How do I boost my child's self-confidence?
Real Mom Problem
“My son is lacking in self-confidence. I was thinking about enrolling him in a karate class to help with his self-confidence issues and for him to learn some discipline (he gets frustrated when he cannot get something right off the bat).”
- 1. Praise your child for both big and small achievements, and show him lots of love and support
- 2. Allow your child to explore her creativity and interests
- 3. Fight the urge to "fix," "correct," or "direct" your child when he's doing something on his own
- 4. Talk to your child's doctor or a therapist if you're concerned about a lack of confidence
Real Mom Solutions
We all want our kids to feel good about themselves and confident in their abilities, but that's not always natural for some kids. See what these moms suggest for helping your child grow up confident.
Sign Them Up for a Sport or Activity
My daughter went through a phase where she was lacking self-confidence. She loves horses, so I put her in horse riding lessons. It made a big difference.
Drama could be great for your daughter to build her self-confidence. Also, what about karate? Music? Swimming? Art? She can be in a group setting with these things, work at her own pace, and gain skills that will make her feel confident.
My son was having trouble standing up for himself. He's been in karate for a bit, and I've seen such a positive difference in him. He is more verbal, louder, and has more confidence. It's still a work in progress for sure with him, but I love what I'm seeing so far.
Activities like sports, karate, or clubs are sometimes a huge help with self-esteem and confidence.
I tried to do things to boost my daughter's confidence and give her more self-esteem because she kept saying she couldn't do anything. We had to change schools and it got better, and I also was able to get her in to Girl Scouts and she made the choir. Those two things seemed to really help.
Have you considered theater? You would be surprised how plays/musicals can help foster friendships and social situations. It really is a great way to garner confidence and begin speaking in public.
I would definitely try sports or Boy Scouts to boost your son's confidence. Scouts has done wonders for my son. He was very shy at first, but now there is a group of boys that he is friends with from Scouts.
Praise Them & Give Them Control
A trip to the dentist changed my daughter. She used to have to be sedated, even for fillings, because she has been deathly afraid of the dentist her entire life. Anything more than fluoride and she'd bite, kick, scream, grab things, etc. So this time (she's eight), me and my significant other bribed her with $250, the cost of the sedation. She was super excited to be able to spend that money on herself. She made it through a pulpectomy, two fillings, and a partial extraction without a tear. She just had a numbing shot. After she realized that she really could do it without being sedated, I can't stop her. Her confidence has soared! I know that sounds silly, that just a dental visit could do that, but honestly, it did. Once I showed her that she is in control, she can do it if she tries, she does everything now.
In order for praise to be productive, it needs to be specific. Rather than telling your son that he is a wonderful child, let him know what he does well at the time that he does it. For example, "Thank you for being such a good listener." "Wow, I loved the way you got dressed all by yourself this morning." "That was such a nice thing to say to your friend." Additionally, allow your son to make mistakes. For example, if his sock isn't pulled all the way up, don't fix it. If he hasn't combed his hair perfectly, let it be. Also, when parents feel the need to make their child's homework look perfect, by writing, drawing or cutting something for them, children get the message that whatever they do isn't good enough, and their self-confidence is undermined.
My daughter is beautiful, very smart, and a very talented ice skater, yet she has no self-confidence. We praise her every day and always give her success-based tasks to boost her confidence. Her teacher is working with me on this, too. My daughter will not raise her hand in class because she is afraid of getting the answer wrong, so what the teacher does is call on her when she knows my daughter knows the answer.
Some kids are just shy, this is their nature. My 12-year-old has been like this all of her life. She is just now starting to come out of her shell a little bit. Just keep praising your son and he will know how much you love and support him, that's the important thing here. He may never come out of being shy, but he will always know he is loved and supported.
Talk It Out & Consider Counseling
Remind your daughter that if the kids at school don't like her for who she really is, then they aren't really liking "her," they are liking a façade, and then they are not worth having as friends anyway. A real friend will like you no matter what.
When my daughter was in third grade and felt like she had no friends, we role played different situations several times, talked about how you can be a person that other people want to be friends with, and how you shouldn't let what other people say bother you.
My son's self-confidence has never been plentiful. I have gone with counseling. It just gave him someone to talk to about whatever might be bothering him. I also don't believe in medication unless there's a real need for it. I'm pretty sure they don't make a confidence pill at least not for little ones, so I made a point in letting the therapist know I was against medicating him right off the bat and he obliged.