A child who isn’t confident will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others. This can end up holding them back later in life and prevent them from having a successful career.
The enemies of confidence are discouragement and fear. So, as a parent, it’s your job to encourage and support your child as they attempt to tackle difficult tasks.
Encouragement is Key
When a child wants to learn how to ride a bike, do they keep going after they fall down or do they quit after the first fall?
If they aren’t encouraged to get up and try again, and instead are coddled and told they can try again some other day, then they are being taught to play it safe.
A safe and coddled child don’t exactly go hand-in-hand with being confident. The child needs to be encouraged to try again. This can be a parent saying “you can do it, I believe in you” and “I know that even if you fall again you will try again and eventually you will get the hang of it”.
Encouragement to keep trying so that they can build up perseverance is very helpful in building a child’s confidence. This confidence is what will help them strike out and try again.
If they feel that they can’t do it or shouldn’t do it, then they won’t. The mind is a powerful thing. If a child believes that they can’t be successful in doing something, then they won’t be successful. Part of building that mentality of believing in themselves comes from encouragement from their parents, caregivers, and teachers.
Get Them out of Their Comfort Zone
Allow Them To Fail
Your child will fail at things in life. Let them. Do not swoop in and rescue your child from their personal failures. If they don’t fail, then they don’t have the opportunity to pick themselves up and try again.
Failure is embarrassing. Learning to handle embarrassment is taking on fear and teaching a child to be confident. When kids learn to do this at a young age, it is practice for adult life. They will experience failure as an adult. They will be better equipped to handle life’s disappointments and failures if they have learned to handle the fear of embarrassment and failure when they are young.
Practice builds up the skill. Processing and handling fear, embarrassment, and failure are skills.
Teach Them to Try Again
Encourage your child to try again. Don’t let them quit on the first try. Life is hard. If we quit the first time we tried at things, we would never amount to anything in life. We need to teach our children that trying again is simply part of life and the key to being confident.
Help them to give it a go by providing encouragement and support. Offer to practice with them, provide them with tutoring or coaching if necessary — whatever it takes to get them back on the proverbial horse and trying again.
Let Them Find Their Passion
Your child may be a wonderful pianist. However, if they aren’t passionate about the skill, then they likely won’t be happy or fulfilled in becoming a concert pianist.
It’s great to help your child discover their talents, but also let them discover what they are passionate about in life.
True success will come because they are passionate about the activity, not because they are the best. The best usually become that way because they are passionate first. Therefore, let your child experience a variety of activities and interests so that they can discover what they love to do.
Praise Their Efforts, Not the Outcome
Praising their efforts keeps them motivated and trying. If you focus on the outcome, then when they fail, they will become defeated and discouraged.
Focusing on the fact that they tried hard and pointing out specific ways that they did well in terms of effort will support them in trying again. When you make a habit of focusing on outcome, then failures are avoided at all costs, including taking risks.
Risks are needed in order to become successful. Therefore, make a habit of praising their efforts, even when the outcome is not what they had hoped and tried for, because eventually, if they keep trying their efforts will result in success.