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Helping your child become more confident

Embracing innovation and tradition

It is an oft repeated saying that confidence and positive self-esteem are the greatest gifts parents can give to their children. Confidence changes one’s outlook on life and is known to positively influence social relationships, career success, accomplishments and achievements. Being confident is not analogous to arrogance; rather it is self-awareness and surety in one’s aptitudes, goals and ability to excel. Being confident is acknowledged as being associated with a happy and fulfilling life. There are a set of Dos and Don’ts to consider in parenting techniques that parents can adopt to nurture the self-esteem and self-confidence of their children and in doing so help them build a positive self-image.

Age-appropriate tasks

Assign your children age-appropriate tasks such as helping with household chores. This can give them a sense of responsibility and make them feel confident in their abilities. Offer them choices even if it is something as simple as the choice between cereal or eggs -side up for breakfast. Giving them realistic options is empowering and prepares them for more difficult choices in the future. Ask your children for their opinion and show them you value their advice.

Mistakes are normal

Reassure them that no one is perfect and that mistakes are acceptable. Teach them that mistakes should not be viewed as hurdles but opportunities for growth and building blocks to success. And of course, sarcasm is not a teaching tool; harsh criticism, belittlement and derision can shatter their confidence leaving them fearful and unable to stand up for themselves.

Encourage new challenges

Give them new challenges and applaud their courage to try new things whether it is trying out for the choir, the school’s sports team or even their first rollercoaster ride. This will not only foster their sense of resilience but increases exposure to different opportunities and trials in life so that they have the confidence to tackle the larger world. Praise them for their efforts but avoid clichéd comments and generalized phrases as children can detect the insincerity.

Help them set realistic goals

Impractical standards can discourage effort and lead to an unwillingness to try. Offer help and support when needed but let your children try to figure things out for themselves. Failure to do so may impair their problem-solving skills and lead to a sense of dependency on others which can be increasingly difficult to change as they get older. Also, avoid comparing your children with each other or with their peers and friends. This can lead to rivalry, resentment and self-doubt. Appreciate their individuality and foster their gifts.

At the American School of Creative Science: Al Barsha, one of the best American curriculum schools in Dubai, we are committed to nurturing our students’ confidence and self-esteem, shaping their abilities and giving them a positive and realistic perception of themselves.

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