‘Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.’ (Quoted).
Indeed self-confidence is the key to achieving great heights in life!
Because it helps an individual to have faith in his/her inherent capabilities. And makes way for success despite all odds and challenges.
To succeed in this competitive world, our kids too need a high level of self-confidence. Hence, it is our prime responsibility to see to it that our kids grow and develop as self-confident individuals.
Let’s discover the importance of self-esteem and self-confidence in a child’s holistic development
Self-esteem and self-confidence can create a positive attitude in the child. It helps them to overcome fear in all its forms. And makes them stronger to learn from their mistakes and grow better each day. These qualities are also essential to face setbacks and unforeseen situations in life. Because confident individuals know how to tackle things mindfully even when life is in the phases of the most extreme adversities.
Do you know that your child’s confidence level is directly related to his/her academic achievements? As their fear of failure can also affect their abilities to perform as a student. This fear hampers their academic tasks and thereby affects their performance.
The ‘Program for International Student Assessment’ (PISA) highlights this point perfectly. And it states that a lack of confidence in kids acts as a barrier in accepting challenging tasks. Which hampers their overall growth and development process.
Here’s a look at 7 ways to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem
1. Set clear expectations
In most cases, kids can perform well if they know what is expected of them. So as parents/stakeholders, you must set clear rules within the family. And make sure that the kids are both aware and in agreement with these. Explain the importance of these guidelines to your kids. And tell them how these will protect the family and the rights of the members at all times. As a role model in the family, you must stay honest with other members of the family at all times. Because this honesty is the basis of stable relationships. And highlights genuine accomplishments that instill a sense of confidence in your kids.
Do not sound bossy or indifferent while laying the foundation of discipline in your home. Instead, let this be a positive exercise where all the members of the family are on the same page.
2. Reinforce positive behavior
As the original ‘Operant Conditioning’ theory (by B.F Skinner) goes, we learn from the consequences of our actions. And adopt desirable behavior basis the feedback received in the form of positive reinforcement. You can use these reinforcement strategies to encourage your child for desirable or positive behavior/actions.
In other words, your encouragement means a lot to the child. So motivate and appreciate the child wholeheartedly and make even the smallest of their achievements count. Your praise and appreciation will motivate the child to try new things and move out of the comfort zone. And this will eventually make him/her grow better and stronger with each experience and achievement.
Reinforcement should be genuine and make sure you challenge the child enough. So do not spoon-feed the child each time with ready-made answers. Instead, motivate him/her to look for answers and encourage independent learning similar to the designs of online schooling.
3. Reduce negative peer and academic pressure
Your kids can never grow up confidently if they feel suffocated in the shackles of unnecessary pressures. Researches have proved that negative peer pressure has a tarnishing effect on the individual’s self-esteem. And all this impacts self-confidence and mental health badly.
The most common reason for this pressure on kids is when the parents expect too much and compare them with others. So as adults, we need to rectify these issues at our end and treat kids with respect to instill a sense of self-worth in them. We must accept our kids as they are. Because this is the best way to instill inner strength and boost their self-confidence through the virtue of self-acceptance.
You can also boost your child’s confidence level by choosing the right medium of education. for example, if your child is an introvert, you can opt for more suitable options like digital schooling for him/her. Which will help the kid to discover his/her inner self better without getting puzzled in the noise of a traditional crowded classroom.
4. Always have realistic expectations
When you set realistic goals for your child, it makes him/her confident day by day. This happens because of the visible achievements. And creates a sense of self-worth with the fulfillment of each assigned goal.
Let the child perform only what is feasible. And make it easier, if you feel it is not going well with his/her age/caliber. Do not hesitate in making changes to the assigned goals. Because, in the end, it is important to make use of the available resources and help the child to develop as a confident individual.
5. Limit the use of social media
Excessive use of social media can create self-doubt!
You might be surprised to know that the seemingly harmless use of social media can be a big culprit to bring down your child’s self-confidence. In fact, the U.S. National Library of Medicine raises an alarm for the growing trends of chat rooms and discussion forums. Too much indulgence of this sort is creating unnecessary peer pressure on students. And these trends are now becoming a major threat for vulnerable groups (the ones who are more prone to commit suicide).
All in all, if kids spend too much time on the non-educational uses of the internet (like social media etc.), it can be a warning sign for various lifestyle problems and can also lead to multiple mental health issues. Your kids can certainly make the most of high-quality learning through online schools. But, you still need to keep a check on their use of social networking websites and other non-educational uses of the internet (such as browsing, surfing, and the use of social media).
6. Teach resilience
Your kids can be successful individuals if they have the ability to stay strong and withstand the unpleasant happenings of life. Teaching resilience instills a sense of confidence in your kids to combat the adversities and challenges of life.
This quality is essential to build their inner strength. And teaches them to stay strong and accept failures as an opportunity to grow and learn from their mistakes. Resilient individuals succeed in dealing with their defeats and disappointments. And emerge victorious through their sheer courage and mental toughness.
7. Unconditional love and acceptance of mistakes
Unconditional love is bound to instill self-confidence in kids. Because it makes them feel understood and worthy in the most important years of their lives. Unconditional love also helps kids to manage their general stress levels with failures and rejections in life. The idea is to make the kids understand and distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. However, assure the child that your love stays unaffected despite mistakes or unpleasant happenings.
Self-confidence is a passport to a successful life. It depicts imperative qualities like self-awareness and inner strength in an individual. And helps in facing all life challenges fearlessly.
Hope these points helped you to understand some effective ways and practices that can create an ocean of difference in your child’s confidence levels.
So go ahead and use these to raise your emotionally healthy and super confident kids!