Ways to help your child build Self-confidence

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Confident kids are more likely to make the most of their potential as they’ll extend themselves both socially and learning-wise.

Self-confidence is an essential ingredient for all aspects of your child’s healthy development and a key ingredient for school success. Confidence is a belief in your ability to master your body, behavior, and the challenges you encounter in the larger world. 
Children who are confident are eager to learn new skills and face new challenges. They also expect adults to be helpful and supportive of their efforts. Self-confidence is also crucial for getting along with others and working out the many social challenges—such as sharing, competition, and making friends—that children face in school settings. Self-confident children see that other people like them and expect relationships to be satisfying and fun.

As a parent, you are in the prime position to mirror back to kids how they should see themselves. You do this through your messages, your expectations and how you treat your child.
Here are ways to build confidence in your kids so they can take their place in the world:

Celebrate your child’s successes: Showing your child that you recognize how he is growing and learning helps to build his confidence. Make a photo album of his accomplishments. Take pictures of your child struggling to climb onto a chair, and one of your child sitting in it proudly.

Focus on strength and assets: Fault-finding can become an obsession for some parents, particularly fathers. Step back and look at supposed faults through a different lens (i.e. stubbornness can be rebadged as determination, which is handy in many contexts). Let your kids know what their strengths are so they know what they are good at!

Give your child responsibilities: Feeling useful and needed makes children feel important and build confidence. Jobs should be age-appropriate. Very young children can sort laundry with you, help feed pets, water plants, and pick up toys. Be specific about what is expected. Say, "Please put a napkin on each plate," not "Help me set the table."

Teach children personal safety: They must have permission to say “NO” to anyone if they need to protect themselves from unpleasant situation. They must learn to trust their own feelings, recognize that they own their own bodies and that they don’t have to keep secrets which frighten or hurt them.

Be a good listener: As a parent you have let your child know he/she can talk to you about anything. Be ready to listen. Sometimes children just want to be heard. This helps boosting child communication skills.

Spend regular time teaching & training: Parents are children’s first teachers. They educate them in everything from how to do up their shoelaces as pre-schoolers to how to fill out a tax form as late adolescents. Look for teachable moments where you can help your kids. They are everywhere!

Help your child learn to be a problem-solver. Help your child work through problems, but don’t always solve them for her. Move the blocks on the bottom of the tower so they are a little more stable, but don’t put the tall one on top—let her figure out how to make it balance. This way you give her the chance to feel successful.
If your child is building a block house on the rug and it keeps falling, you could:
· Tell her that you see how frustrated she is 
· Ask her if she knows what may be causing the problem
· Offer your observations, i.e., that the rug is soft so the blocks aren’t stable 
· Ask if she has any ideas about what might make them steadier 
· Ask if she wants suggestions: "How about making it on the hard floor?" 
The goal is to guide and support your child in her problem-solving efforts but not do for her what she has the skills to accomplish herself. Sometimes, your child’s times of greatest frustration are in fact golden opportunities for her to develop feelings of confidence, competence and mastery. She’ll learn that she can depend on you to encourage her. Meanwhile, she’s the one who finds the solution.

Be a role model yourself: Kids pick up your thinking as well as your language so teach kids how to approach tricky or new situations confidently by doing so yourself. That means, don’t put yourself down if you make a mistake.

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