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This is how to boost your child's self-confidence

icoon-kalender-tekengebied-2.png 25 August 2022
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As a parent, you wish for your child to be happy, have a positive self-image and be bursting with self-confidence. However, not every child is born with a high level of self-confidence. In this article, we zoom in on this topic and give tips on how to boost your child's self-confidence.

Children's self-confidence

Self-confidence is the degree to which you are confident in your own abilities. Gaining and maintaining self-confidence is a lifelong process. As a parent, you can contribute to this process. Having self-confidence is essential for the development of your child. Children with self-confidence dare to step out of their comfort zone and engage in new things, contributing to their development. This will benefit them in later life! Read our tips below.

Provide love and attention

Your child needs love and attention to be able to bond. Once your child feels assured that it is loved, it feels connected to you as a parent. This creates confidence in the world as a safe place for your child; from this confidence, it can go on a lifelong journey of discovery.

Encourage independence

Allow your child to do as many things that he or she can do themselves. This will stimulate their independence. The more your child experiences that it can do many things itself, the greater its self-confidence will become. For example, think about getting dressed or taking a shower, doing chores around the house or feeding the dog.

Keep raising the bar

There are certain things that your child can do on their own, and others that they will need help with. By challenging your child to do an activity just above his or her capabilities, with encouragement and where necessary support from you as a parent, he or she will learn new things. This is called the 'zone of nearest development'. If your child does something new or exciting and he or she succeeds, we call this a successful experience. Successful experiences make your child believe in themselves, which leads to more self-confidence.

Reflect on what your child can already do

Sometimes children tend to focus on what they cannot do and forget what they can do. This does not help their self-confidence. Therefore, stop and reflect on all that your child has already learned in his or her life. For example, craft a timeline with certain milestones, such as sitting, crawling, walking, cycling, first words, counting, building, counting, reading and writing. Or look at a photo album together and talk about what your child has been able to do since birth.

Give specific compliments

Make sure you give compliments that focus on what your child does. Point out what you see or what your child does well. For example: 'I see that you can now walk across the beam without using your hands, good for you!' instead of simply 'Well done'.

Storytime

By reading aloud to your child, he or she is introduced to letters and words and his or her vocabulary will expand. This can make it easier for your child to learn to read at school, which in turn contributes to his or her self-confidence.

Mistakes are allowed

Everyone will sometimes make a mistake. Allow your child to make mistakes. As a parent you want to protect your child against anything that can go wrong and you tend to say 'Come on, I'll help you' or 'I'll do it'. You want to avoid disappointing your child by telling him or her that he or she cannot do something (yet), which makes you take over things unconsciously. However, it is important to let your child discover things for him/herself and to let him/her make a mistake now and then. Then evaluate together what your child has learned from it and discuss how he or she can do it next time.

You are the role model

Last but not least: you are the role model for your child. Your child observes your actions and adopts your behaviour. Do you need to do something you find intimidating? If so, remember the quote 'I have never done it before, so I think I can do it'. This quote embodies open-mindedness, for just doing it (even if you don't know the outcome) and for not letting a lack of self-confidence hold you back.

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