Building self-confidence is important to your child’s success. The biggest challenge in life is overcoming debilitating low self-esteem. Being able to show them how they can boost themselves now will help them well into the future, as they get hit by life’s perils.
#1: Positive Traits List
Registered play therapist Kim Peterson believes in the power of play, as long as it is used with evidence-based therapeutic approaches. Parents can do this at home with their children by taking time out of their busy day to incorporate a confidence building activity, such as a positive traits list. Many children (and adults) focus too much on what they can’t do or what they aren’t when they think of themselves. The goal of the positive traits list is to shift the focus to what they can do and who they are by identifying all of the words that describe them. Create a list or print a list of words out and have your child circle the ones that apply. Review the list and go back to it whenever he/she becomes upset over something that hasn’t gone right in life.
#2: Celebratory Scrapbook
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHA) released a guide with activities for confidence boosting. One of the activities is developing a “celebratory scrapbook.” This scrapbook honors all of the accomplishments and positive traits of the person. It might be a good idea for the child and parent to create one, so that he/she can see that it’s not just good for him/her but for everyone, no matter the age.
#3: Practice Emotion-Focused Coping
There will always be times when someone will say something negative about someone else. To preserve confidence and build it, University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Susan Krass Whitebourne Ph.D. recommends emotion-focused coping. This strategy minimizes the importance of negative comments and helps people realize these comments are a reflection of the person’s own insecurities.
#4: Set Up Challenges
Being able to prove to yourself you can overcome challenges is a great way to boost confidence. Psychiatrist Neel Burton M.D. advises that people come up with challenges that can be realistically overcome. The satisfaction felt after completing the challenges will do wonders for confidence.
#5: Create a Wall of Fame
Pediatrician Dr. Sears recommends a Wall of Fame for children. Setting up a wall where accomplishments can be posted will give your children their moment of fame that they may not otherwise have in life. This can make them feel good about what they do, and not in relation to how other perform.
Confidence is an important part of a youth’s identity. Cultivate it now, and it will help your child throughout adolescence and adulthood.