Children raised to be confident have the tools to be resilient in a challenging world. Confidence helps children handle peer pressure, stress, obstacles, and much more.
There's a fine line between developing confidence and raising kids who are overly boastful. Parents, teachers and other influential figures can employ various research-based strategies to start boosting kids' confidence.
Allow children to make mistakes and learn from them
Mistakes happen, and children benefit from making mistakes and learning from them. Children who fail, pick themselves up and try again are learning lessons of resiliency. Their confidence develops as they pick themselves up again, learn from their mistake and ultimately meet with success.
Resist the temptation to "fix" everything
Parents may get hung up on trying to improve on their children's efforts to make it perfect. This may occur with school work. According to the mental health wellness resource Psychology Today, constant intervention undermines children's confidence and prevents them from learning for themselves.
Model and teach positivity
It can be easy to fall into a pattern of saying things like, "I'll never be able to do that" or "It's too difficult." But parents must remember that their children take their cues from mom and dad. Parents who stay positive in the face of adversity will instill the same attitude in their children.
Give praise when it's deserved
Praise children when they do their best, but avoid praising kids when they don't try their hardest or if they are still working toward solving a problem they haven't yet figured out. In lieu of praise, provide encouragement and urge youngsters to try again and practice.
Value their ideas
Ask children for age-appropriate advice, suggests the growth mindset company Big Life Journal. Showing kids their ideas are worthy can instill confidence.
Skip the rescue operation
Parents often are quick to swoop in and try to prevent kids from feeling hurt or discouraged. However, according to Robert Brooks, PhD, who coauthored the book "Raising Resilient Children," it's alright for kids to fail and feel sad or angry. Success is learned by overcoming obstacles rather than having all obstacles removed.
Above all, children who are loved and supported can develop confidence through the years with some well-placed guidance.