Raising Confident Children


Life has its ups and downs. We, as parents and caregivers, want nothing more than to have a life full of ups for our children. To avoid the difficulties; we pamper them, we do things for them, and we over-protect them.

To avoid the downs of life is out of the question. There are several drawbacks to being overprotective and not helping your child understand and experience difficulty, the most significant is producing a child who does not have the skill to effectively deal with challenge; understand it, and make a decision on how to overcome it.

In addition to wanting to protect them, we sometimes keep them from doing things themselves just so we can save ourselves some time and patience. We put their jackets on, brush their hair, or wash their hands thinking they will catch up on being independent later on. As such, we end up raising a dependent child who lacks confidence in his/her abilities.

The best we can do is to prepare them to face life and cope well in its different aspects. How do we boost the way our children perceive themselves, act socially, or finish tasks successfully? The answer is: help them to build their self-confidence. Self confidence is how one perceives, respects, and likes oneself. It is the belief in one’s abilities, qualities and judgments.


Ways to raise confidence in our children:

  • Be a good role model: the way you cope with situations like showing frustration versus patience is the biggest influence.

  • Give them love and a sense of security.
  • Accept your children for what they are: not all children are highlight of the party.
  • Be consistent.
  • It is the process and not the product that matters: praise them for doing their best, the result is not important.
  • Give your child responsibilities.
  • Listen to your child. Children know when they are ignored because we have other things to do.
  • Encourage expressing feelings openly, do not let them bottle the feelings up (do not say: you are a man, men do not cry.)
  • Nurture what is truly there and be honest (do not say: “you sing beautifully,” when the child is actually off tune. Rather look for something the child is good at, and nurture it.)
  • Give them developmentally appropriate tasks that they can successfully accomplish.  Success will unfold confidence.  


Finally, there are two points to keep in mind:

  1. Balance between too much responsibility and independence. Do not burden the child with responsibility above his/her developmental level.
  2. Show confidence in your child, but know when your child needs help and some intervention.

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