”How to Build Confidence and Boost your Child’s Self-Esteem” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
All children will face some hard knocks in their life. We all remember middle school and high school right?! For this reason, you need to build enough confidence to help them get through this and to thrive as well. If you want to support them, there are a few things that you can do to give them the guidance they need.
Love your Child
This may seem obvious, but you do need to tell your child that you love them. Yes, you do need to actually verbalize out loud to your child to say the words, “I love you.” I know some men especially that struggle with this. I even listened to a sermon where a pastor talked about never telling his wife that he loved her in their first year of marriage because he thought that since he married her, didn’t she just know. Whew, he finally figured out why his marriage was so rocky the first year after some of his guy friends set him straight. Hopefully though you do tell your kids that you love him. You may think that you do this all the time, but how many times do you actually say those words? If you yell at them or even ignore them, then be sure to give them a hug and tell them that you love them later. My dad talks about the formula – ten or more parts love to one part discipline. AKA… make sure you are showing them love more than criticism. Unconditional love will help them to build a strong foundation for their confidence and it will also help them to feel much more included.
Give Praise when It’s Due
Another thing that you need to do is give praise when it’s due and not when it’s not due. Younger children often measure their worth and achievements by what you think of them. If you want to help them the most, then you need to be realistic in your praise. If they fail at something or if they have absolutely no talent at a particular skill, then praise the effort but do not praise the result. Tell your child that it is okay for them not to be perfect at everything and that some things take a lot of effort and repeated practice. Also be sure to not add to sibling rivalry. If one of your children did something great like winning a race, then congratulate them at the time but don’t go over the top in front of the other siblings. Wait until you and your child are by yourselves and then make a big deal about their accomplishments. It’s a hard balance to make sure all your children are equally loved and appreciated for who they are individually!
You need to love yourself before you teach your child how to love themselves. My mom has always said, “If you don’t care for yourself, how can you care for others?!” It doesn’t matter whether you run a marathon or whether you throw a successful dinner party or whether you just give yourself 20 minutes of time locked in your bathroom scrolling through your phone. You need to have time to regroup and recharge your batteries. And when you have big and small successes. You need to celebrate your them with your kids. Talk about the effort, skill and talent you showed to achieve your accomplishments and show your child that it is possible for them to do the same if they try hard enough.
Nobody Is Perfect
You really need to remember is that absolutely nobody is perfect. If they are concerned about their appearance, then you need to give them some support with this. It may be that they need an orthodontic expander, or even that they need to get their hair cut or they need to be told their shirt is on backwards(mine are in elementary school so this is a weekly occurance). Either way, supporting them to some extent is important, but they also need to know deep down that everyone is different. That is what makes them unique and living life so interesting.
Nobody will succeed at everything all the time. There will be setbacks, and there will also be failures too. You need to use these hurdles as valuable learning experiences rather than disappointments. Understand how your child feels when they fail and show them that what they are feeling is normal. If you tell them to just “cheer up” or that “it’s not a big deal” then this will hinder their confidence. It will also make them feel as though they are overreacting and discount their feelings. This is not good at all because feeling some disappointment is normal. How you overcome it is what really matters. Reminding them that what is important in life is not as much of what you accomplish but how you run the race.
In a world full of “Instafamous” and YouTube millionaires, children are being bombarded daily, hourly and second by second of “perfection.” It’s so important to teach them that these are just a brief glimpses in people’s contrived social media accounts. It’s not IRL (In Real Life as the youngesters say). Comparison and coveting others are the biggest joy and self-confidence steelers that exist. Show your kids how to believe in themselves by first showing them that you believe in them not what the rest of the world is doing. And try out the above tips to build confidence and boost your child’s self-esteem.
You’ve got this Momma and Dad!
If you have kids that are struggling with depression, please get them help. If you or your child is feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/