10 tips for boosting children's confidence

Got a child who's a bit of a worrier, or whose self esteem could use a bit of a boost? These simple confidence-building tips from Mumsnetters can really help

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1. Prep them in advance


"The only thing that seems to work for my son is preparation and familiarity. The more familiar he is with the place and the people, the more confident he is."

2. Help them see the bigger picture

keep swimming

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

"We have always made sure that we end EVERY day on a positive note. Regardless of whatever has - or hasn't - happened, before they go to sleep we each say in turn what has made us happy that day."

3. Pay attention to every word they say

go on

"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."

4. Find an activity they can really sink their teeth into


"Whether it's tap dancing, chess, model making, or sport, find their passion and encourage it. It will help them to engage with their peers; plus, they will train and practice, and see that their hard work pays off."

5. Praise them for specific achievements


"Rather than saying vague things like 'You've been good this week', instead say things like 'You did really well with that cutting and sticking, you can be proud of yourself, good work!'"

6. Try not to discourage


"Avoid the three Cs: Criticism, Comparison, Correction."

7. Allow them to find their own voice

la la

"Don't make the mistake I made: I always answered for my daughter. When she was asked how old she was, I'd chip in 'Oh, she's X years old, aren't you?' I also ordered for her well beyond the age at which she was capable of making a selection from a menu and telling the wait staff her choice."

8. Don't be afraid to push them a little


"I set the bar reasonably high. Not in a pushy parent way, but in a 'I know you're capable of more' way, especially when deep down they know it themselves. Then when they reach that, it shows them they can do it."

9. Ask for their opinions and insights


"Ask your child what they think and how they feel. What do they think other children or adults are feeling? Or even what does the household pet feel! Having them explore their feelings, and communicate those, builds their confidence in asking questions to others - and helps them become empathetic at the same time."

10. Don't forget the simplest thing of all


"The obvious one: showing them real, unconditional love."

And finally, encourage them to discover their inner lion

The Lion Inside tells the story of one little mouse trying to make himself heard - and discovering along the way that even the smallest of us can have very big hearts. From Rachel Bright, the creator of Bright Side lifestyle brand, and illustrator Jim Field (Oi Frog!), this feel-good rhyming book can help to remind children that size is inconsequential when it comes to confidence.


Liked this? Try these:

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Last updated: over 1 year ago