How to Raise a Self-Assured Child

Although confidence is essential for adult success, the foundations of self-esteem are formed in infancy. Experts weigh in on how to instill confidence in children from the start.


When Do Children Gain Confidence?
Confidence means having faith in yourself, your decisions, and your ability in the face of risk. According to studies, people begin to develop this sensibility at an early age.

Learning to trust one's own talents begins as soon as newborns start crawling or taking their first steps, but true confidence emerges closer to preschool age.


Researchers noted, "Young children can think of themselves as having abstract traits and abilities, and they can also reason about their self-worth, which has implications for self-esteem."


What Does Child Confidence Look Like?

According to Hovington, confidence in children under the age of five differs from that of adults. Much of the confidence that young children receive comes from acquiring a deeper awareness of their bodies via physical, motor, and dangerous play that entails pushing their boundaries.


How to Instill Confidence in Children

Promote a developing mentality.
Furnival adds that a growth mindset "helps children understand that they are always learning and growing." If your child has reservations about their talents, "validate and empathize with them while encouraging them," she advises. "It's our job to express our confidence in them so that they can begin to feel confidence in themselves."


Growth mindsets help individuals become strong and persevere in the face of adversity, whereas fixed mindsets cause people to assume they've done all possible and give up more quickly. A growth mindset can help children be less scared to take risks and make errors, resulting in increased confidence in their skills.


Include them with home responsibilities.

Raising self-confident children entails assisting them in becoming self-sufficient. Asking kids to assist you around the house will not only provide you with a lovely reward, but it will also develop their sense of independence and capability. "Some children enjoy participating in housework and feel proud that they're able to mimic what their parents are doing," said Hovington. "For example, if you're folding clothes, a 3-year-old can assist you in finding three pairs of matching socks." They can be in charge of watering the garden if you're conducting yard maintenance."


Praise the process rather than the result.
Encourage the process rather than the outcome in order to instill confidence in children. This teaches kids the value of hard effort and can lead to great self-esteem and lasting accomplishment. If your child shows you some artwork, you may remark something like, "I love the colors you chose" or "You're working hard on practicing coloring inside the lines," according to Hovington.


Allow your youngster to make errors.
Another method for instilling confidence in children is to tell them that errors are chances to learn and grow. According to Hovington, this can also make it simpler for children to take chances (such as raising their hand in class) without fear of being incorrect. One enjoyable confidence-building activity for children: "You can encourage your child's curiosity by creating a 'I wonder' space on the wall where you can post sticky notes with questions you can't answer." "Look it up together on the internet," she says. This is also a terrific approach to educate your child that it's alright not to know everything—and that you can learn at any age.


Set a good example.
Young children observe everything, and they learn from what they see. Modeling your own good self-esteem is an excellent method to instill confidence in your children. "Talk out loud about your process, including encouraging yourself and celebrating yourself," Furnival tells me. "Try not to talk negatively about yourself in front of your children—or at all." If you catch yourself, describe how you're attempting to stop saying unkind things to yourself."


Discuss your emotions.
Discuss with your children how feelings manifest and how they may cause individuals to act. According to Furnival, this helps young minds comprehend what sensations are and how to identify them. Explain what confidence is and how it may make your child feel to your youngster. Teaching children about self-love and good relationships—both with others and with themselves—is an important part of explaining feelings to them. "When you list who you love with them, include yourself, and have them list themselves as well." "Assist them in celebrating and loving their individuality," Furnival suggests.

You should not label your child.
Avoid labeling your youngster, especially negative labels. "Don't treat your children's unwanted behaviors as character traits," said Furnival. She uses the example of a toddler who lacks energy and is thus termed "lazy." "We have to be so careful, because what we say to our children becomes their internal voice over time," Furnival said. "We want to call them terms that are positive." Affirmations on a daily basis may help teach youngsters the power of words and boost their self-esteem.

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