Children’s confidence

Confidence is the backbone to our ability to function and function well in our lives. There are so many things we can get wrong. If we engage children when they are small, they will engage with confidence as adults. I wasn’t so lucky.

Children may not understand how to articulate their thoughts with their parents in the early years, but they learn from us, so it’s important we teach them basic values that will help them build their confidence.

Positive feedback is vital and will help children continually re-assess where they are. Praise helps their confidence grow without them consciously being aware they’re building confidence. Sadly, I grew up without expression, but expression is something that children need to experience from an early age.

The more expression they have, the more confident they will be, the more they will want to talk about things. Expression is necessary and should be encouraged. And where our minds are often pre-occupied, and we learn to multi-task on our listening skills without giving children our full attention, we must try and change that.

As parents we should want to take an interest in our children’s hobbies. Hobbies are confidence building. I remember as a child wanting to take up horse riding. It wasn’t a long discussion with my father, but it left me with the thought that I probably shouldn’t ask again.

When it comes to criticism, if we’re going to criticise our children for something they’ve done, it’s important we make what we say constructive. Sadly, children come to believe the things we tell them, so it’s important to be specific and only refer to their behaviour.


29 May, 2011

8 thoughts on “Children’s confidence

  1. I have always praised my child because I didn’t get enough when I was growing up, so I make sure Sarah knows how proud of her I am.

    I do criticise some of the things she does, but it’s not her it’s her actions. She was an only child for 6 years of her life then I remarried and she got an older sister with the marriage. I loved her just as much and I made sure she knew that too.

    No matter what she does, I still love her.

    1. It’s nice that you’re being honest Lisa about criticising your daughter. I think it is easy to get into a pattern of criticising our children, rather than their actions. We’ve probably all done it, but it can be easily remedied. We need to remember to stop ourselves if and when we do!

      It is difficult going into any new relationship and I think it does make a difference to children when that happens, but it sounds as though you made things work and that’s great.

  2. I never got enough or very little praise as a child, which spilled over into adulthood. I still have a problem with self- confidence today.

    1. My background was very similar to yours so I know what you mean and how you feel.

      We have to work on confidence and that can be hard, but I know you will do it. I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the years, but finding out I had CP at 46 and setting up my website at 47 finally put a lot of ghosts to rest on my negative past. They both helped me with positivity and self-confidence.

      I believe that once we move on with our lives and things seem more positive, we can begin to build on our self-confidence. I know that will happen for you too.

  3. I missed out on a lot of that myself, since my parents weren’t even really paying much attention to how I was really doing, good or bad! It makes me feel terrible that I didn’t praise my daughter enough and for that I’m truly regretful.

    My only solace is the fact that you can’t give what you didn’t get. I’m only hoping that I can do better for her in the future, if and when she needs me!

    1. I know how you feel Randy, but try not to dwell on what you haven’t managed to do for your daughter.

      The good thing is that you know you didn’t praise your daughter when she was small, so it should be slightly easier to know how to change it now. The hardest part is recognising our mistakes and you’ve done that.

      Now you just have to change the pattern so that you can support and praise her more.

  4. Instilling a sense of self-confidence in children is one of the most important jobs a parent has. I don’t think our parents stopped to think much about the impact of how they parented us, but nowadays parents do understand how important our formative years are, to us as adults.

    Thankfully my parents were too busy to notice me so I don’t think they screwed me up too much! Or if they did, my own experiences have enabled me to be pretty self sufficient and confident in every day life.

    1. You are right, instilling self-confidence in children is one of the most important jobs a parent will do. As you say, parents of today seem to be more clued up about its importance. I think that too.

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