Helping a Child Build
More Self-Confidence

More than 60 percent of students fare poorly in school, not because they are not intelligent, but because they suffer from an acute lack of self-confidence, reveals a recent study by a psychiatrists group in the UK.

Lack of confidence is due to lack of self-esteem. By the age of five, children develop a sense of self-esteem. A child with self-esteem will have confidence to make friends, do new things, take risk and he\she generally succeeds in life.

But a child with low self-esteem needs external support to achieve success. That means, you must make conscious efforts to build your child s level of self-esteem and confidence.

  • The first thing you should do is not to set high targets for his achievements.
  • The second thing is not to make comparisons with other children in school or in your neighbourhood.
  • Accept your child as he is, and then start working.

Believe in your child and make him feel that he is a worthwhile, lovable individual. Give positive feedback and praise. Tell him that you have achieved a task that was hard. Reassure him that the small mistake he might have committed during the course of the work was immaterial.

Do not criticise him. That will damage his confidence. You can be critical of his unwelcome behaviour, but never suggest that he behaved in a particular fashion because he was stupid. Listen carefully to what the child has to say.

  • Do it again even if you are hearing it from him the 100th time. Acknowledge your child's feelings and help him express his problem verbally.
  • Respond frequently to show that you are listening.
  • Give positive prompts.

Focus on the strengths, not the weaknesses of your child. Respect your child s interests, even if they are not agreeable to you. Take a genuine interest in your child s friends too. Learn what is happening at school.

Accept any insecurities your child expresses as genuine, even if they look trivial to you. Never brush them aside. If you do, the child will lose confidence in you and stop telling it to you. Encourage independent activities even if they are trivial. When he succeeds in such things, it gives a great boost to his confidence.

Sometimes, your child will need to learn by his mistakes. Allow him to do it. Never laugh at your child; but laugh with him.

Focus on your child s small successes. Young children are well aware of their inabilities and if you constantly point them out to them, they will lose their confidence all the more.

When the child fails to accomplish something, never say I told you that you were not able enough to do it. Such comments make your child feel even worse than what he felt while suffering the failure.

Instead, say never mind, you tried, but could not do it merely because of bad luck. Try again, you will succeed.

Ensure that your child does not overhear your honest opinions about him if it is adverse. That will damage his urge to improve.

  • Negative things you say about yourself can also damage your child s confidence, because children learn a great deal from adults.
  • Never express before children your inability to face situations or handle pressure etc, lest they get to feel that you really are not able to handle life's challenges yourself.

This will not constitute an optimistic example for your child. Use words carefully even when you are irritated or disgusted.

Negative remarks expressed in such moments make children believe they are useless and unwanted. Remarks suggesting that you do not love are damaging.

So are aggressive shouting and swearing. Have the courtesy to say sorry if you have said something or did anything which you should not have.


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