There is much to say about the importance of motivation and how it relates to self-esteem or confidence. Even as adults many people are always thinking of ways to improve confidence by changing their appearance, learning a new hobby, obtaining a degree, or learning how to address past fears. As humans we recognize the quality in others that sometimes they cannot see, sometimes we fall short identifying our own unique qualities.
As we continue to learn about our own life experiences regarding confidence we need to pass down the information to our children. Confidence can help motivate the learning process for children. Throughout a child’s life they need encouragement to build their confidence and to walk without the fear of falling, learn new sounds for language acquisition, or as they grow older they need encouragement as they take on new challenges in the academia arena. There are some things parents can do to help build their child’s confidence levels such as:
- Compliment your child’s achievements but use caution with exaggerations. Some children are very smart and intuitive and they know if the parent is not being truthful. Be honest when you compliment and provide constructive criticism, this will help your child learn how to accept constructive criticism from other authority figures they will encounter in their life experience with others; a child’s confidence level is shaped from other authority figures.
- Let the child decide. Parents can also help the child’s confidence by giving them room to make decisions. Decision development strengthens judgment and the practice of strong judgment builds confidence. While the child cannot make major decisions for themselves they can learn how to make minor decisions, for example some high schools teach nutrition but offer vending machines. It may seem to defeat the purpose of teaching about healthy snacks when there are convenient vending machines around, but making an informed decision develops judgment even when they are not at school. Sometimes offer younger children a choice of foods they can eat, or a choice of clothing they can wear that day. Provide subtle hints about the weather and events that will take place that day. These are just a few small things that help build confidence and judgment.
- Offer encouragement when they make mistakes. Parents can also help develop their child’s confidence if they step back and allow their children to learn by their own mistakes. It is understanding and natural for parents to want to jump in and help their children succeed in everything, but sometimes it is best to allow the child to learn from his or her mistake so they will be more cautious and confident in the future. When children learn from their mistakes they know it is okay to fail sometimes, and they become more resilient as they try again. Parents should also learn it is okay to share their own mistakes and what they have learned from the blunders. Children get a chance to see their parents are not perfect and it is okay, obstacles are a part of learning so parents should not always remove them but use them for opportunities of growth.
- Help your kids to look on the bright side. Optimism can also become a tool of promoting confidence. Children can learn how to have a positive perspective about faults or inadequacies, and about the ups and downs of daily life. They can learn to be positive when things do not go as plan. Parents can help their children think of strategies to bring up their grade, or if the child is feeling down because he or she feels like a classmate or friend is smarter or has better talents and skills. The parent can explain that everyone has something special about them that make him or her unique from others. Optimism helps children build confidence and hope of future outcomes; they learn to be encouraged.
Children face many uncharted territories as they grow. They face tough areas in their young lives with confidence, and sometimes they feel disappointed as their plans or expectations are foiled and their confidence diminishes. Children need a good support team to strengthen their little hearts, this is why family, teachers, friends and community help is important. Again, the confidence of children is molded and shaped by the various people and authority figures they will encounter in life, but with a parent’s encouragement it is especially significant. Children need to know at the end of the day home is a sanctuary of support to face tomorrow’s challenges again. Your involvement and encouragement is important in building your child’s self-esteem.
At Vida Learning Center, we strongly believe in building confidence and independence in children through our tutoring services. If you are interested in tutoring, and want to have your child assessed for the various teaching approaches please contact Vida Learning Center.