Self-esteem is so important in your child. I want to help parents understand how to build their children up to help reduce the things they need to heal from as adults. Your own parents may not have made an effort at this, but you can follow my tips and start building your kids up today. Even if your kids aren’t little, start building their self-confidence and feed into their energy today! It’s never too late to make positive changes that will build a confident child.
13 Tips for Building Confidence in Your Kids
In order to really understand your child, you will want to read my book The Child Whisperer. Understanding your child’s nature and Energy Type is going to help you a lot. In my book, you will learn about how they express themselves and how they naturally move through the world. This will give you a great place of understanding where you can begin to approach them.
I want to give you 13 tips you can start right now to build confidence as you learn to know your child for who they are as an individual.
The Child Whisperer will help you love them unconditionally because your expectations change based on their true nature and not just your nature. Our tendency is to think our child thinks and moves through the world in the same way we do. Understanding your child helps you approach them in the ways that are right for who they are apart from you.
Love should be unconditional. Even if your child is choosing harmful things or displaying difficult behaviors, your love should not waver. Setting rules and remaining consistent in your parenting is love and that love does not shift based on if the child earns it or not. Imagine if God didn’t offer us conditional love! Our reflection as parents should show that same unconditional love and help kids see their intrinsic value.
Look for the strengths and successes! What you expect will materialize, so start speaking power into existence. Even when the outcome isn’t what they wanted, you can praise the efforts or learning process your child took. Help your child realize that the consistency of effort and practice can be as important as success in many things. Help your child know when it is time to move on when things aren’t falling into place and that it’s okay.
Wall of Fame
Show off the great things your child does to build the child’s confidence! Your Wall of Fame space could be as small as the refrigerator or as big as a whole wall, but dedicate a space to recognizing their achievements. Type 3 children will be especially motivated by this show of pride in their activities.
Don’t allow every single scribble and homework assignment on the wall—pick the things (no matter how big or small the effort) your child worked hard on or grew from. A two-year-old’s focused scribbling and shape-making picture may hold the same value as a fourteen-year-old’s well-researched essay. The participation trophy for someone who struggled with wanting to quit might be as important as the MVP for a naturally talented kid that loves the game. The focus is on each child’s growth, not just the “best” or “highest awards.”
Try to keep your recognition even. If you only see one child growing, perhaps you aren’t really noticing the efforts of your other child because their results aren’t as shiny. So, find those small efforts and display them just as proudly as the bigger awards!
Set Realistic Goals
Help your children set their goals. Discuss the plans to achieve goals and potential setbacks. Work with your child to help them know how to respond if they hit roadblocks or can’t succeed in the way they want to. Most importantly, prepare yourself for watching them struggle and fail. It can be very hard as a parent, but the process of struggling well is a major part of growing.
How you speak is how your children learn to speak. If you are sarcastic and turn to self-deprecating humor, then your children will likely learn this trait as well. Give yourself credit and speak well of yourself to model this self-love. Print out affirmations you and your children can recite for positive self-talk.
It can be very tempting to compare our children to one another, ourselves or other family’s children. But each of us is a unique individual and comparisons will hurt your child’s self-esteem by making them feel like they can’t measure up. Even in private, don’t compare your kids to other to anyone else. It can be fun to show them how similar they are to each other or you as a child, but be careful not to compare efforts and outcomes. Never turn to the harmful motivator of “So-and-so did _________, so why can’t/won’t/don’t you?”
Work with your child to see how they are manifesting certain problems in their own lives. I told my children, “I’m sorry that didn’t work out for you. Something better is going to come your way.” Don’t create beliefs based on disappointments. Setbacks have to become a normal part of life that your child is capable of managing after putting in a lot of hard work.
If your child fails a test, gets cut from a team, or isn’t chosen for an award, don’t criticize. Pour out encouragement that recognizes the effort and the opportunity to grow from the experience. Learning experiences can be more valuable than successes in some instances. Use hurdles as points for growth and not roadblocks for discouragement.
Look for ways to expand your child’s perimeter and foster independence. Your child could make their own sandwich or play in a backyard without direct adult supervision. Encourage safe and simple steps towards that independence, expecting the parameter to widen as they get older. Encourage them to go to new places and try new challenges. This is especially important for your teens that will crave control over their own lives as they prepare to spread their wings for flight. Let your child make decisions within a reasonable framework of boundaries and expectations.
Encourage Physical Activities
Being active is great for their physical health and will mentally push them to work through struggles. My own kids loved independent sports, like skiing and snowboarding. Your child will learn a lot by being involved in individual or team sports. Those activities will teach them to practice, put in hard work, push through failure and achieve goals. They will learn to respect their bodies and be proud of their strength when they push to those higher levels of their sport.
Respect Their Interests
Support your child, even if their interests aren’t interesting to you. This may take a lot of effort on your part, since you may not really care about certain things they want to pursue. It can be a challenge to spend time and money on events, things, projects or pursuits you don’t naturally care about. You don’t have to pretend to like the activity, but showing your child that the activity matters to you because they are interested will go a long way in building their confidence. Your child’s feelings matter to you more than what they are doing, so you have an interest no matter what it is they are doing.
Be consistent without using fear as the motivator. Children do well with structure because they feel confident in knowing what they can expect. Even if your child feels your rules are too strict, there is comfort that comes with knowing what they can or can’t do. So be consistent. You are the parent, not a best friend. You can build a relationship without catering to their wants at the cost of the family structure.
You don’t need to be heavy-handed, but consistent in how you approach the things you are willing to accept. Your children are going to test the rules, so start with consistency from a young age to help them learn that they can’t just skirt the rules and get away with it. Don’t make threats you aren’t going to follow through with.
Teach Relationship Skills
Their first understanding of relationships is the dynamics within the family. They will see your relationship with your spouse/partner, their siblings and towards themselves and that will shape how they see normal relationships. The parent-child relationship is the most important and formative relationship at an early age.
Teach your children by holding a conversation with them on a regular basis. Show compassion, self-assertiveness, kindness, fairness, respect and confidence that they can model in their relationships moving forward. You can check out my podcast on helping your child with their social skills. Show them how to listen and not overcorrect. Can you hold a conversation without correcting your child?
You will never spoil your child by showing physical affection. Physical affection will communicate love, belonging, security and acceptance. This build confidence in your children. So give your child hugs, high fives, back pats, hair tousles and other physical affection that communicates you are present.
Let them hug you, climb on you, hold your hand and just be next to you. Some parents love this affection and turn to it naturally. Other parents struggle because affection wasn’t a part of their own childhood. But make the effort, even if it doesn’t feel natural.
Body language is about half of our communication, so don’t focus on vocal support alone. Physical forms of affection help communicate value and unconditional love on a deep level. They won’t have to translate your words into their childlike brains to feel the connection. Instead, physical affection builds an innate understanding of the bond they have with you as your child.
Your Past will Impact Your Parenting!
Don’t ignore the impact of your own past when it comes to your parenting approach. The best way to find parenting solutions and learn new skills to build confidence is to realize where you may fall short because of your own experiences or Energy Type.
I completely understand that this could be really hard because your own parents may not have done many (or any) of these things for you. You can break the cycle and I’m really glad you are here doing just that. You will be successful. Join my Helping Center for my Four Week Healing Plan for Childhood Wounding course. We help people heal from their past so they don’t bring that same energy into their relationship with their kids.
I know you can do this! You care about your child and that is the first real step to being a great parent.