Confidence levels of children different so dramatically depending on age, personality, what is going on in their life…there are so many factors. Self confidence is a great life skill and as parents many often ask how they can assist their children with increasing their confidence. We recently interviewed Helen Davey the Executive Principal of Helen O’Grady’s Drama Academy and she gave us her top 5 tips on increasing confidence with children.
Top 5 tips in Increasing Confidence in Children
- Praise for a reason
Children need plenty of encouragement, but don’t overdo the compliments!
Praise children appropriately for the occasion, with specific feedback. For example, rather than saying “Good job” for all achievements, point out what is good, ie, “I like your use of colour in that drawing,” or “You used such an expressive voice during your assembly!”
Don’t praise children for doing things they are supposed to do. When they brush their teeth, or take out the rubbish, a simple “thank you,” is sufficient!
- Allow your children to make mistakes
It’s natural to want to prevent your child from getting hurt, feeling discouraged, or making mistakes, but when you intervene – it’s not doing them any favours.
Kids need to know that it’s okay to fail, and that it’s normal to feel sad, anxious, or angry. They learn from their mistakes and by overcoming challenges, not by having them removed.
It’s important for children to have the chance to take risks and try new things, without feeling that their parents will criticise or correct them for doing something wrong!
It can be good for children to see their parents making little mistakes from time to time also, without a big fuss being made about it! If children know mistakes aren’t the end of the world, they will be less likely to avoid trying new things based on a fear of failure
- Give your child responsibilities
One of the ways children gain confidence is by doing jobs and ‘helping’ to keep the family house in order!
Assign daily or weekly tasks to children that can be achieved successfully. The sense of accomplishment that comes with completing this responsible task is a great confidence booster.
- Let your children make decisions
If children get the chance to make choices, they’ll gain confidence in their own good judgment.
Rather than giving them a ‘free reign’, give children two or three options to choose from. (At the same time, let your child know certain choices are up to you!)
Over time, making ‘good’ choices will become much easier and children will have the confidence to trust their decisions!
- Nurture your child’s interests
When possible, expose your child to a wide variety of activities, and encourage them when they find something they really love to do.
Kids who have a passion — whether it’s karate, cooking or drama – feel proud of their expertise and are more likely to be successful in other areas of their life.
Hobbies may be particularly helpful for children who have a hard time fitting in at school – and you can also help your child take advantage of his interest to connect with other kids with similar likes.
Helen Davey is the Principal Director of Helen O’Grady Drama Academy in Perth (Western Australia).
The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy has been delivering dynamic and engaging self-development drama classes to children from 5 – 17 years for almost 40 years.
“When our students come to class, they know they going to have a fun-filled lesson. What they often don’t realise is that they are also learning valuable skills that will enable them to succeed both in school and life. Our curriculum has been developed to allow creativity and imagination, within a carefully structured lesson”.