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Give Kids a Confidence Boost

By Kate Gardner

Watching your child struggle with low self-confidence can be gut-wrenching. Whether they're too shy to speak up in class or beating themselves up because they can't ride a bike yet, many kids go through periods where they find it hard to believe in themselves and their abilities.

Kids and Self-Confidence

Kids express low self-confidence in many of the same ways adults do. They may try to avoid situations that expose what they feel are their inadequacies. Example: A child who doesn't think she's a good reader will avoid opportunities to read aloud. Kids can also act out, or misbehave. This bad behavior may be an attempt to avoid a situation; for example, a little girl behaves badly every time she is called on to read aloud in hopes that the teacher will stop calling on her altogether. And, of course, kids may become emotionally upset; for example, a little girl cries every time she's faced with reading out loud. 

Boost Confidence

As a parent, it's hard to watch our children in emotional pain so we often rush in to save them. Unfortunately, fixing problems for them doesn't teach them how to fix them on their own. However, Working Mother gives us a number of things we can do as parents that will help our children navigate future bouts of low self-confidence.  

  • Love them - Showing your children that they are loved helps them feel connected and accepted. 

  • Offer praise - When your kid does something great, tell them what you think. We all like to know when we've done a good job. And if your kid works hard on something that doesn't turn out so great, there's nothing wrong with praising the effort. 

  • Be a confident role model - In your own life, show kids what it looks like to deal with low self-confidence in a positive way. Don't berate yourself in front of your child, instead make a point to praise yourself and mention things that you are proud of! This can be tough if you are grappling with low self-confidence, but your efforts may have the dual impact of helping you and your child.

  • Be proud - Tell your children you are proud of them, but also encourage them to be proud of themselves! It may seem clunky at first to say, "You should be so proud of yourself!" but after some practice, it will feel more natural. A child who is given permission to be proud of themselves may develop a more capable and confident self-image. 

Building self-confidence takes time and effort. Talk to your child about how they're feeling and let them know you can work together to get through it. If low self-confidence seems to be something more, reach out to a healthcare provider for help. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla. 

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