Tips for Raising Confident Kids

A positive sense of self is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. Children with high self-esteem feel loved and competent and develop into happy, productive people. To help build your child's positive self-image as he grows, consider these dos and don'ts.

1. Love your child
This seems obvious, but it's probably the most important thing you can give your child. Your child needs to feel accepted and loved, beginning with the family and extending to other groups such as friends, schoolmates, sports teams, and community. Unconditional love builds a strong foundation for confidence.

2. Praise your child
Of course, it's good to praise kids. Your praise is a way to show that you're proud. But do it wisely. Don't overpraise.

3. Help your child learn to do things.
At every age, there are new things for kids to learn. Even during babyhood, learning to hold a cup or take first steps sparks a sense of mastery and delight. As your child grows, things like learning to dress, read, or ride a bike are chances for self-esteem to grow.

4. Encourage them to pursue their interests (fully)
Another surefire way to boost confidence in kids is to encourage them to take on tasks they show interest in, then make sure they follow through to completion. It doesn’t matter what the task—it could be anything from swimming laps to beating levels in video games. The point is for them to stick with what they start, so they feel that hit of accomplishment at the end.

5. Teach that mistakes are learning experiences
Part of having a growth mindset is acknowledging that mistakes are learning opportunities. When your child knows that it’s OK to fail and there are solutions to mistakes, it can help build self-esteem.

These are the ways you can set kids up to feel capable and get the most mileage out of their skills and talents.