Share your tips for boosting confidence in small children for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of THE LION INSIDE plus a £100 JOHN LEWIS VOUCHER!

(211 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Mar-16 12:03:10

From the creator of the known and loved Bright Side lifestyle brand, Rachel Bright, and illustrator of Oi Frog!, Jim Field, comes a feel good rhyming story about one little mouse trying to make himself heard and discovering along the way that even the smallest of us can have the heart of a lion.

Perfect for fans of Giraffes Can't Dance, this stylish book from two contemporary stars really is something to shout about - it will make you laugh, cry and want to read it every bedtime.

Share your tips for boosting confidence in small children for a chance to win a signed copy of The Lion Inside plus a £100 John Lewis voucher!

This discussion is sponsored by Hachette and will close on 4 April when the winner will be posted on the thread.

asuwere Fri 11-Mar-16 12:18:39

For little children, I think praising and getting excited for/with them when they achieve something really boosts confidence. As they grow, obviously the achievements grow too (I no longer cheer when my 9yr old uses the toilet by himself ;))

Happygoluckyy Fri 11-Mar-16 12:24:39

Be positive around them, praise them and make them believe there's nothing they can't achieve if they put their mind to it!

glasgowlass Fri 11-Mar-16 12:47:09

Praise, positivity and love. A child can become anything they want to when they have people who believe in them as it helps them believe in themselves.

MumUndone Fri 11-Mar-16 14:10:03

I think the key to boosting confidence is to let children try things for themselves; to offer support, guidance and assistance but not to always do things for them. For example, when my 2 year old DS is struggling with a jigsaw, I won't swoop in and put the pieces together for him, I'll say 'try again, I know you can do it!' Even if he needs further help, I'll always praise him for trying as I think that's what counts.

Dolallytats Fri 11-Mar-16 14:11:31

Another one echoing praise and being positive.

ButterflyOfFreedom Fri 11-Mar-16 14:14:00

Lots of praise, well dones, I'm proud of you, you're great comments - even for the smallest of things (which will be a big deal to the DC)!

Encouraging them to try new things and saying it's on even if they don't like it / can't do it. Encourage them to try again. Comment 'practise makes perfect'!

Let them make decisions as often as possible so they grow confident and independent. They'll like the element of control - even if it is just about choosing what colour socks they wear!

Lots of cuddles / I love yous...

starlight36 Fri 11-Mar-16 14:58:45

Encourage them but let them learn things at their own pace. Lots of hugs and reassure them if they don't manage something straight away. Always be positive and remind them of the things they do well. Make a fuss of their achievements telling grandparents and friends about them in front of your child so they get praise from others as well.

Catsgowoof Fri 11-Mar-16 15:23:15

not being pushy. drives me mad when well meaning people ask my three year old if she has a best friend at nursery, no she doesn't and since everyone keeps asking she thinks shes failed

Zephyroux1 Fri 11-Mar-16 15:36:09

I think being available and encouraging them when they try new things but not pushing them and making it very clear that they are fine as they are.

TheyreMadITellYouMaaaad Fri 11-Mar-16 15:56:28

Avoid the 3 Cs: Criticism, Comparison, Correction.

foxessocks Fri 11-Mar-16 16:07:52

Definitely lots of enthusiasm and praise for good things and sometimes letting them get on with things on their ow, playing quietly or reading quietly gives them time to think and feel confident in their own company too.

gazzalw Fri 11-Mar-16 19:08:30

Celebrate their positive achievements in some way. For example, when they've done a fabulous piece of artwork, display it in some way.

Accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives...(great lesson for life!). smile

Brokenbiscuit Fri 11-Mar-16 19:33:23

I think listening to children is really important. Really properly listening, because you care about what they think, and placing value on what they say. They need to know that their views are important and that their perspectives are valid. That they are important as individuals, regardless of their age.

Praise for achievements is fine when something really special has been achieved, but constant gushing can be counter-productive in my view. You don't want your child to be constantly seeking praise or fearing criticism. The primary reward for their achievements should be their own satisfaction. Ask the child to articulate how he/she feels about his/her latest achievements.

Praising effort, a positive attitude and a "have a go" approach is more effective, I think. Kids need to learn that it's ok to try and fail, and that sometimes you just have to keep trying until you get there. Experiencing , celebrating and enjoying success is vital, but learning to deal with setbacks and failures is just as essential in my view - I deliberately sought out activities that didn't come easily to dd so that she could learn about the power of persistence.

Brokenbiscuit Fri 11-Mar-16 19:34:43

Oh, and the obvious one...real unconditional love.

GiraffesAndButterflies Fri 11-Mar-16 20:09:11

Rehearsal / role play of challenging situations. Slowly my DD is feeling more empowered to do things herself- from coming out of her bedroom by herself (yes she really does lack confidence to do this), to standing up to another child being rude/unpleasant to her. Practising in a safe way through play seems to help the real life situation be less scary.

Snoopadoop Fri 11-Mar-16 20:11:53

I wish praise, positivity and love worked on my DS. He's 5 and lacks confidence. The only thing that seems to work on him is preparation and familiarity. we have to prepare him for whatever he's going to need to be confident for, psyche him up for it. The more familiar he is with the place and the people the more confident he is. I hope he grows out of it. I want him to be a confident little boy and man in the future. A friend of mine has an even more extreme case of lack of confidence with her son and she actually attends child confidence classes with her son.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Fri 11-Mar-16 20:16:50

I make sure that when DD1 says she can't do something, I correct her and say she can't do it YET.

MadeinBelfast Fri 11-Mar-16 20:24:32

They often see me fail at things and try again (cooking, trying to draw Thomas the tank engine etc!). I hope this makes them realise we all get things wrong and that's OK, as long as we try our best. I don't want them to feel like failures and lose confidence if they can't do something immediately.

SpaghettiMeatballs Fri 11-Mar-16 20:37:51

I think it is important to give them the scope to make their own decisions and have their own opinions and then praise them for getting it right.

Well, that and our special song and dance first devised when DC1 was toilet training. 'Woop, Woop, mini meatballs / Woop, Woop throw your hands in the air / check them out; check them out.' Maybe that's more of a personal one though!!

Givemecoffeeplease Fri 11-Mar-16 20:40:24

High fives and other physical appreciation of success is good to reinforce verbal positive feedback. And letting them see that failure doesn't matter. It's such a cliche (yawns) but it's the trying and taking part that counts. As long as it's fun, you are winning, and building their confidence whatever the outcome.

Pretending to lose at Snap occasionally can't hurt either.

Brokenbiscuit Fri 11-Mar-16 20:54:23

I've been thinking about this thread. I think there is a lot of good advice on here, but I think it's also important to recognise that there may just be differences in individual temperament that impact on a child's confidence, no matter what the parents have or haven't done. Similarly, it's important to acknowledge that different children will respond to different strategies.

I am lucky to have been blessed with a very confident child. She has always been extremely confident, in a lovely non-arrogant way, both in social situations and with regard to learning, trying new things etc. I'd love to claim credit for this, by saying that it's all down to my wonderful parenting, but honestly speaking, I just think it's in her nature - part of her own unique temperament.

I had amazing parents who did lots of the things on this thread, and more, and yet I always lacked self-confidence. Still do. In many ways, I'm in awe of my naturally confident child and can't figure out where she gets it from.

I would hate to think of parents of children who may be lacking in self-confidence to blame themselves in any way, perhaps by feeling that they hadn't praised enough or done enough of whatever else is suggested on here as a means of developing confidence.

I do think that you can have strategies to help build on a child's confidence and self-esteem, whatever their starting point, but we should also acknowledge that some kids are just naturally more confident than others. And that's ok.

CheeseEMouse Fri 11-Mar-16 21:27:15

I have found praise, encouragement and truly listening to the child are things that help us. Also by demonstrating something is ok when my daughter is nervous about something.

I don't know how you instil self belief, but I do think there's something about learning that failure doesn't matter if you learn from it and providing that safe environment for children to learn.

MrsMarigold Fri 11-Mar-16 21:33:31

No shouting, lots of encouragement and praising specific achievement rather than saying vague things like "good, mummy thinks you are special," instead say things like "you did really well with that cutting and sticking, you can be proud of yourself, good work!"

Pickofthepops Fri 11-Mar-16 21:55:20

All of these things are great. I share stories from my own childhood problems with my son to help
Him understand that I have been through similar to his, and how I coped. It seems to help him when I share. He can ask questions and know he's not the first and won't be the last.

I also remind him to look out for his friends and other children at school or sports clubs. I think that this boosts his self esteem by concentrating on being kind to others who may be feeling upset or have a problem

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