Your child’s self-confidence is a key element in their ability to thrive in our world, today and tomorrow.
Thus, as parents, we need to do whatever we can to ensure that their self-confidence isn’t destroyed.
What’s the Importance of Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is a critical component of success.
Without confidence, your fear of failure will keep you from trying new things and it will hold you captive by self-doubt and fear.
Through confidence, we have the courage to face fears head on. We’re also more resilient, recognizing that failure isn’t linked to self-worth.
Confidence is not anticipating success but it’s the inner strength to move forward, even when you’re anxious or unsure of the outcome.
5 Obstacles Destroying Your Child’s Self-Confidence
The following are five different sources that could potentially be chipping away at your child’s self confidence, inadvertently. Alone, they’re not overly powerful.
However, with your child encountering these things daily, they can be chipping away at his or her self-confidence and, over time, erode it completely.
I’d like to preface this by saying that we are not anti-social media.
That said, the reality is that social media platforms are just a highlight reel of individuals’ lives.
Teens (and adults) curate their lives and post the best and most exciting moments, leaving out the struggles and boring moments of everyday life.
But looking at a highlight reel of your peers’ lives can have a profound effect on children today.
Donna Wick, EdD, founder of Mind-to-Mind Parenting, says that, for teenagers, the combined weight of vulnerability, the need for validation, and a desire to compare themselves with peers forms, what she describes as, a “perfect storm of self-doubt.”
We are all being marketed to CONSTANTLY. Online. On television. On the radio. On the road.
And for kids, these marketing messages are continually telling them that they need stuff, that it’s cool, and that they DESERVE IT (just for being themselves.) Jodi Aman talks about this in her famous TED Talk.
On the other hand, if they don’t have those things and their friends do, it can lead to a drop in self-esteem.
Learning should be something that children love. Unfortunately, it can be a major contributing factor for low self-confidence.
Kids who are talented in some areas (like art and English) may struggle in others (like Math). This can chip away at the confidence of even the most self-assured children and teens.
Kids are inundated with negative media like never before.
It’s on the news at home, on social media, and in school. They can’t escape it.
The result is that it’s made children feel more helpless than they ever did in the past. They see bad things happening in the world around them constantly and feel powerless to do anything about it.
All kids compare themselves with others they’re around. And during the teen years, the opinions of peers can be stronger than the kind words from family.
The inner voice will compare things like attractiveness, weight, confidence, style, skin complexion and a ton of other characteristics.
These labels for our children (and even adults) can be hard to shed.
The 6th Obstacle Impacting Self Confidence (Easily Avoidable)
This 6th obstacle, which needs mentioning, is one we should attack first, because we can control it.
It’s one that isn’t deliberate because it’s us, as parents.
Columbia University researchers Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck found children who were praised for their intelligence rather than effort became overly focused on results.
Dweck explained, “Praising children for intelligence makes them fear difficulty because they begin to equate failure with stupidity.”
The best thing parents can do to ensure this doesn’t happen is to praise effort over accomplishment.
This means encouraging your child to give 100% effort every time and praising the effort, even when the outcome isn’t what they want.
Conclusion: 5 (+1) Obstacles Stealing our Child’s Self Confidence
There are a lot of things that can, cumulatively, chip way at your child’s self-confidence. The main culprits are:
- Social Media
- Marketing Messages
- Negative Media
- Parents (who are praising outcomes and not the effort)
What would you add to this list? Join the discussion with other parents over in our parent only Facebook Group (click-here).