How to help kids build confidence and self-esteem

How to help kids build confidence and self-esteem

High levels of self-confidence and self esteem not only help kids to believe in their own abilities and judgement, but also allow them to take risks, and persevere in the face of challenges. Luckily a range of essential life skills can help your child, wherever they stand on the confidence scale. 

 

 

Here are 12 ways to build confidence and self-esteem in your child:

  1. Make sure your child's goals are within reach

  2. Praise them when they deserve it

  3. Encourage them to try new things

  4. Give them age-appropriate tasks/chores

  5. Suggest they volunteer

  6. Learn a sport or musical instrument

  7. Teach them to be resilient

  8. Talk to them about social media

  9. Teach them to be good with money

  10. Allow them to make mistakes

  11. Be honest about your confidence and self-esteem

  12. Encourage them to exercise

 

 

The importance of building confidence in kids

Self-confidence and high self-esteem are the keys to achieving almost anything. It not only gives your child the certainty that they can do something hard but also supplies them with motivation, resilience and tenacity. All key traits that work towards success no matter how big or small the goal.

 

This is why building confidence in kids is so important. Without it, they lack the self-belief to step outside their comfort zone and try new things. And it's by trying new things that they learn and grow and develop new skills and abilities. 

 

Strong self-confidence and esteem also:

  1. Helps kids to persevere in the face of challenges. Kids who believe in themselves are likelier to stick with something, even when it is difficult. This can help them to achieve their goals and to overcome challenges.

  2. Helps kids to be happy and successful. Confidence is essential for happiness and success in all areas of life. When kids feel confident, they are more likely to be satisfied and achieve their goals.

  3. Helps kids to cope with stress and anxiety. Confidence can help kids to manage difficult emotions like stress and anxiety. This can help them to stay calm and focused in difficult situations.

  4. Helps them to be resilient. Confidence can help kids to bounce back from setbacks and failures. This can help them to learn from their mistakes and to keep moving forward.

  5. Helps them to be their best selves. When kids feel confident, they are more likely to be themselves and to live their lives to the fullest.

  6. Good self-esteem and confidence also allow kids to express their needs and opinions, stand up for themselves when mistreated and build healthy relationships with peers and the people around them.

 

What can cause a lack of confidence in a child?

Several factors can cause a lack of confidence and low self-esteem in a child:  

 

  • Comparison to others: Studies have shown a correlation between social media and a teen's self-esteem. When children regularly compare themselves to others perceived as being better, the study shows it can skewer their self-esteem and lead to low confidence.

  • Negative self-talk. When children constantly put themselves down or hear parents doing this to themselves, it can lead to low self-esteem and confidence.

  • Low self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief that you can complete a task. When children have low self-efficacy, they don't have the confidence to believe they can do something.

  • Lack of support. When children do not feel supported by their parents, teachers, or other adults, it can lead to low self-esteem and confidence.

  • Constant criticism: When children are constantly told that they have to be better, it can lead to anxiety and stress, which then contributes to low self-esteem and confidence. 

  • Negative feedback from friends, parents, and teachers can also damage self-esteem and confidence.

 

 

Tips for parents to build confidence in kids

Make sure your child's goals are within reach

When children achieve their goals, it boosts their self-esteem and confidence. This can help them set even bigger goals in the future. This is why it's crucial to set achievable goals. When children set unachievable goals, they are more likely to give up and feel they have failed.

 

Praise them when they deserve it

Praise nurtures your child's confidence and self-esteem. It shows your child how to think and talk positively about themselves and recognise when they do well.

 

Encourage them to try new things

Children are exposed to new challenges and learning opportunities when they try new things. This can help them develop new skills and abilities, boosting their confidence and sense of accomplishment.

Give them age-appropriate tasks/chores

Teaching kids self-efficacy - the belief that they can successfully complete a task - is important to confidence and self-esteem. Regular age-appropriate chores give them responsibility, which in turn helps boost how they feel about themselves.

 

Suggest they volunteer

When your child volunteers, they do something that matters to them and others. This can give them a sense of purpose and meaning, boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Volunteering also involves learning new skills and taking on new challenges, which also helps with confidence.

 

Learn a sport or musical instrument

Learning a new skill or sport helps kids develop a sense of competence in their abilities, which boosts esteem and confidence.

 

Teach them to be resilient

Everyone experiences setbacks and failures. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences. This is an essential skill for success in life, and it can be developed by encouraging children to try again.

 

Talk to them about social media

Social media has many uses for kids, but entertainment and information aside, it can also destroy a child's self-esteem. Talk to your child about what they are watching and who they are comparing themselves to.

 

Teach them to be good with money

When children learn to manage their money, they feel more in control of their financial future. This can give them a sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence.

 

Allow them to make mistakes

Self-efficacy is the belief in one's own ability to succeed. When kids make mistakes and then learn from them, it can help them to develop a sense of self-efficacy. This can boost their confidence and make them more likely to take on new challenges.

 

Be honest about your confidence and self-esteem

It's easy to pretend to kids that you always feel confident and good about yourself, but it can be helpful for them to see that confidence is something that ebbs and flows. Be honest about times when you had your confidence and self-esteem knocked, and tell them how it made you feel and how you built it up again.

 

Encourage them to exercise

Even if they hate sports, regular exercise helps kids see that their body is about so much more than their appearance. Regular exercise helps them to see how strong they are and what they can do, and this, in turn, boosts their self-esteem and their confidence. 

 

 

How can GoHenry help your child set goals and build confidence?

Kids learn best by doing. So show them how to manage money for themselves with a GoHenry prepaid kids debit card.  Available for kids aged 6-18, GoHenry is a safe way for kids to practise their financial literacy skills. There’s a companion app for parents which allows you to pay pocket money, monitor spending, top up when necessary and create saving pots. Money Missions is our in-app financial education tool, allowing your kids/teens to explore various financial topics, from budgeting to saving and more. 

 

 

 

 

Related articles:

Life skills activities

Teaching gratitude to kids

Teaching delayed gratification to kids

Needs vs wants

 

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Written by Anita Naik Published Nov 30, 2023 ● 4 min. read