How do I boost my child’s self-esteem & confidence?

Confidence is hard to handle even as an adult sometimes. Meeting new people day to day, a new work environment or attempting to do fractions all over again with your children, desperately trying to remember and not show fear. We’ve managed to teach ourselves tricks and skills to either be more confident in life, or just pretend to the world that we are. We learn that either being decisive or “faking it till you make it” if you don’t have natural confidence, is the way to be confident in an ever-changing adult life.

Instilling this skill into our children however, can be more of a challenge. I think we sometimes forget the anxiety and need for confidence in children’s lives. There is so much a child needs confidence in, both at home and at school. In school they meet new people they must establish a relationship with constantly. The new class they will join every year, new friends, classmates and teachers. They have tests and exams, performances and just having the ability to raise their hand to answer a question. It can be difficult for them so spotting these reluctancies and building a child's confidence will enable them to grow and establish their personality for now and later life.

The first thing we must do is listen. Asking how their day was is a natural after school conversation but so often we hear about their friends or a naughty child in class and that’s it. Asking them how their lessons specifically were, if they asked questions and how they felt about the interaction with the adults and students within their class and school can be a great indication to see the parts they find challenging and reluctant to do. Getting children used to speaking about their feelings generally and about school situations will encourage them to speak more openly about their worries and the things they are less confident in. Let them speak and hear what they are saying.

We need to support them. Understanding what they lack confidence in allows us to engage in finding a solution. Speaking to their teacher can be a great help so they understand the situation and your child is then supported at school as well as at home. Their teacher may have some helpful suggestions to improve their confidence. 

Encourage them to excel in the things they are confident in whether that is a particular subject or activity. This will boost their general confidence then you can work on the specific areas they lack in confidence. For example, they struggle speaking to their class mates. Suggesting that they find common interests can be a great conversation starter and relationship builder. 

There is no immediate fix for a child building their self-esteem or confidence but by listening, supporting and encouraging, our children know they are not alone and have a safe space to speak and reside.

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