More than ever, parents realize the need to emphasize raising their children’s self-esteem and confidence. A young child needs support to help them continue thriving as they slowly explore and grow into their personalities. Often, the support doesn’t have to be elaborate or complex. We can help raise their confidence and self-esteem in simple ways. Growing up at times with low self-esteem myself, I knew that I wanted to instill a good foundation for my daughter and take steps to start supporting her, even from an early age. The ideas listed below are from my personal experience, and I hope they can guide others.
Simple Ways I’m Raising My Child’s Confidence
1. Give Thoughtful Compliments
When it comes to toddlers, compliments that affirm their self-worth can help become the pillars of their childhood. I’ve noticed simple compliments that admire their ever-growing personality and actions can help brighten a little one’s day.
Remember to go beyond their appearance when offering a compliment! “You are so cute” and “You are so adorable” is often what comes to mind when we look at our toddlers. However, I find that it makes more of an impact when I go beyond the surface level and thank my toddler for her particular actions by saying things like:
- “You are so helpful!”
- “Thank you for helping mommy!”
- “How imaginative and creative you are!”
- “I love the way you did that!”
- “That’s so smart. I didn’t think of that!”
Phrases like these can help boost their mood and raise their confidence beyond their appearance from an early age.
2. Get Them Involved with Learning Activities
Whether you’re simply baking or cooking at home, get them involved! This could mean letting your child collect all the ingredients or just letting your little one stay beside you and watch. For baking, you could help them get on a learning tower and get their hands involved in what you’re doing (provided it is safe to do so). As they get involved, they will feel more confident in their abilities and new skills.
The first time they help, you may find it frustrating. It usually takes three times as long and is a lot messier. However, the next time they help, they may grab the spoon for you or know what you mean when you ask, “Where’s the sugar?” You may be surprised by how much they previously learned! These activities together become win-win situations because it helps them learn new skills and build their confidence, and it becomes a bonding time for you and your little one.
I do have to admit that in the beginning, I was reluctant to have my toddler get involved with these activities as it often meant more time and clean-up for me afterward. However, when I noticed the positive impact on my child, I saw the need to do this more often.
3. Don’t Do It For Them — Provide Support and Encouragement
One day, I noticed my daughter playing with her wooden puzzle during playtime. She was frustrated when she couldn’t figure out a certain piece. Rather than doing it for her, I said, “That’s okay, keep trying.” And “Try again. You can do it.” Sometimes, I’d gently guide her. But mostly took a step back and let her know it’s okay not to get it perfect the first time. She can take a breath and try again.
Then a few days after, she quickly put all of the pieces in the right place. Her eyes lit up, and she was so proud of herself. She clapped, saying, “Yay!” It was such a great feeling to experience her accomplishment together!
When I allow my child to practice her independence and learn new skills on her own, she realizes her capabilities which then boosts her self-confidence. And then, by praising her persistence and accomplishment, it helps reinforce her confidence. “Great job! I’m so proud of you” can go a long way.
4. Use Affirmation Cards
It’s never too early to start saying affirmations with your child! Affirmations are positive, uplifting statements that are said to oneself that can help raise a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Affirmation cards are a great and easy way to start this practice with your child.
We know that from an early age, children’s brains are like sponges. They are constantly absorbing everything around them! And what we say to them as their parents can become their inner voice. Using affirmation cards daily can help their little minds grow more positively and instill confidence in themselves. Feel free to add a couple into your morning or bedtime routine! You can fit them in during playtime too.
5. Be a Good Role Model
It is important to instill a positive vocabulary and be a good role model for our children to look up to. Our children are always watching. They pay attention to how you speak to yourself and others. Remember this when you are talking down to yourself, being hard on your partner, or when you’re unkind. “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work. We are their biggest teachers in life, and our example plays a significant role in how they learn to treat others, accept love from others, and treat themselves.
6. Pay Attention to Your Child’s Interests
All of our children have natural talents and interests. As their parent, make sure to pay attention to their likes and strengths and offer them opportunities to practice and expand their knowledge and experience. You can do this by finding local classes or interest groups. For example, if your child enjoys music and loves dancing, find music classes or dance classes they can take. Or you can just incorporate a family dance party in the kitchen when cooking dinner. Taking notice of their strengths and interests and helping them expand on their talents will help grow their confidence.
As parents, we are our children’s biggest influencers. When we make it a point to raise and nurture good self-esteem and confidence in our kids, they will benefit greatly. Again, your voice will become your child’s inner voice as they grow. Make sure that voice is full of loving guidance and praise! These simple tips can go a long way, and they are my go-to’s to raising my child’s confidence.