In This Post: How to build self-confidence in anxious kids
From the moment children are born, they start to learn.
This learning process is rapid and whenever a new skill is learned, their confidence grows.
Raising kids with high self-esteem and self-confidence can be tricky, especially when dealing with an anxious child.
If your child is suffering from low self-esteem and anxiety, they may need a confidence boost.
You can tell if a child is feeling anxious and low when they stop trusting in themselves and dear failure.
You can instill confidence in the child with a few simple tips.
Once they are more confident, they will be able to communicate those feelings of fear, overcome them and eventually solve their issues by working through the challenges.
When challenges are overcome, their self-esteem grows and so does their confidence.
The most important thing we can do to raise a confident child is to be present and involved in their lives.
You must learn to balance praise, being careful not to overpraise, and ensure that real connections are made each and every day with your child.
*This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Self-Confidence For Anxious Kids: Tips For Parents
1. Love Them
This is the most simple, obvious and yet, overlooked way to help raise confidence in children.
We all love our children, but showing them we love them must be a daily action.
When a soccer game was lost or the report card was not up to expectations, show them that you love them anyway, even though they may not have exceeded your expectations.
Showing love and support in their times of (for lack of a better word) “failure” will only encourage them to work harder next time.
If you are angry at your child, instill the love as well as the disappointment to ensure that the child knows they are loved all the time, and not just when they are well behaved and achieve all the goals.
2. Be Confident
Show up and be confident yourself. If your child watches you tackle a hard task with preparation, dedication and perseverance, you are setting a good example for your anxious kids.
Of course, you don’t have to make everything look and seem perfect and easy. If there are challenges you are facing, voice them.
Your children would love to see that you also face hard times and if you can get through it, so can they.
Children will learn behaviour from parents. Even though you may argue mom cleans, but the kids don’t clean, so they aren’t picking up good habits.
However, they will remember these things when they grow up, and if they grew up in a confident home, they are more likely to be confident kids, then they are far more likely to raise confident children of their own.
3. Provide Opportunities For Success
When children face challenges it is important that they find success in those challenges once a while.
If they are constantly failing, the child’s anxiety can heighten and low self-esteem will dwindle.
Guide your child to get involved in activities that they can be successful in so that they can move on to a bigger challenge and improve their skills, confidence and self-esteem.
4. Acknowledge Mistakes
Make it clear to your child that everyone makes mistakes and most of all, don’t get upset about them.
Ensure your child knows that we learn from our mistakes and thinking and feeling bad over our mistakes isn’t very helpful in fixing it for the next time around.
5. Not Everyone and Everything Is Perfect All The Time
In the world of social media, it can be very hard to believe that other people around us don’t have perfect lives as they make it out to be online.
I fall into this trap All. The. Time. It’s a devil that’s difficult to resist.
Remind your children (and yourself) that no one is perfect and that real life is often not posted around on social media.
It can be destructive to their self-esteem if they believe that the world online is the real world.
6. Encourage New Adventures
Your child may have many skills that they are good at. That’s wonderful!
Make sure to nurture those activities to help them become even better at them.
At the same time, try to incorporate new challenges and activities into their lives so they can keep learning to adjust to new situations in their lives.
For example, if they are excellent at Tae Kwan Do, perhaps they are artistic, and an art class would be an exciting new experience to add to their repertoire of skills.
It’s difficult when activities are so darn expensive these days, however, there are ways around the pricing.
You can teach them new things yourself, or find classes at the library for free.
The programs our local library offers are super impressive and so many new things can be learned, look into your local library for programs.
7. Helping Hand
Encourage your children to help out around the house. Children will feel valued when they have jobs to do at home.
Kids often feel proud when they accomplish a simple task such as gathering any garbage around the home and putting it into a bin.
Simple tasks from tidying up toys to helping a sibling put on their shoes.
The feeling of being needed and contributing to family needs is super important.
8. It’s Ok For Kids To Fail
As parents, it is our duty to protect our children from harm and failure…to an extent. Kids learn from failure and if children don’t fail, they won’t be able to learn to overcome challenges.
These are very important skills in adulthood that need to be acquired during the growing up years.
Makin a mistake means a chance was taken, and the chance-taking should always be rewarded ( as long as it was not a dangerous or harmful experiment)
9. Celebrate Accomplishments AND Efforts
Confident kids have parents who are proud of the efforts they make, whether they were successful or not.
New skills can take time to perfect. As they say, practice makes perfect.
If efforts are not being celebrated, then more practice likely won’t happen and the accomplishment of perfecting a new skill will not be there. This causes more anxiety in an already anxious child.
Like they say ” We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take” and that directly applies to confidence and self-esteem.
10. Encourage Them To Find Their Passions
It is important forchildren to have the freedom to explore the things that they are interested in.
This helps them develop a sense of who they are which is an instrumental part of growing their confidence.
Tips for parents to help children find their passion:
Observe – Simply watching your child and listening to them speak about their interests can help you get a good sense of their likes and dislikes.
Overtime these interests can turn into passions.
Encourage – encourage your child to pursue their interest no matter how small the interest may seem at first.
Simple things such as taking a child who likes cars to a car show or if your child loves chess, see if your school has a chess club, and encourage your child to sign up for it.
Try different things – A lot of people have no idea what they like or don’t like.
Try different activities and find out their passion. Try concerts, ballets and plays as well as swimming, soccer, and hockey and really drill down into your child’s interests.
Ask questions – Talk to your child and ask questions to help him discover things that he may not even know about himself!
Ask him specific questions such as what is the most fascinating thing about their passion?
Learning what’s at the root of your child’s passion can help you direct him to similar activities he may enjoy, too.
11. Create Daily Connections
Connecting with your child on a daily basis is imperative to their success in life.
It’s not just about finding out how they are doing in school or what is happening in hockey practice, it’s about checking in on the emotional state, which is super important if you know your child suffers from anxiety.
If you are trying to connect with your child with a device in your hand, you may miss some of the emotional clues that they are providing you during the check-in moment.
Be sure to fully be present and be aware during your daily connections.
12. Use Positive Language
Even when an answer is NO, saying YES, even though you mean No, instead of NO is a huge confidence booster for children.
If that’s confusing, let me explain.
This approach isn’t for everyone, and many people argue that this is a way to teach your child that the world doesn’t have disappointments and that is entirely untrue.
This is simply a positive parenting approach to discipline. You can say YES to a situation and what you’re actually saying is NO if you use phrases such as ” YES you can watch move tv after lunch. We’re having yummy pasta today!”
What you’re saying is NO tv right now, without saying the word NO and causing a huge meltdown.
Avoid the meltdowns, and use positive language around your children.
13. Make Them Feel Special
There is nothing more powerful than making kids feel special.
Making a child feel special can be as simple as hanging their scribbles on the fridge or making an extra big deal about the B+ they got in Algebra that day.
Confidence Building Games For Anxious Kids
Here are so really good games to raise self-esteem and even improve social skills so that your child can gain confidence.
This is a great game that helps tweens and teens to discover their strengths and qualities as well as learn how to express gratitude.
Your kids will really enjoy these bonding opportunities and really begin to understand each other.
This game teaches kids how to be comfortable to receive praise and positive comments and be able to share their feelings about other people.
Such a great game to really create connections with family and friends.
There are 15 different games in one box and this game is often used in therapy offices to help children address emotions, work through physical sensations and be aware of cognitive traps and behaviours.
This game is designed to improve social skills, help regulate emotions and self-control.
You Know Social Skills
This is a great game for family game night, especially if your kids are older.
This game is perfect for rapport-building and starting a meaningful conversation and even promotes a positive body image.
This game encourages people who are playing together to know each other better.
Raising A Confident Child
Self-confidence in children doesn’t happen overnight, or even by itself.
It is important for parents to nurture these moments that help grow their self-confidence and in turn their self-esteem.
Make sure you model confidence yourself because kids learn from their parents.
They are like a sponge and soak in all the things you do so they can do them later.
Make sure you let your children fail, so they learn to overcome their challenges and become strong, confident problem-solving children who grow up to be well-rounded adults.
Recommended Resource For Parents
Written in 2019 this is an awesome 5-star book that talks about raising confident kids.
This book comes in Kindle, Paperback and Audiobook versions so you can choose the best version to suit your needs.
I highly recommend this resource for all parents trying their hardest to raise confident kids.
Help your child cultivate real, lasting confidence! In Kid Confidence, a licensed clinical psychologist and parenting expert offer practical, evidence-based parenting strategies to help kids foster satisfying relationships, develop competence, and make choices that fit who they are and want to become.
Get Your Kid Confidence Book Here.