual.
Better Physical Health
Body image issues are unfortunately very common in self-conscious children with studies showing that many children avoid partaking in physical exercise over concerns about how they look. When we offer a child the chance to take pride in their appearance, such as letting them choose their own clothes and encouraging them to stay clean and sanitary, they are more likely to approve of how they look and how they are perceived by others. This can help children feel more comfortable about spending time with others and completing activities that require them to show off their bodies such as sports or modeling.
Advanced Decision-Making Skills
Decision-making is a very important life skill because it ensures that we can take matters into our own hands and make choices that benefit us as individuals. If your child doesn’t know who they truly are yet or are scared of making mistakes, they may struggle to make even the simplest of decisions like what to have for breakfast. Thus, confidence can give children a vital sense of independence and motivate them to bite the bullet and make a choice. Decision-making is also linked to problem-solving, which can be a key factor in helping your child perform better in tests throughout their academic careers.
Parents feel an immense sense of pride in their children and are likely to do anything in their power to see them grow and flourish throughout their lives. Yet, some children fall behind due to a lack of confidence and may need a bit of help to feel more like themselves. Be sure to follow the advice listed in this article to help your child grow in confidence and live life to their fullest potential.