School starts soon for thousands of students. As a school counselor and former teacher, I love the excitement of the first day. Faces are filled with excitement, anticipation, but also anxiety. Uncertainty is real for kids. Parents often ask me, “How can I build my child’s confidence?”
You build your child’s confidence by following one principle:
What you believe about your kids is what they believe about themselves.
Kids take their emotional and internal cues from the adults around them. When adults respond in fear, kids respond in fear. When adults criticize a leader, kids doubt that leader’s ability. When adults lack confidence in a child, a child responds with insecurities.
However, when an adult believes in a child’s strengths and reinforces those strengths, a child believes he is able to accomplish tasks with those gifts. Building your child’s confidence relies heavily on what your child perceives you think about them.
How do kids perceive what parents believe about them? It happens through non-verbal, internal cues.
- A parent says their child is “quirky” and the child believes there is something not quite right with them.
- A parent pushes their child to perform in a sport or activity the child doesn’t excel at, and the child believes he has to perform in order to be accepted.
- A parent spends more time with others than the family, and a child believes she is unimportant.
- A parent swears at a child and the child believes he is isn’t worthy of respect.
- A parent criticizes a child’s appearance or awkwardness, and she believes she is not good enough.
Anxiety, insecurities, self-esteem, and fear diminish when a child knows the positive things adults believe about them. Words are powerful to a child, both positive and negative. You can have an incredible impact on your child when your pour positive truths into their spirit.
- When they hear you say, “You’re strong, you can do this!,” they gain confidence.
- When they hear you say, “You worked hard today” on something they’ve done, they know you see their effort, not their end result.
- When they hear you say, “I’m proud of you” for no apparent reason, they believe they have worth.
No doubt, every school year brings challenges. But you can build your child’s confidence by giving them positive encouragement.
Ease your child’s fears about a new school year by letting them know you believe in them. It’s a simple step that doesn’t cost a thing.
Get them off to a great start by investing in your child today!