Some children are more confident than others — but your child’s confidence is something that can be nurtured and built over time. Research shows that a student’s self-confidence affects how they do in school. When kids are confident, they’re more likely to try something new and less likely to falter when failure happens because they’re more willing to try, try again. Confident kids also tend to be optimistic about learning and life.

8 tips to help build your child’s confidence

  1. Talk about it

    Get your child used to using “stick with it” words like, “I won’t quit!” and “I can do it!” You can also come up with a family “stick with it” saying, like, “Mistakes don’t get us down!” and “The family that doesn’t quit!”

  2. Tell stories about your child’s successes

    Tell your child a story about when she had trouble doing something, but kept trying and succeeded. “Remember when you were scared of starting preschool, but you went anyway? You loved it and made good friends.” This kind of simple pep talk is often just what kids need to try, try again.

  3. Tell your own “stick with it” stories

    Tell stories from your own life about when you’ve had a hard time, but you kept trying and succeeded. These stories can be from your own childhood or even something that you did at work or home.

  4. Point it out when your child keeps trying

    When your child keeps trying something – and then succeeds! – point it out. “You kept writing those numbers even though it was hard. You should be really proud of yourself.”

  5. Let your child fail (so he can succeed)

    Sometimes when we see our child having a hard time, we want to step in and make it all better. But when we give kids a chance to fail, we also give them the chance to succeed. So the next time your child has a problem, ask him to think of ways to solve the problem. You’ll be surprised at what good problem-solvers kids can be!

  6. Watch out for the “I can’t do it” triggers

    Does your child seem to “lose it” at a certain time of day? There’s a reason. Children often get more frustrated when they are tired or hungry (Right before dinner, “the witching hour” is often prime “losing it” time.) So before trying something new or hard, make sure your child is well fed and has had enough sleep.

  7. Try not to blame

    When your child can’t get something right, avoid blaming (“I told you this would be hard!”) or reacting with anger (“That’s enough from you! Don’t yell at me just because you can’t do the puzzle!”). If you feel yourself losing your cool, try your best to walk away for a moment. When your child is angry, tell him to take a break (running around the house to “get the angries out” can work wonders) and then come back and try later.

  8. Read a “stick with it” book

    Read your child stories about someone who kept trying, no matter what. Ask your local librarian for books about people who kept trying, no matter what. There are good books written for young children, on everyone from Rosa Parks to Babe Ruth.