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Teaching Self Confidence is so important when raising children. Shyness can seriously hold your child back, both socially and emotionally. Here are some tips on teaching your child self confidence.

Growing up, many children dream of becoming a superstar that is outgoing, confident and charismatic, but how many children have the courage and confidence to follow their dreams. How many children are too shy and apprehensive when it comes to taking chances, socialising with new people and interacting in crowds of people?

Shyness is a curse; it consumes your life and prevents you from going out and showing the world all you have to offer. It hinders your ability to embrace social settings, communicate and interact in groups of people. You don’t want this for your child; you don’t want your little angel to be the one who sits alone and struggles to make scores of friends. Shyness should be conquered from a very young age; here are some tips to help your child become more confident.

Reasons for Lack of Confidence
Confidence is said to be a clear reflection of how your child sees themselves and understands their worth to the important people around them. Although most parents don’t like to hear this; according to parenting guru Dr Tanya Byron of the TV show: House of Tiny Tearaways: A child’s behaviour, shyness and lack of confidence is indirectly the parent’s fault. This is believed to be due to a lack of praise and recognition.

The child is anxious about not pleasing their parents and is worried in case they get into trouble and disappoint their parents. These children often only hear about the negative things they do but seldom hear about the positive.

Another explanation includes the fact that shyness and lack of confidence can actually be inherited from the parents. Doctors however believe that children can side step this with proper and extensive encouragement and practice. Children have also been known to adopt their parent’s shyness and lack of confidence. This means that if you are an introvert when in a new group, your child might see this as the norm and behave the same way mummy does.

  • Signs of Low Self Confidence
  • Extreme shyness
  • Won’t talk to your friends and extended family
  • Won’t interact with new people
  • Reluctant to start new projects
  • Negative thoughts and attitudes towards him/herself
  • Hesitant to try new things
  • Fears making even the smallest decision
  • Won’t interact with new children
  • Very quiet in group settings
  • He/she is a bit of a loner

Teaching Your Child Self Confidence
Praising Good Work
A child thrives and becomes more confident, if and when they are praised for their good doings and for following instructions. You can start this at an early age, by commenting positively when your child starts developing new skills and trying things for the first time. Their feeling of self worth is important and is conveyed by the way the parents treat and interact with their children.

Your children need to feel as though they are important enough to be heard and that how they feel and what they think is also a big deal to the people who love them. Confidence comes from believing it when parents say “You’re such a good boy” or “You’re such a clever girl”. Praise and appreciation from parents is an excellent place to start when teaching your children self confidence and allowing them to like the person they see in the mirror.

According to many psychologists, using positive reinforcement will help your child to be more ready and willing to perform tasks quicker and more diligently. An example of this is by saying “if you try a new hobby, I’ll buy you a new toy.”

It’s Play Time
Playing with your child will show them that they are worth your time and that means that other children will feel the same way about them. Playing also allows your child to try new things. This in turn will bring about more confidence in trying, learning and experimenting with new things. During play time it is important that you make your child feel special and that what they want to do matters. Praise them when they do something properly.
Children can also become more confident if they are given the opportunity to play with children their own age. Organising a play date, having a movie night or party can help your child become more confident and form friendships.

Extra Mural Activities
Getting your child involved in something she enjoys and is good at, is an excellent way to boost your child’s confidence. This will also give them the opportunity to get to know people who have similar interests. Getting your child involved in a team sporting activity will also help better your child’s confidence. This will also teach your child to take responsibility for their success and teach them the importance of a team. Confidence can be built by finding something your child is good at and encouraging it.

Confident Parents = Confident Children
If you are concerned about trying new things and being in new and strange social situations, it is crucial that you don’t show your children your fears. Allow your child to embrace new social settings. It is often easier to form friendships if the interaction is on a one on one basis.

Time
It is often the case that all your child needs is a little time to grow out of this phase. When they get to school they generally form friendships with other children as they are forced to interact in a large group.

When In Social Settings
When your child is in a social setting, it is important that you include them in your conversation and not say things like “Be quiet when the adults are talking” or “Children should be seen not heard”. This is because children in this situation view it as wrong or disrespectful to talk when in the company of adults.

How You Can Help

  1. Allow your child to have a say in what you do on a family outing or holiday and other family decisions
  2. Encourage your child to have a positive attitude
  3. Acknowledge and praise his efforts in front of other people
  4. Give your child some responsibility and praise them when they are fulfilled
  5. Tell family and friends about his achievements and how well your child is doing
  6. Encourage him to take risks and make new friends
  7. Praise your child when it is due
  8. Allow your child to have an active social life
  9. Enrolling them in a drama or acting class will help them to become more confident
  10. Keep telling your child what is good about them, as well as attributes that need a little more focus
  11. Ask your child about their day and encourage them to talk to a number of people old and young. However remember the importance of respect for all involved.
  12. Don’t allow your child to play video games for long periods of time. This prevents them from making friends with 3 dimensional people and they may never develop proper social skills.

Goodbye Meek Little Mouse and Hello Confident Diva
So many parents don’t realise that the things they say and do to their child have a serious and lasting effect on their confidence and how they see themselves. If a child is constantly told that he is naughty he will start to believe it. Boosting your child’s confidence can be done by pointing out all their positive qualities. Allowing your children to take part in extra mural activities will also build their confidence and give them the opportunity to make friends. Listen to what your child has to say, this will also make them feel important and special enough to be heard.

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