As much as you want your child to have a can-do attitude, you know that simply telling him to feel confident is not going to cut it.
In fact, there’s a reason that self-confidence is called self-confidence — it’s based on a person’s own perception of his skills and abilities.
In fact, there’s a reason that self-confidence is called self-confidence—it’s based on a person’s own perception of his skills and abilities. (Think about it: Do you really believe you can bungee jump off the side of a cliff just because someone said you could do it? Probably not—you have to believe it’s possible.)
The same is true for children. Simply telling your youngster he’s the absolute greatest won’t raise his self-confidence quotient. He may, however, develop self-confidence as he learns he can confront challenges, overcome difficulties, and see his own progress, one small step at a time. That process starts early, and it continues throughout childhood. Here, 3 three things that set can-do kids apart from others—and tips to help you raise a confident youngster.
3 Things that Set Can-Do Kids Apart
1. What Distinguishes Confident Kids: They keep trying.
What You Can Do: Let your child make mistakes and messes.
The Backstory: Don’t rescue your child each time she encounters obstacles. Instead, encourage her to forge on. Once she reaches her goal, reward the effort, not the results. While praise is great, it’s the feeling of accomplishment that has the power the amp up an I-can-do-it style.
2. What Distinguishes Confident Kids: They feel valued.
What You Can Do: Give your child age-appropriate chores or small tasks that are fun and easy to accomplish. And this is key: Trust him to do those jobs. Don’t interfere.
The Backstory: A three-year old can pour kibble into the dog’s bowl. A six-year-old can suck up cookie crumbs with the hand vac. Dole out responsibilities that will help your youngster feel useful, capable, and part of the family. He’ll soon see how many things he can do by himself.
3. What Distinguishes Confident Kids: They’re not paralyzed by failure.
What You Can Do: Don’t worry if your child is not building her new Lego set exactly according to the instructions. She’s learning.
The Backstory: While there’s a lot to be said for following directions, in this instance, and at this age, it’s not a big issue. Let your child experiment. Encourage her to stretch her creative muscles. Kids learn by trial and error, and when they succeed they feel great!