A child doesn't have to be an extrovert to be confident. Confident children are simply comfortable in their own skins, and believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to, which allows them to cope better with academic and social challenges. Here are three proven ways you can boost your child's confidence:
1.Praise their efforts
Research by Carol Dweck and David Yeager has shown if children understand intelligence and social success are not fixed character traits but ones, which can be changed with effort, they develop a Growth Mindset, which leads to better academic success, less anxiety and better friendships.
As parents we can encourage this by praising our children for practising their spelling, rather than the number they get correct, for trying very hard to learn their times-tables, even if they don't answer them all correctly. This way we teach them to enjoy learning for its own sake.
2. Encourage them to solve their own problems
Confidence comes from believing you are capable of looking after yourself in a number of different situations. Next time your child comes to you with a problem from the playground, instead of offering a solution, ask them what they think they could do. You will be amazed with the ideas they will come up with and they will feel more capable of dealing with the situation themselves.
You can use the same approach when your child finds their schoolwork tricky. Sit next to them and ask what they could do to make sure they can complete the work. Your child doesn't necessarily have to come up with the right answer, it's the process of thinking through which is important. You can always offer some advice too, but not until your child has given you some ideas first.
3.Give them choices
Wherever possible, allow your child to make choices. Do you want to eat carrots and peas, or broccoli and carrots? Do you want to do your homework first, or change out of your school uniform? Giving children choices allows them to feel more independent and in control, which ultimately boosts their confidence.
Dr Maryhan Baker
I am a parent and child coach who provides support across a number of parenting issues either through parenting seminars or my Brainboost subscriptions boxes. I have a doctorate in Child Psychology and amongst my areas of expertise are language development, positive discipline, confident children and child intellectual development, although this is not exhaustive.