How to Raise a Confident Child

Does your child have difficulty making decisions on their own? Are they having problems with low self-esteem? These problems can signal that they lack confidence in their own opinions, abilities, and worth. Here are some things parents can do to raise a confident child.

Don’t solve the problem for them.
Take a minute to think about how you communicate with your child when they are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. Do you find yourself trying to talk them out of something (or into something)? You may feel that this is helpful, but it is actually preventing your child from practicing their decision making and problem solving skills.

Instead, provide empathy. Listen to what your child is telling you. Acknowledge that they are struggling. Your child will get the message that you care.

Let them practice decision making.
Create opportunities for your child to make a decision about something. Start with a binary decision. Ask your child to decide if the family will have broccoli or peas for dinner tonight.

This will allow them to practice weighing the pros and cons that are part of the decision making process. It can make your child more comfortable with making decisions and more confident in their ability to decide something.

Model positive self talk.
Children tend to repeat the things that their parents say and do. For example, a parent may have gotten into the habit of responding to a mistake they made by name-calling themselves. The parent may say: “I’m stupid.” Kids will learn that making a mistake means you are stupid, and will start to think of themselves that way when they make mistakes.

Parents can provide a better example. Verbalize the part you got right or were successful at. Talk about what you can do to fix the mistake. “Next time I should try….” Or, if necessary, talk out loud about why you should apologize to someone and how will do that.