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Positive Parenting: Tips for Raising a Confident Child

As a parent, your greatest desire is to see your child succeed and grow in confidence. As our physical world intertwines with the virtual world, children face greater challenges to their self-esteem than the generations before. How can parents overcome these challenges and be intentional in building their child’s self-confidence?

Well-adjusted adults accept imperfection as part of the learning process, seek honest feedback, and focus on helping others. The following tips for raising a confident child mirror these common characteristics of emotionally strong adults.

Value Imperfection

Perfectionism is the enemy of confidence. Teach your child that mistakes can be necessary steps toward success. Allowing them to see you make mistakes as you learn a new skill or try something new gives them permission to experience failure before success. Show that laughing at your own mistakes and learning as you go are a valuable part of the achievement process.

Approve Generously

As a child’s primary role model, it’s essential that parents demonstrate confidence in themselves and others. Show pride in yourself for a job well done, and openly compliment others for their achievements. As the adage goes, “More is caught than taught.” If children are to become comfortable with accepting and giving compliments, they need to see adults complimenting themselves and others. Humility requires the confidence to both accept and give credit.

Serve up Strengths

Compliments build confidence, but only if they are believable. Children will internalize positive or negative feedback that they believe to be true. Identify your child’s talents and teach him how his unique abilities can help himself and others. Look for opportunities for your child to gain honest positive feedback by serving others with his strengths.

Share in Special Circumstances

While divorced parents may find it more challenging to raise confident children when in a shared custody situation, it absolutely can be done. Cooperating and collaborating with your co-parent can help create an atmosphere of ease and security for your child. According to Attorney Jill L. Coil, a cooperative approach to custody not only saves parents time and money, but can also be beneficial for the child’s emotional well-being. In the end, when both parents put their child’s needs above their own, everyone wins.

Save the Selfie

Self-confidence gives way when self-absorption sets in. The use of social media generates a need for virtual approval. Wise parents act as a social media coach while their children begin connecting with others on the Internet. Monitor your kids’ online interactions and model integrity online with consistency. Help them protect their dignity by choosing carefully what they post online.

Raising a confident child in this competitive world may feel daunting. Fortunately, kids gain a healthy perspective from parents who carefully nurture and protect their child’s uniqueness. They learn to accept imperfection and to be gracious with themselves and others. Children develop a healthy sense of pride as they are recognized for real-life strengths and encouraged to use them to help others.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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