School doesn’t come easy for every child. It can be a challenging experience, and one that requires persistence and patience. Unfortunately, however, when school work becomes overly difficult, many children lose faith in themselves as students. Left uncorrected, this can have a lasting detrimental effect on a child’s performance in school and overall attitude and demeanor. To pave the way for school success, parents should work to build their children’s self-confidence. Confident children do not shy away from hard work and will generally see failure as an opportunity to make changes and try again. How can you develop your child’s confidence? Here are several tips:
Be supportive. Children typically trust what their parents say as the truth, so it’s essential that parents regularly let them know that they believe in their abilities. To grow into capable, confident students, children need to feel supported by parents, not controlled. Let your child take the reins on homework and school and be on hand for help.
Work together on goal setting. The process of goal setting helps children take control of their success, resulting in a greater willingness to attempt hard things and increased confidence that their efforts will yield good results. Encourage your child to lay out what he or she wants to achieve and the barriers standing in the way, as well as a plan to work around those obstacles.
Foster independence. Whenever possible, parents should offer their children the chance to make decisions for themselves. Set high but achievable expectations, then put trust in your child to tackle tasks on his or her own—from homework to household chores. This will cultivate your child’s sense of responsibility. Every accomplishment, however small or routine, gives your child the assurance that he or she is capable.
Encourage doing new things. Parents who nudge their children to put themselves out there to try things—from joining a new club to taking challenging classes—are helping them grow and adapt to new situations. Always support your child’s attempts to acquire new skills and learn from challenging endeavors.
While parents cannot simply make their children confident, they can take note of their children’s strengths and encourage them to work hard, take initiative, persevere, and learn from their mistakes. These types of actions inspire children to go for what they want and strive to improve themselves as students and people, taking calculated risks along the way. Confidence, after all, is one of the building blocks for academic achievement. By making your child feel empowered and skilled, you are equipping him or her with the tools for lifelong school and career success.
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