The Secret to Raising Confident Kids
Does anyone feel like raising kids in today’s world is more pressured than ever before? How are we supposed to raise confident kids with all the noise and outside influences? Social media, celebrity influence, YouTube, Fortnite, peer pressure as well as achieving in school?
If you’re anything like me, I was catapulted into this world of parenting without a clue! And I mean, zero, zilch, nada! How am I supposed to raise confident kids? We all know the feelings of self-doubt, identify crises, low self-esteem and not really having much self-belief or worth…and yet we are striving to raise the next generation.! A generation we hope are bold, confident, successful, adventurous, all while feeling pretty self-assured! But how? How do we do that when we’re always sure how to do that for ourselves?
I’m letting you in on a few secrets of how you can boost your child’s confidence!
Compliment Your Child (on anything BUT looks)!
We’re a generation of wonderful, creative, incredible women, and yet we put so much of our worth on what we look like, how we are seen by others based on our looks. It’s crazy! We want (and sometimes crave) to be labelled as pretty, beautiful, looking good! Of course it feels nice to be complimented and appreciated by those we love and to be seen in their eyes as beautiful…but beauty really is so much deeper than surface level.
Avoid giving compliments based on looks! Freely giving our kids compliments based on their beauty, their pretty hair, their choice of clothes gives kids the idea to base their self-esteem and confidence on how they look to others and fuel their need to find those who like them based on their appearance!
We want to empower our kids to love themselves, to know their strengths, to have a high self-worth, to know what feels good for them, what lights them up, that what they bring to this beautiful world has a way higher value than how they look! We as their parents have a hand in shaping their minds, building their self-esteem and giving them as many tools as we can to thrive each day, that they don’t need to be a certain way to be liked, loved or valued! They lose the need to change who they are.
Here are some ideas:
I love being with you and spending time with you.
You have such incredible ideas.
I admire your confidence.
You give brilliant advice.
I am in awe of the energy you bring to this family.
You light up our day just by being you.
I love the way you are so courageous, even when you feel unsure.
You are so thoughtful and caring to others.
Your eyes light up when you smile.
I love listening to your stories.
I love how passionate you are.
Find Their Strengths!
Encourage your child try new clubs and activities! Let them find what they’re really passionate about, something they really love. Kids who have a passion, have a skill, belong to something outside of the home and school, enjoy the feeling of pride and are more likely to be successful in other areas of their life. This can also be a huge boost for kids who find school a tough place to be!
Promote Problems Solving –
When you child comes to you with a problem, we as the parents are the fixers! We can fix and sort absolutely everything and anything; things that get broken, fix squabbles with siblings! You name it, we do it. In so many situations it’s so much quicker to do it ourselves and say “I’ll do it” or “leave it with me” or “I’ll come and sort it in a minute”. But we are actually preventing our kids from being able to develop their own problem-solving skills by always being the fixer! Encourage your child to take a moment to think and ask them what could you do that might change the situation? Their solutions and ideas can be extremely creative, practical, logical even! It also encourages independence and is a great self-esteem booster!
Celebrate Effort & Determination Rather than Results!
The outcome isn’t the reason for celebration – the effort, determination and hard work is the reason to celebrate. That’s how you build motivation, grit, stamina and raise confidence! If your child wins a competition, of course it’s amazing and a proud parent moment, but celebrate the work and effort it took to get there not the first place prize. If your child doesn’t win, go out for dinner and celebrate the effort and hard work they put in!
Swerve Raising a People Pleaser!
People pleasers are far for more likely to raise a people pleaser! For children, and us, being a people pleaser can have a really negative impact. It effects both self-esteem and self-confidence! It also effects how they believe they are seen by others, and more importantly, how they see themselves. The best way to avoid raising a people pleaser? Encourage boundry setting.
Let Kids Make Mistakes – Let Them Fail, and Hold Back on Rescuing Them!
OK, a bold and maybe slightly uncomfortable statement to make when every fibre of our being is to protect our children from feeling any form of pain, sadness, upset or fear – it’s something I struggle with in the moments when my own children ‘neeeeeed’ saved from making a mistake, failure or forgetfulness! However, I always have to remind myself that our kids need to make mistakes, they need to make errors without us correcting them, they don’t need saving and protecting from everything. They really need the opportunity to feel what responsibility is, to know we trust them, to be able to trust and rely on themselves, to know that they can cope in moments of stress! They will survive, they will grow from it and they will be stronger, more resilient and more confident within themselves because of it.
Let you child deal with the teacher because they forgot their homework! Let you child handle minor friendship issues (with guidance, love and support from you beforehand!). Let them work through sibling squabbles, let them learn to regulate their emotions without us aways jumping in to save, protect and solve!
And a great opportunity to practice our own coping skills and handling our own emotions while our kids develop theirs.
Let Your Child Make Decisions –
Children have very little control over what they do hour by hour one day to the next! It’s not their choice to go to school, or what they do at school, or what time they leave the house each day, or what they have to wear (you get the picture!). Give your child a chance to make decisions throughout the day! Give them the chance to feel what it is to take control and have some power, to be strong and confident in the decision-making process. It gives them the opportunity to see what each decision feels like…would they make that same decision next time or would you make a different one? Kids learn from experience, just like we do!
Model Confidence Yourself!
It’s a challenge, trust me, I feel it too! Even being at beginner level, you can still have a huge impact on your child’s confidence levels by being their role model! Ask them for their tips (kids love to feel they can share their ideas and offer advice, it shows your value them!)
I’ve saved the best until last! The most powerful piece of advice to raising confident children with a strong sense of self-worth? Never compare your child to anyone. Ever. As temping as it is for us to know, don’t ask how their friend got on in the test, don’t ask what score another child got in dance, don’t ask how many medals person A got, don’t measure their academic success against a sibling (or their skill level on anything!). The moment you use comparison as a tool to measure your child in anything they do, your child will lose….and they learn to spend the rest of their days comparing themselves to everyone around them at everything they do in life and develop a sense of pressure, fear of failure, feelings of not good enough…the list goes on! Instead, reflect on how far your child has come. They might not quite be where they want to be yet, YET being the powerful work, and look back at the starting point, the hurdles they have overcome and celebrate the journey they’ve had! Remind them they did that!
So, the secret is…there is no secret but the good news is, confidence is like a muscle. The more we use it, the more it grows! We can all learn confidence; we can all learn how to boost our self-esteem and choose to believe in ourselves every single day. With knowledge, a few tips & tricks and a sprinkling of courage…each day we can choose to invest our time and energy in ourselves and our children and we are on our way to feeling the full power of confidence.
Laura is a Children’s Confidence Specialist, helping children and parents discover the power of inner confidence! Laura believes every child (and parent) has the right to love and respect every inch of who they are, inside and out and to feel empowered to use their voice, know their worth, build grit and determination, especially in a world with so much academic, social and emotional pressure! With almost 15 years of experience working with children, including 6 years working with parents, Laura has a true passion to see the next generation of children thrive due to their own self-belief.
Laura works with parents running online workshops and one to one sharing knowledge, skills and tools so you incredible parents, feel confident and empowered on your journey to raising confident kids! Laura also runs sessions supporting our amazing kids, of all ages, to find their voice and live a life filled with confidence.