Helping Your Kids Develop Confidence

Dennis Forleo
March 9th, 2023
martial arts for kids in billings mt

Parenting tips

Helping our kids become confident is an important part of their growth and development. Their level of Self-Respect will be a huge factor in the decisions they make throughout their lives. Here are some tips to help your child develop confidence:

Praise Their Efforts:
Praise your child’s efforts and accomplishments, not just the end result. This helps them learn to value the process of trying and making effort, rather than just the outcome. They need to learn that the JOURNEY is important, not just the destination. Most of the important lessons they’ll learn, they learn on the journey, not just after they’ve achieved their goal.

Failure is Not The Enemy:
Help your child understand that mistakes are a normal part of learning and that failing can be a great catalyst for progress. The real enemy is quitting when things get hard. Difficulties arise in life all the time and we have to help them see that quitting will never help them accomplish their goals. This helps them learn that success is not measured by perfection, but by perseverance.

Encourage Them to Try New Things:
Encouraging your child to try new things and take on new challenges is a critical part of building resilience. This helps them to overcome fear, build confidence and learn new skills. We have to be good examples of this in their lives, which means that, yes, you ought to try new things as well.

Set SMART Goals:
Learning to set goals and achieve them is a crucial part of building confidence. Our kids need guidance on what goals are. Just saying “get better at this” doesn’t give direction or actionable steps. SMART goals are – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time sensitive. When they can do this, they will have empowered themselves for much success in life.

Teach Problem-Solving Skills:
Their ability to handle challenges and overcome obstacles in life comes from the problem-solving skills we teach them as children. Teach them to think “outside the box” and search for the truth of the matter helps to guide them to solutions and is a powerful way to increase their confidence.

Be a Good Role Model:
Show your child what confidence looks like and how to have assurance of things. Practice positive self-talk around them so they learn to pick up the phrases like, “I CAN DO IT.” Teach them that their thoughts will determine their behaviors and why it’s important to try and think positive. We have to show them how to handle difficult situations with grace and resilience.

Provide Opportunities for Servant-Leadership:
When your child has the opportunity to take on leadership roles, such as organizing a club, leading a team, and then SERVING others, this helps them learn skills required to lead and inspire others. It also helps them understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them so they can develop a heart of compassion for others.

Remind Them of Their Strengths:
Kids today are so inundated with negative feedback, whether from their peers at school, the media they consume, or sometimes, even the things they tell themselves. We all need reminders that we are, in fact, good at some things. Your kids need to be reminded that they can do hard things. They are wonderful individuals who have gifts and talents to share that are different from everyone else’s. Encourage them to take pride in who God has made them to be and remind them of their strengths.

Building confidence takes time and patience. While martial arts can help a child with all these things, it does not take the place of good parenting. Be supportive and encouraging, and help your child learn to value themselves and their abilities. They are SO worth it!

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