Emotional Development for Children

Building Your Child’s Confidence

Confidence is an essential factor in children having a healthy, happy childhood. It better equips them to handle peer pressure, difficult situations with classmates, and different emotions they will experience growing up. A child’s overall personal and academic success will also be strongly impacted by their confidence and self-worth. Confidence can be built and strengthened at all ages, but developing it early helps ensure our children become strong, successful adults.

There are many factors that can contribute to a child’s lack of confidence including…

Peer Interactions: Children can be deeply impacted by how other classmates view them. Many children want to be admired and negative interactions with peers can impact how they feel about themselves. As they grow up, children will also compare themselves to classmates, friends, and siblings and this can positively or negatively impact their self-esteem. A child can be aware of how they are the same or different as other children.

Criticism: Criticism from parents and siblings can also impact how a child views him or herself. Sometimes family members will use language that is unintentionally hurtful and can leave children feeling bad about themselves. An argument with a sibling can also make a child feel down and impact their self-esteem. Children can hear negative comments and believe those things are true about themselves even when they are not.

Personal Feelings: Sometimes children can be their own worst enemy. A child can have unrealistic goals for his or her life and then become frustrated when challenges arise. These personal expectations can leave children feeling sad and bad about themselves when they have so many things to feel good about. There are always so many positive aspects about us we can be focusing on.

With our children experiencing so many daily pressures, challenges, and uncontrollable life situations, it is imperative that parents consider the language they use so it helps to build their child’s self-confidence. For example, it is common for parents and teachers to use the expression “nobody is perfect.” This seems like a harmless phrase when in fact it is a very harmful statement to make. Teachers and parents mean well when they say it, but it is not helping anyone.

Instead, parents and teachers should use positive reinforcement. A more positive way of expressing, “nobody is perfect” is to say that we are all perfect souls, spirits, and beings. We are human beings and all humans have limitations. Sometimes it will take us a long time to accomplish something. Sometimes we will make mistakes, and this is part of our being human. Parents and teachers should remember that at the core we are all perfect, especially our children.

Positive reinforcement is a powerful way to use your language to build your child’s self-esteem. It helps children focus on their positive factors leading to a healthier self-image and fewer negative thoughts. Instead of announcing the thing they are NOT…why not create the habit of seeing positive attributes and making positive statements.


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