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Build Self Confidence in Your Child

Confident little girl


The most important gift a parent can give a child is self confidence. Children, who begin life feeling loved and cherished, grow up to be adults with a positive attitude and an “I can do it” spirit, ready to face life’s challenges. A positive self esteem comes from a balance of feeling capable, while also feeling loved, and its development begins the moment a person is born.

How to Build Self Confidence in Babies

It may seem unusual to think parents need to nurture self confidence in their babies, but the kind of attention a baby receives from the moment it enters the world sets the wheels in motion toward building self confidence. There have been numerous studies on the benefits of holding babies, but the key to creating self esteem in an infant is responsiveness. By responding rapidly and reliably to your baby’s needs, consistently during the first year of life, the baby learns the signals he is sending out are being heard and responded to, instilling the first feelings of self-worth.

Tips to Build Self Confidence in Toddlers & Preschoolers

As your child begins to explore the world and take the first tentative steps in becoming his own person, there are a few things you can do to build self confidence. As your child tries new things, such as standing, walking, eating with utensils or stacking blocks, you should praise and encourage these efforts, however, don’t reserve praise just for accomplishments. Acknowledging good behavior or just mentioning how much you enjoy being with him goes a long way in building self confidence. Spontaneous actions, such as hugs, kisses, hair mussing or pats, are affectionate signs of love that show how much he means to you and, in turn build his self-esteem.

Playing with your child is also an important way to show him that you value time spent in his company, especially if he initiates the play. Seeing you set aside whatever you’re doing to play, sends the message that he is special and is worthy of attention. Play offers many opportunities for parents to reinforce positive behaviors, such as sharing and taking turns, that will give a child confidence once these behaviors are expected of him in school.

Building Self Confidence in School Age Kids

When school starts, children enter the real world, where pressures to perform are combined with the awkwardness of making new friends and fitting into a completely different environment than they’re used to. To help build your school-age child’s self  confidence, it’s important to create a loving and safe home atmosphere. Home should be a place of refuge, without the added stress of parental fights or judgments. At this age, children are sensitive to what others say and think of them, so it is best to stay upbeat and positive and praise their efforts and completion of schoolwork, whether grades are considered good or bad.

This can be an age of negative “self-talk,” where children make blanket statements, beginning with the phrase “I can’t….” Parents can redirect these inaccurate thoughts by bringing up what the child is good at and suggesting ways to become better in the areas in which they feel less competent.

Be the Person You Want Your Child to Be

The most important way to build self confidence in your child is to set the example. Nurturing your own self esteem by healing wounds of the past, facing your fears and practicing self-loving behavior, will enable you to enjoy an optimistic life and help you offer that same self confidence to your child.

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