Color & Control:

How to build confidence in your child

Give praise where praise is due

Its important to give your child praise and positive feedback. Children often measure their worth and achievement by what you think. Reassure your child that it’s OK not to be able to do everything perfectly. Explain that some things take repeated effort.

1 Help your child set realistic goals
Guide your child to set reasonable expectations to help them avoid feelings of failure and disappointment. If the goal is a stretch, discuss some reachable short-term steps along the path.

2 Teach resilience
No one always succeeds. Setbacks and failures are normal. Use hurdles as learning experiences rather than dwelling on the events as failures or disappointments. The old adage, “Try, try, try again,” has merit, especially in teaching kids not to give up.

3 Instill independence and adventure
Self-confident children are willing to try new things without fear of failure. Set up situations and space where he or she can do things safely for themselves. Encourage exploration, whether it’s a trip to a new park or new foods.

4 Support their pursuit of a passion
Everyone excels at something, and it’s great when your child discovers that special something. As a parent, respect and encourage your child’s interest—even if they don’t appeal to you.

5 Coach relationship skills
The most important initial relationship is the loving parent-child relationship. As your child’s social circle expands, it’s not your role to “fix” every situation, but rather to teach your child about compassion, kindness, self-assertiveness and, yes, confidence, to handle the ups and downs of relationships.

6 Don’t rescue
It’s natural to want to prevent your child from making mistakes, but when you intervene, you are not doing her or him any favours. Kids need to know that it’s okay to fail and/or feel sad, anxious or angry.

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