It Starts with a Square

Building Confidence

BY Regan Hewitt

Instilling confidence in young children helps them develop their social skills and a sense of self-worth. When we feel good about ourselves, it shows. Situations seem easier to handle and we communicate in a more positive manner. That positivity can spread to others. After all, smiles are contagious!

Children need to feel validated and loved. At first, their parents’ positive reinforcement and encouragement helps them gain confidence. Once they are in school, educators and peers also influence their self-worth. How children feel about themselves affects how children act.

Model Confidence

Our children are in tune with our actions, so what we feel and perceive can influence them. A positive self-image provides a strong example and helps them feel good about the world. Since children can mirror our behavior, we need to lead by example and model confidence. Bad days happen, and sometimes we feel overwhelmed or down for no reason. When we feel unhappy, it is a good idea to remind children that challenges are a part of life and that we feel happy on most days. If we aren’t happy, we owe it to ourselves and our children to seek out ways to feel fulfilled and joyful, which may include reading, meditating, exercising or listening to music.

Instill Self-Worth 

Parents influence their child’s sense of self-worth. Our children should like who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin. Children should feel as though their voices will be heard and that they can make a difference in the world. We help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth by acknowledging their strengths and the qualities that make them unique. Everyone seeks praise and responds positively to compliments. Children develop a positive self-image when their parents acknowledge their strengths, trust in their abilities and see mistakes as opportunities for growth.

Know Your Child’s Friends and Their Parents

The people around us can also affect how we act. Part of our job as parents is to get to know our children’s friends and their parents and observe any positive or negative behavioral changes in our children. We can’t always choose who our children will befriend, but we can encourage them to play with children who will make them happy. Make time to talk to other parents at your school’s drop-off or pick-up times. Talk to your children about their play dates, and pay attention to their attitudes afterward. Are they smiling and excited about the fun they had, or are they withdrawn?

Express, Don’t Suppress, Feelings

Children need to be able to express how they feel but also able to control their tempers. Suppressing feelings does not help children deal with the issue and keeps them from learning how to communicate effectively with others. Finding the right balance is difficult, but if we model healthy ways to talk about our feelings, children will learn how to express how they feel in a mature and age-appropriate manner.

Cathy Jo Mattson, on-site owner of The Goddard School®

At The Goddard School®, our talented teachers collaborate with parents to nurture children into confident and joyful learners. We are committed to teaching children about compassion, cooperation and the significance of giving back to their community. We pride ourselves in collaborating with the best educational and child development organizations to provide children with the skills they need for long-term success in school and life.

The Goddard School® located in Collierville offers a year-round program for children from six weeks to six-years-old. For more information on why The Goddard School® located in Collierville is the place for fun and learning, please contact Cathy Jo Mattson at 901-861-0108.

May/June 2021 Tour Collierville Magazine