Here at Food For Thought By The Sea we support programs that allow people to build confidence through experiences and challenges. We know that this is a sure-fire way to develop confidence because it’s one of the only true ways to do so.
We all know that no matter how awesome our parents, guardians, family, or friends might say we are, we rarely believe them without accepting our awesomeness for ourselves. This is great news! It means we can create confidence and it’s also great news because as parents, guardians, teachers, and community members, we can foster confidence in young people by giving them opportunities to experience and recognize their own amazing gifts and abilities. We can’t tell them they’re great and call it a day. But we can give them every opportunity to rise to challenges, overcome fears, and develop their talents. That’s what we’re talking about in today’s blog: 11 ways you can foster confidence in your children, be they in your home or classroom.
So let’s get to them!
Model and encourage practice without pressure so that children become confident that they can get better with practice when they really want to do well at something.
Let them be the problem solvers in their own lives. The confident and capable adults they become will be grateful for the chance to make things happen for themselves.
Allow play, silliness, and imagination to take root as much as discipline, practice, and focus so that your child does not become discouraged by unrealistic expectations for how perfectly they “must” do things in order to be valued.
Ask them about themselves and listen for the answers. You’re surely a big deal in your child’s life and when you as questions about them (Do you like____? How do you feel when ____? What’s your favorite____?) Your questions and the patience with which you listen to help your child to decide that they’re valuable and they become confident that they’re worthy.
Allow them to try something new without the expectation that they’ll do it perfectly. New experiences give children the chance to navigate the unknown and that’s fertile ground for building confidence.
Be aware of their technology use and the reason they’re using it. You know your child. If they’re using technology to avoid feelings or work, explore that with them by asking them how they’re feeling in that moment. When the feelings subside, set a tech-use boundary around how much they can use their tech and when. The challenge of managing their own emotions without tech will build their confidence over time
Teach them mindfulness: Regulating their emotions, becoming self aware, and understanding and appreciating what they have will all help your child build confidence.
Recognize their courageous moments and offer support when they’re struggling. While we don't want to be too overwhelming to our children, offering support in difficulty gives them the confidence that they can seek help and receive it when needed.
Make sure they’re not the exception to the rule at home, at school, or elsewhere so that your child becomes confident without feeling entitled to something they did not create or earn.
Be the model for them. Do you know how to cook? Write? Make new friends? Whatever you can do well, it’s awesome to share the “How To” with your child. They’ll see you lead by example and become confident that they can figure things out, just like you do!
Cheer on effort and progress, not simply success and perfection.
Have you tried something from this blog?
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Thank you for being so generous!