A Confident Child
Does your child believe in herself and her abilities? Is she afraid to attempt new activities such as participating in a gymnastics program? Does she quit new activities such as piano lessons because she feels that she is not good enough?
What can you do to help her develop confidence? Give realistic praise. Try to be specific - be reasonable - when you praise her. If she is struggling to learn piano pieces, you could tell her, “Good job sticking with your practice schedule.” Or, you could say, “Wow, you are learning to read music.” This will help her to feel good about the work she is putting in knowing that improvement will come down the road.
Trust your child. Show her that you have faith in her. When you ask her to help make the dinner salad, resist hovering over her and let her try to make it her way. Be there to serve as her resource when she isn’t sure about something. You might point out something special about the finished product, “Your salad is very colorful.”
Finally, use mistakes as opportunities. Bouncing back from mistakes is an important key to building confidence. In fact, many successful people will tell you that they learned the most from their mistakes before they got it right. For example, if she accidentally rips her paper while drawing or painting, brainstorm ways to save it. She could glue the picture onto another sheet or perhaps she could cut it apart into different shapes and make a collage. More importantly, she needs to hear from you about your mistakes. Let her know that all of us are human and that the important thing is to let her see you attempt the activity again knowing that eventually you’ll get it right.