A new school year can be a daunting time for children who’ve been enjoying summer, especially if they’re entering a new school or are anxious about a new grade level or programme.
In this blog, we’ll talk about five ways to help your child improve their confidence both at home and during the school year.
Challenge your child to begin and stay at it
Our children may be naturally good at certain things, but it’s beneficial for them to continue learning and exploring their interests. Kids feel more capable and confident that they can handle new situations when they gain a skill.
Big goals can seem impossible to achieve when your child expresses what they want to do, but setting out the smaller steps to take in reaching a goal can give them the confidence to get started. If your child isn’t a natural leader among groups, for example, encourage them to take initiative.
If your child is learning a new skill or hobby, remind them to practice. Repetition helps them develop the skill, even if it may not be enjoyable at first. Welcome their questions with positivity, and if they feel like giving up, remind them of how great they are for trying something new.
Once they become comfortable, gently push them to tackle a new challenge or move onto the next skill level.
Knowing adults have their own share of problems, you can model confidence for your children by showing them how you tackle challenges with optimism. Be honest about how you’re feeling, but set an example of confidence by focusing on how you’re preparing to handle a task rather than attempting to look perfect.
Modelling this behaviour for your child can even help you boost your confidence!
We all want our children to excel, but we also don’t want to smother them or hold their hand at each step so they gain a sense of self-esteem. Giving them space to work through problems and solve them builds their confidence and gets them excited for the next new adventure they’ll face on their own.
Assigning age-appropriate jobs like cleaning the house or caring for younger siblings is another way to help children feel connected and valued for their efforts, even if the tasks aren’t enjoyable.
Reframe failures and mistakes
Your child’s development won’t always look easy or flawless. In fact, most of us learn through trial and error. Whether it’s through TV or social media, your child may receive messages that it’s easy for others to be happy and successful when that isn’t reflective of reality. Remind your child that everyone makes mistakes—even adults—and focus on what they can learn from mistakes rather than dwelling on them.
Criticism from adults can be detrimental to a child’s confidence, so remember, it’s the effort that counts. As long as they’re trying and displaying dedication and enthusiasm for what they’re doing, children can still gain confidence despite setbacks.
Even more important than a physical accomplishment is fostering an optimistic mindset in your child. You can help them see the positive in any situation. Building resilience after tough experiences is one of the most important ways your child can develop their self-confidence so they’re not afraid to fail or try again. Short-term failures can motivate children to try harder, which benefits them in adulthood.
When your child achieves what they set out to do, they’ll naturally gain positive feelings, but knowing that their parents and other family members are proud of them adds another layer to the memory of when they reached their goal.
Dedicating a wall to displaying their report card, artwork, medal, or other sign of achievement is one way to acknowledge their efforts. It also reminds them of their capability and motivates them to continue working just as hard. Most importantly, share how much you love your child even when they aren’t accomplishing achievements; there is no bigger confidence builder than love, no matter what’s going on.
SISD provides world-class academic programmes, but we’re also proud of how we provide support to students outside of the class. We make time for fun, teamwork, and human connection and strive to build a community of global citizens who lead healthy lifestyles and are respectful of others and the environment. In 2016, Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority recognised our efforts to improve healthy eating and active living and foster a positive environment with the Happy Healthy School Award.
Contact us anytime should you have questions about our programmes or school life at SISD.