I don’t think anyone would argue with me when I say that parents, today, want to raise kids who are happy, healthy and confident.
Kids with a strong sense of self-confidence are less afraid to try new things because they have the courage to go after what they want. And they’re far more likely to see failure as just part of the process and not let it defeat them.
One of my favorite stories is of billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely.
At dinnertime each week, Blakely’s father would ask her, “What have you failed at this week?”
Years later she credits much of her success to that question.
“My dad growing up encouraged me and my brother to fail,” she explains. “The gift he was giving me is that failure is (when you are) not trying versus the outcome. It’s really allowed me to be much freer in trying things and spreading my wings in life.”
And, of course, this all comes back to having the self-confidence and the courage to try new things.
The question is: how do you raise a confident child? What can we, as parents, do to raise kids who are confident and self-assured?
That’s the question we posed recently to Anna Partridge. A certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, a former teacher and a mother to three, Anna currently works with parents to help them raise confident and resilient kids.
She had three pieces of advice on how to raise a confident child:
Develop Your Kid’s Self-Worth at Home
“Make sure that they have significance in your family and a sense of belonging. [That’s developed] through building a connection [with you as parents].
The classic example would be when they come to you when they are five or six and say, ‘I will put on a show for you, Mum or dad, and you have to sit there and endure the show with them dancing and singing and doing whatever they’re doing. And it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but that’s giving them that significance in the family, to be able to show who they think they are and what they believe.[And in turn,] you’re encouraging it and really nurturing that significance.”
Spend One-On-One Time with Your Kids
“Make sure that you’re spending that one-on-one time with your kids, especially if you have more than one child in your family.
It’s finding time with each child, whether it be bedtime, dinnertime, in the car… whatever it is, but making sure that they feel significant.”
Encourage Their Passions
“The last tip would be knowing what their spark is.
At the earlier ages, it might be a sport like gymnastics. Take them to gymnastics, watch them, encourage them to be the best they can be at gymnastics.
Just find what their spark is and really drive that with them, because when they’re developing their confidence in an instrument or a sport or something else, that’s where they can get their real self-worth and self-esteem.”
Encourage their passions, whatever they may be. This is such a strong strategy on how to raise a confident child!
Final Thoughts: How To Raise A Confident Child
The bottom line is that spending time bonding with your kids and cheering them on are essential elements for setting them up for future success.
Statistically, it’s been proven that kids who communicate more with their parents tend to have fewer behavioral problems.
Also, learning to talk through problems when they’re younger will mean that they will be more likely to do this, naturally, when they get into the more challenging teen years.
What’s better than knowing you can go to your mom or dad for non-judgmental advice when you’re struggling?
If they know they can come to you during those difficult moments, they will be less likely to act out and more likely to seek out positive solutions for their problems.
For this reason, I would challenge you to make “family bonding time” a regular part of your routine, even if it’s only the time you spend together around the dinner table each week.
Set aside your phones, turn off the TV and just enjoy each other’s company.