Building a Child's Confidence
A child who possesses high self-esteem will acquire a healthy attitude towards life. A rooted
foundation of confidence will enable them to face life’s challenges and will act as a passport to a positive outlook, to well-balanced social skills and future success.
This feature looks at the practical steps that help to improve a child’s confidence...
How to improve a child’s confidence
Nurturing confidence is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child. In part, its foundations are rooted in a child’s self-worth which is deeply intertwined with how responsive the main caregivers are. Parents who devote quality time to their children will create a rich environment where positive feelings are able to flourish that children then get used to.
When such children face a setback or challenge it feels alien to them, so they aim to remedy any fear or ill feeling quickly and return to their ‘usual’ state of well-being. This ability to overcome adversity breeds a deep level of inner-confidence. So, a child who is enveloped in a positive home environment, yet who is encouraged to take on challenges, is more likely to gain in confidence.
Building confidence through challenges
At a young age, children are continually exposed to an ever-changing learning environment and are often very willing to grasp new skills and acquire interests. This is more noticeable when they reach theformative years from 8 to 12. This is a good age for parents to gently steer their children towards an activity, interest or skill that will allow a personal strength to blossom.
The rewards are plentiful. If a child believes they are good at one thing, their self-confidence will grow, beneficially filtering into other areas of their life.
What activity should my child pursue?
To navigate your way through the enormous field of hobbies and interests, allow your child to sample a different variety of activities to find what suits them most. Fortunately, many activity providers offer free taster sessions without demanding any further commitment. A child may be drawn to a particular activity because they have a natural aptitude for it or they may simply enjoy it.
Some extra-curricular activities can have a notable effect on a child’s confidence so are certainly worth exploring further. In particular, the performing arts, martial arts and outdoor pursuits are great confidence boosting activities as they require a positive mind-set to pursue them effectively. Of course, there are many others, but we will focus on these three here...
The Performing Arts
Many famous actors, actresses, singers and dancers have turned to the performing arts to overcome shyness and build confidence, as this art form allows them to be freely expressive in a way they wouldn’t normally feel confident enough to do.
Through music, dance or drama children can also follow a journey that leads them to develop imagination, gain expressive qualities and ultimately grow in confidence. Along the way, they will also gain self-discipline, invaluable social skills and will learn the best way to overcome fear is to face it!
One of the Martial Art disciplines might hold the key to help your child identify a hitherto unrecognised inner strength. Although there’s a diverse mix of martial arts styles such as Judo, Karate and Tae Kwon Do, they all share a common ground.
They all involve a series of graded practices that are conducted in a fair, disciplined manner. The benefits of learning any martial art are plentiful, but the most notable include the strong development of self-discipline, self-control, self-respect and respect for others. Over time, mental character will build, as will integrity, self-confidence and courage.
Adventurous sports are renowned to build character and courage. A young free-spirited soul will simply flourish at outdoor pursuits, driven by the thrill and challenge of the individual activity.
Adventure sports such as climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, ski-ing and hill-walking for example, are sports that command a positive attitude to overcome obstacles and contest self-doubt. By pushing personal boundaries, children can find an inner strength and ultimately, will feel elated at conquering any fear. Self-assurance grows as they start to believe they are able to achieve anything they put their mind to.
Whatever path your child wishes to follow, there are many activities out there that will assist in building confidence. The key is to help a child find a passion; something they are or can be good at. It’s never too late to help build a child’s confidence.