Creating confidence in your kids is crucial for their overall well-being and development. The key to building confidence in your children lies in teaching them to love themselves first, before they love others. As a parent, the best way to instill self-love in your kids naturally is by loving and accepting them unconditionally. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get upset with them or say things you don’t mean. But, it’s important to repair the relationship by talking about what happened, connecting, and always making sure to tell them you love them no matter what. In this blog, we’ll dive deep into how to boost children’s confidence, dealing with outside societal pressures, and my favorite resources for creating self-confidence in my kids.
Why is Self Confidence Important?
In today’s society, it’s all about conforming to the norm and peer pressure. Teaching them to be confident and love themselves from a young age, even as young as one year old, instills this in them for life. They’ll be able to easily decipher who they are & their values and stand strong in those without letting society form them for your kids. They’ll be less likely to follow what their friends are doing, and they’ll stand up for others being bullied. I’ve been raising my 11 year old son with all of these lessons, and he’s now great at standing up for himself and others. He knows he’s different from other kids and constantly says, “I like being weird”. He sees that he thinks differently, but instead of seeing it as a negative thing he views himself as special (as all humans are).
How to Boost Children’s Confidence: How I’ve Done It
There is no one size fits all when it comes to how to boost children’s confidence. Every kid is unique, just like every human is unique. Ways that I instilled confidence in my son might look a little different than my daughters, but the overall message is the same. Love them unconditionally. Don’t take your hard day out on them. Let them know it’s okay to make mistakes and have big feelings. ALSO teach them how to learn from those mistakes and how to handle big feelings. Kids are humans that deserve to feel respected, too. Let’s treat them like it!
I’ve always been sure to talk to my 11 yr old son about when other kids may have been mean to him. I’d point out that a lot of the time bullies are struggling with their own issues that have nothing to do with him or who he is. It’s, actually, proven in child development that bullies are created from extreme/harsh parenting. Living with this as his main foundation has been huge. I even use this in my life, everyday. Most of the time people’s actions & anger have nothing to do with us so we should just go about our lives anyways!
Additionally, I’ve always praised things about him, not just things he does. Even if it’s things I’d hope he changed. I’d say “you’re so great at cleaning” when we’d pick up his extremely messy room so that he’d do that more often. It’s all about the wording with this as well. It’s not, “you did such a good job cleaning”. That implies praising for a thing they did, not for who they are inside. Start praising your kid for what you love about them, not what they’ve done, and you’ll definitely start seeing a difference in their confidence!
How I Boost My Children’s Confidence
For this blog, I asked my son what I’ve done to teach him to love himself and this is what he said: teaching him it’s okay to cry, helping him be his best self, hugging him when he’s sad or upset and talking to him about everything. I think the main point here is that I’ve shown him that he matters and is important no matter his actions or achievements. I’ve treated him with respect. I treat him like a human even as a small child.
My two daughters are in quite a bit different phases of life from my son. So my parenting for them looks a little different than what it looks like for my son right now. I’m constantly commenting on what I love about them. For my oldest daughter, I allow/empower her to do tasks for herself. She’ll brush her teeth, wash her hands, and pick up clothes/toys herself. She is even allowed to pick out snacks she can reach on her own. After she does things on her own, we praise her for accomplishing those tasks. When it comes to picking out clothes, I encourage her to be herself by wearing what she likes & thinks looks good. Of course, at times (for certain occasions) she needs options & choices, but for the most part, I love letting her express her style & praising her for it!
Is it Different for Girls & Boys?
Definitely but also not!! How I boost my children’s confidence is the same whether they’re a boy or girl, but the way it will be tested in their lives as they grow into teen/adulthood will be different. I treat my son the way I treat my daughters (crying is ok, teaching him to journal, cuddle and talk about things). So in that way so much is the same. But in ways out of my control, so much is different. For example: My son has already started with girlfriends… EEK. A lot of those situations are in his control, but when my girls grow up and are pining after boys it’s a little bit of a different story.
Similarly though, if girls don’t like him he always walks away with confidence. He knows his worth isn’t structured in what others think about him. I hope to instill this in both my girls, as well. This is where the unconditional self love comes in. They’ll be strong in their self-worth and unbothered if others don’t feel the same.
How Do You Deal with Societal Pressures Out of Your Control?
My son isn’t allowed on social media right now, so we haven’t dealt with that aspect yet. We talk every day about things at school, though. I use questions that actually start conversations instead of simple ones. Instead of “How was school?” I ask: “Did anything interesting happen today?”, “What was your favorite/least favorite part of school?”, and “How’s (insert friend name)?”. They never fail, and my husband’s always shocked at how much my son tells me. The best way to deal with outside/societal pressures is to keep an open and safe line of communication with your child. Make sure you are their safe space, no matter what. Listen more than you talk, and you’ll be amazed how much they want to tell you!
Does Self Love Affect Every Part of Their Life?
Heck, yes! That’s why discovering how to boost your children’s confidence, is such an important thing. It affects how they approach pretty much everything & how they see themselves/the world. Here are a few examples of how I’ve seen the self love I’m instilling in my kids come to light in their lives.
Trying new things
My son is the first to try anything and test all aspects of life. He’s not afraid to fail or be the worst at something. I’ve heard many stories of his friends getting upset at recess when he’s not the best basketball player, but every day he keeps playing because he enjoys trying. I had such low confidence that I never tried out for the sports I loved and always just accepted being put on the lowest level team because of it. I was too afraid to even try because I didn’t believe in myself.
This hits home for us currently, as we just moved. But my son makes friends easily, I’ve never had to worry as a military family.
Even my daughter, at 2, has her own style and isn’t afraid to wear what she loves (like necklaces backwards). She likes it and that’s all that matters. My son doesn’t care how many times he gets comments about his leather jacket, it’s still his favorite clothing item.
Talking to adults
My kids love talking to everyone. My son orders and asks adult questions (even when I’m sometimes shy). He’ll be able to function confidently without me there.
Resources For How to Boost Children’s Confidence
I’ve talked about all of these resources on other blogs, but I’ll link them here, as well, for easy access! Be sure to follow them all on Instagram for constant tips, tricks, and info.
- Love Powered Co Cards – always a fave! The have mindfulness cards for adults and kids. For adults, the affirmations are to guide you on a self love journey. For the kids, they are to affirm the greatness in your littles.
- Big Life Journal – sign up for their email newsletter! They constantly have new, free resources with printables + family activities. My family loves their journals, both child and adult.
- Generation Mindful – This is another great free newsletter resource. They have play-based tools for social emotional learning, and items to create a calming space to name and share feelings. They also have courses for parents to tame triggers and CONNECT before you correct (or explode hahah).
My two favorite children’s books to read with my kids are “I like myself” by Karen Beaumont & “I think I am” by Louise Hay.
Let’s All Love Ourselves!
Self-love and self-confidence can help your kids in many areas of their life. Parts of their life like trying new things, making friends, and having their own sense of style are all affected. My son is a great example of how self-confidence can lead to a willingness to try new things and not be afraid of failure. As someone who struggled with low confidence in my own life, I know the impact it can have! By instilling self-love in your kids, you set them up for a life full of love & happiness! I hope this blog helps you figure out how to boost your children’s confidence & help them love themselves unconditionally.
For more parenting tips & tricks, or just more info on breaking the cycle of childhood trauma, head over to my blog. You’ll find SO much education on how to raise amazing humans. Of course, I don’t claim to know it all. But having three kids all in different phases of life, I’ve had to educate myself on so many things. I’m here to make your educational journey wayyyy shorter than mine!