Self-confidence starts from childhood. Kids gain the most confidence from their achievements: feeling accomplished, building new skills, and facing more complicated tasks. The role of parents or school teachers is to guide kids in having more confidence in themselves.
Here are seven basic ways to build confidence in preschoolers.
Be a Good Example
Kids learn best by observing the adults regularly around them. The best way to teach self-confidence, resilience, and optimism is to display them yourself. When you make a mistake, remain positive and let kids know that it’s okay. When a task is challenging, show confidence in facing it with enthusiasm. Help kids understand the importance of resilience: encourage them not to give up at the first sign of distress.
Give Them Your Full Attention
Children know if people pay attention to them or not. The best way to garner confidence in them is to focus on them entirely. This shows kids that you care about them, increasing their sense of self-worth. Remain engaged by maintaining eye contact, asking questions, and show interest in what they say without judgment.
Assign Them Small Jobs
Building confidence in preschoolers means letting them know that they are valuable by assigning them roles. Kids feel accomplished when they can use their skills to complete a task. For example, in a classroom setting, give preschoolers jobs like cleaning up toys, sweeping, erasing the board. At home, engage them in folding clothes, helping with dishes, or setting the table.
Encouragement means pointing out a child’s efforts, not the outcome. For example, instead of saying, “Good job, your painting looks great!” says, “Good job, your hard work shows in your painting!” This sort of encouragement shifts the focus from the results to the work and skill that the preschooler put in. That effort is something that preschoolers have control over and improve on, which builds confidence in embarking on other tasks or challenges.
Attend to the Child’s Interests
Be interested in preschoolers’ goals and dreams in life, no matter how far-fetched they are. The adult’s role is to help nurture these interests into passions and actionable goals. Always let children feel valid in their interests, and help them build skills that align with them.
No matter what role an adult has in a kid’s life, it’s important to always show unconditional love and appreciation. Only praising them when they do something successfully is the worst thing for confidence. Children will associate their self-worth with their accomplishments, making them dependent on others’ validation. Thus, always show support, so they have an innate sense of confidence in themselves no matter what.