The Parenting Code Blog

Raise Amazing Kids

Here’s One Secret to Raising Self-Confident Children

Last week I got an email from a reader, Toshy, asking me if my Talking to Toddlers course specifically helps develop self confidence in three year olds

You could probably substitute any age in that question and it would still be a very good question. I answered Toshy personally, and I also feel that my answer should be shared here because it will help a lot of parents.

What causes Self Confidence in Children

Self confidence comes from being willing to fail. It comes from willing to fall down and get back up again. It comes from knowing that things won’t go perfectly every time. It comes from expecting mistakes and taking action to correct them. It comes from being a problem solver rather than learned helplessness (expecting someone else to fix your problems). 

One way that parents can establish this trait in their kids is to give them to freedom to make mistakes. Allow them to fail. And when they do, congratulate them on learning something new. 

If your child wants to pour his own milk, let him. Perhaps stand beside him with a cloth, ready to catch any big mess. Or put the milk in a smaller container first, so it’s manageable. 

If your child wants to get his own shoes on (but you’re in a rush), slow down and start a bit earlier. Let him struggle to try. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

If you see your child doing something that you KNOW isn’t going to result in success, let him make his own mistakes. Unless it will result in a trip to the hospital, of course. Safety first .. but I’ll allow my child to get a few bumps or bruises if it means learning to be independent.

And last, but not least, limit the use of the word “no”. It’s one thing to say no to a bedtime snack. But it’s a totally different thing to say no to picking that flower in the park, or walking outside without shoes on, or not letting your child choose her own clothes. You might think a jacket is required because of the temperature. If you let her figure it out for herself, she’ll get cold and know better next time. 

Confident kids are kids who learn early on how to make their own decisions, and solve their own minor problems. 

My course, Talking to Toddlers, deals with this by teaching you, the parent, more effective ways to communicate. Remember my course is for parents, not kids. It doesn’t teach your kids to be confident. YOU do. My tools certainly help you accomplish this. 

For further reading, you might want to check out Help: My Spouse and I Have Different Parenting Styles and A Story to Get Past a Sibling Fight.

SEE ALSO: This audio lesson will forever change the way you interact with your kids