7 ways to build confidence in your children

We all want our children to become successful, happy adults. We imagine them having good relationships, working hard, following their dreams, and creating the life they want. But even though most of us live in abundance in this world – we have running water, healthcare, a roof over our heads, stores filled with food, it seems like creating the life we want is always just out of reach. Sometimes it’s from the paralysis of having too many choices, sometimes it’s from being afraid to fail, and sometimes it’s just simply that we don’t feel we are deserving.

So then what determines whether or not we have the success and happiness we want in life, despite all of the obstacles to getting there?

Being confident and believing that we are worthy and valuable intrinsically are the keys to living our dreams.

When the feeling of confidence is in the driver’s seat, you can accomplish anything.

As parents, we are in the unique position to positively influence our children’s self-esteem and confidence. 

Kids unconsciously believe “I don’t become what you think I can and I don’t become what I think I can, I become what I think you think I can”. 


Parenting with Love and Logic, by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline

We matter.

I am still feeling the excitement from meeting the amazing parents who attended my course about building confidence in your children this past week at the library. I was so impressed and inspired by everyone’s vulnerability, openness, and desire to really learn how to be the best parent they can be. I am planning on doing many more presentations of this course, as I feel these ideas are so critical to helping our children learn to be their best selves, but I thought I would give you a peek into one of the many ways we can instill the feeling of confidence in our children – showing unconditional love. Children (and adults) never get too old for any of these ideas.

7 ways to show unconditional love to our children:

  1. Encourage: Say encouraging phrases like “you are awesome!” not based on anything they say or do, but just because of who they are. This makes a child feel valued and gives them positive self talk.
  2. Express love physically: Gestures like hugging, kissing, squeezing a shoulder or hand, holding hands, putting your arm around their shoulders, wrestling, tickling, are all examples of showing unconditional love using touch. These are best received again not always in response to an action or behavior, but they can be.
  3. Give full attention: Make eye contact and smile at your child whenever possible is another great way to show love. In addition, give your child your full attention when they are talking. If you are unable to do so at that present moment, explain to the child that you will be able to listen later, and then follow through. Ex: Mommy has to make dinner right now, but when I am done cooking, I would love to hear your story!
  4. Don’t withhold love: One of the biggest ways we as parents can unconsciously negatively influence our child’s self esteem is to base our love on their behavior. If a child misbehaves and you reject the child or neglect them, even in your actions, and especially in your words, they will feel unloved. This includes shaming a child, which involves making them feel bad for misbehaving or making a mistake.  Making sweeping generalizations like “You always mess up on your math homework, why can you just figure it out?” or “I just can’t get through to you. I don’t know what to do now” “I can’t believe you spilled again! What is wrong with you?” “You are just a bad kid.” “I don’t know what to do with you.” “You’re hopeless”. or blaming them for acting out or misbehaving, when they just need help, can all be a form of shaming.
  5. Don’t criticize: Most children can’t take criticism constructively like healthy emotional adults can. They see all criticism as an attack on who they are, and will just internalize that criticism and it can become their negative self talk. Ex: Honey, you’re wearing that dress again?” (I am guilty of this sometimes) “Your hair looks ratty, you should really brush it more often.” “My God, your voice is so loud all the time!” “Why do you pick the rudest friends?”
  6. Focus on their strengths: In order for our kids to be motivated we think we have to let them know how weak they are, but this results in the eroding of the self-esteem. As adults, if someone thinks the world of us, we perform our best for them, but if someone things we are terrible at everything, we will usually never prove them wrong.
  7. Don’t compare them to others: When another child achieves something, it’s important to focus on how much effort and hard work they put in, not that they are better because of their accomplishment.

These ideas can be challenging to implement because our own hangups can get in the way, but if we can work on managing our own mind first, through the tools of life coaching and the model, we can successfully help our children gain confidence everyday, little by little.

My course, Building Self-Esteem and Confidence in your Children, contains 6 more sections of ways to help your child gain confidence! If you are interested in learning when and where this course will be offered again, click here to be added to my email list!

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