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Confidence tips for children

Confidence-tips-for-children

Confidence in children in not a topic often addressed. It’s common to assume that confidence is not a concept a child need understand. When at an age of exploration, children are thought to not possess the self-awareness required to have confidence (or lack thereof). The truth is that some do, and their confidence can be worryingly low. Living in the modern world, the reams of information we now have instant access to has made us more conscious and questioning than ever before, including children.

Signs your child may have low confidence

Children tend to be less subtle at showing their feelings, so identifying a lack of confidence in your child shouldn’t be a problem. One mistake you shouldn’t make is confusing shyness for low confidence. All children can get shy when faced with a new situation and for the vast majority of the time, it doesn’t indicate any deeper issues. Signs you should look for include:

  • Repeated excuses to get out of doing something
  • Staying quiet around groups of people they are comfortable with and have no authority over them, such as school friends or siblings
  • Not taking risks with behaviour or experimenting, e.g. clothing, speech

This can provide a good starting point in identifying your child’s confidence levels, though not comprehensive. A confident child can be introverted and an unconfident child can be talkative, but these three signs tend to be strong indicators.

Addressing the confidence gap

When a child lacks confidence, they have often been exposed to a school of thought or type of media that causes them to question themselves. They can’t unsee or unlearn this, but you can combat the way they react. Try to disengage your child from social parameters that are suitable for older children or adults, such constantly paying them compliments or encouraging them to look nicer. It might seem tempting to constantly praise a child if you think they lack confidence, but it’s better to be as neutral as possible. Issues such as looks, intelligence and personality feel bigger in the smaller, simpler world of a child, so try not to introduce such concepts into it. While they are still in their ‘bubble’, they don’t need to follow these social patterns as much. Good ways to do this include:

  • Gearing conversation towards things they like or are interested in, and away from themselves.
  • Encouraging them to take control of a family activity, whether it’s choosing a film to watch or what to have for dinner.
  • Start a ‘wall diary’, so they can input what they have learned today and what they enjoyed most. These tend to work better than merit charts, which can drive children towards feeling that they need to accomplish something in order to feel good.

Confidence can be a sensitive topic, and it can feel tricky to address when it concerns a child. The truth is we often overcomplicate the issue at hand. While reward and punishment is an important part of growing up, this binary can start to affect children beyond the ways it should. Try and take a step back from this mindset whenever possible, as childhood is about discovery and development as opposed to right and wrong. Let their self-awareness grow as naturally as possible. For more confidence tools and tips join our empowering and supportive club today.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.