Building self-confidence in children – 7 tips

7 tips: build self-confidence in children

Some people dare to face challenges, others shy away from them. The reason is based: self-confidence. With these 7 tips, parents support their children in building self-confidence.

By Susanne Egert.

Leon furiously tears up his math booklet with the words: "I don’t even write the stupid work, I can’t do it anyway!" Marcel says: "That must be possible, I ask my sister if she explains it to me again."

Nathalie climbs like a squirrel on the highest climbing frames and jumped off the 5-meter board in the swimming pool at the age of 8. Sarah stops below and says: "I’m just doing belly smack anyway!"

Nico is supposed to buy milk for his mother in the supermarket. No milk is left in the cooling system. Perplexed and with sagging shoulders, he stops. His friend Daniel says: "I’m going to ask if they still have milk."

At first glance, these very different situations have something in common: It’s about Self-confidence and self-confidence as a prerequisite for an action. You have it or not. And that decides whether the child dares to do something and dares to do something. Sometimes it’s about performance, sometimes about courage and sometimes about assertiveness. But what makes one child confident and the other resigned??

Building self-confidence in children – 7 tips for parents:

It’s actually quite simple (and this applies to the little ones as well as the big ones):

1. Make your own experiences

Let the children have immediate, own (sensual) experiences as much as possible. It makes a huge difference whether the small child watches how some characters roll a ball on television or whether they do it themselves.

2. Play and discover in nature

Experiences in nature offer stimulations for all the senses without having to make something artificial. Balancing over a tree trunk lying on the ground is much more interesting and demands more from the child than an even, and therefore less exciting, playground device.

3. Sport, sport, sport

Movement and thinking are closely related, even into old age. So it would be a mistake to make the child only intellectual offers and to rage outside for wasting time! (And we have not yet considered the other preventive and health-promoting effects of sport.)

4. Try it out, allow mistakes, keep going

Encourage your child to try new things. Show that you trust him to get on with it and give courage to try again if it doesn’t work right away. This also shows the child that it is normal that you cannot get everything done the first time.

5. Practice makes perfect

To get to the point: "Practice creates masters!" (for the little ones) and: "Success seems to be mainly a question of moving on where others stop." William Feather (for the big ones).

6. Praise, but right!

Praise your child for what it does well, but also for trying it out and not giving up!

7. Yes, you (I) did it!

Emphasize that that child has achieved something and that the success was neither a coincidence nor due to the weather or the day of the week…

scoyo tip: Use holidays to build self-confidence

Incidentally, the holidays are very suitable for building self-confidence among children. It doesn’t matter if your child takes a break from studying. What it learns and takes with it on the side always has an impact on school success. We have put together a few tips for you here:

So much for the basics. Now for the details: Build self-confidence in children

What is actually "the best"?

Most parents want to "the best" for your child – and that’s a good thing! The question naturally arises: what is the best for a child ?! Many parents would answer: "My child should get a good education and learn a good job." And what is a good job? One in whom one earns as much as possible or who gives pleasure, who is socially respected, who has cheap working hours … or how do you define one "good job"?

It becomes clear that the goals parents have for their child can vary widely. Accordingly, the parents will take different measures, use methods that they consider successful in achieving these goals.

Some will try to remove all obstacles from the way of their child so that it is as easy as possible for the child. The others may build up pressure to collect knowledge as quickly as possible. The child may have classes every afternoon and their time is completely planned. But pressure doesn’t have a good effect on the mind.

Both strategies are equally unsuitable for developing mature, confident, independent personalities. Because if a child is to really master his life successfully, he needs perseverance, the confidence that he can achieve things that he does, the deep certainty that he is fine as a person, as it is and the certainty that the parents are behind him and love it no matter what.

Build self-confidence through your own experiences

Of course, parents should protect their children from disasters and not let them run into the knife, but that Child must also have its own experiences – they cannot be replaced. For example, experience "It’s worth trying, not giving up.", in order to then experience the satisfaction and the feeling of happiness, to have achieved something – and this on your own. That gives a lot of confidence!

Maybe you still remember the effort it took to swim for the swimming badge further than you actually wanted to get out of the water. And then to experience that it somehow went on. And finally the Proud to have made it. This experience gives you the feeling of freedom because you have experienced there is still reserve!

Having this experience is no longer a matter of course for children and young people. But it is worth giving children or young people at the latest the opportunity to do so (age-appropriate, of course). For example, to come to class, even if there are tweaks somewhere and you don’t feel in top shape – or if the night has become shorter than expected.

Anyone who has had the experience that the next day can be done with little sleep – it just gets a little more strenuous – can stay calm in a sleepless night and thus save a lot of stress. Because, as is well known, it does not promote sleep … The freedom you gain from this benefits you in many situations.

This is how children develop basic trust

Parents should be the child Provide backing, a basic security. On this basis, the child can dare to discover and explore the world – and build self-confidence. What makes the relationship between parents and child so special is yes unconditional Love. Love that you don’t have to earn first. Not even with good grades! Such a secure bond is an essential protective factor and the greatest treasure that parents can give to their child.

Think outside the box

With extra courses "funded" Kind will not necessarily have the steepest career in the direction of top management, because completely different skills are needed there: The rules of geometry cannot be easily transferred to life. An apparent detour can lead to the goal more quickly.

Often the job is about them Solving complex problems, mostly with far-reaching consequences. The accumulated knowledge is of very limited use. Ability is much more important, to find unusual solutions, just not obvious to think the mainstream. Divergent thinking leads to solutions that only those who come up with "beaten track" leaves. Or, to say it with G.B.Shaw: "Some men see things as they are and ask ‘why’? I dare to dream of things that never were and ask ‘why not’?"

The child who has learned to ask himself again and again: "Everything could be very different?", can by one Change of perspective look at a complex problem from several sides. People tend to assume, as a matter of course, that everyone else sees the world as they do. Those who are short-sighted or who see poorly in the dark know this tendency. Do you remember when and how you noticed this weakness? Probably because when you were with others you noticed that they didn’t find it so dark or that the movie was not clear …

You can train this change of perspective. Develop crazy explanations of technical or natural phenomena together with your children. Pretty much "How does a watch actually work??" Of course, there are little men in it who slide the pointers. This can be a lot of fun and can sometimes bridge boring waiting times. And no, it would not make more sense to explain the physics of a radio clock to the child at the same time (unless this is the subject of class work the next day). The facts can be quickly acquired, divergent thinking as a style of thinking goes far beyond that. It’s not about that, just to make such thinking games. Here parents are also important role models for their children when it comes to the question "How do I solve a problem?"

Goal: The flow feeling

Another important experience that children desire to learn about is work and experience that would be in the "flow" to come, that’s a Condition full of happiness. You are so captivated by an activity that you forget everything around you and only gradually again "shows up".

If you can get enthusiastic about something, if you are a little bit interested, you will not notice any effort, concentration or time. The experience that work is not just fun can, but make it as enjoyable as possible shalle, can help to develop a fundamentally positive attitude towards work and willingness to work.

The chances of such an experience increase if the child finds something that suits their interests and skills, for which they can be enthusiastic. It takes that Opportunity to try everything and prove themselves, of course, according to their age. A medium requirement level has proven to be cheap, a little more than it "with links" would manage without being overwhelmed. Enjoy your child’s curiosity and discover the world.

Encourage it to find its way. Show that you are proud of your child and let them feel that you are always there for them when they need you. But don’t impose your advice. Over time, this will of course be used less and less if everything goes well. Then you can experience with joy and pride what has become of the children – harvest time.

Your Susanne Egert

About Susanne Egert

© Susanne Egert Susanne Egert is a psychological psychotherapist, behavioral therapist and EMDR therapist. She has been working in a large youth welfare institution for many years, is the author of the Rendsburg parent training and the Rendsburg teacher training and has, among other things, the book “Help educate successfully. Parent work in youth welfare, day care and school. A practical guide ”. It also trains nationwide specialists in Rendsburg parent training, Rendsburg teacher training and other topics.

Through her many years of professional activity, she knows that many conflicts between parents, children and teachers are based on a lack of understanding of the other. "I want to help parents and children understand each other better and make their lives a little easier," says the psychotherapist.

Susanne Egert has been a member of the advisory board of scoyo since 2015.

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