Confidence in children is fast-becoming recognised as something that we need to nurture now more than ever. With the rise of social media and general technology, modern day children are presented with a multitude of images, videos and conversations that, unfortunately, can quite quickly tap into their self-esteem. Even we, as a team of children’s entertainers, realise that in this digitally-distracted world, we need to bring it back to the basics of reality and encourage children to be more confident in the face of these distractions.
As you can imagine, it’s not uncommon for us to come across children lacking in confidence and for whatever reason that might be, we make it our mission that as part of a birthday party or corporate family day, every single child feels welcome, included and special so that above all, they feel confident!
So, we’ve found that through our own experience (and of course, through chatting away to parents too) that these are 5 helpful ways to improve your child’s confidence…
As with anything, negativity breeds negativity. If – as a parent or a carer – you’re guilty of being negative about yourself and situations around you in front of your children, perhaps reconsider what they might be able to hear. In the same way, positivity breeds positivity! If you make it a priority to always (or as often as possible) look on the bright side of life, you’ll soon see a change in your little one as they begin to mimick your behaviour, including the things you might say and even the way you might feel. Kids – especially young children – are very malleable so take advantage of this and use your own language and behaviour to help them grow into confident young boys and girls.
Always be resilient
Naturally, children learn most things from copying their parents or peers. Mimicking and modelling behaviour plays a big part in a child’s development so it’s important that as a parent, you take advantage of this! Your child – in order to feel confident – has got to learn that not everyone is great at everything. Of course, you can have their back every step of the way but if things don’t go to plan, they have to learn that “this is OK”. If a child learns to think this way through you, their self-esteem will remain largely unaffected through all these experiences – be resilient and they’ll follow!
Don’t be afraid to praise
Of course, rules and sanctions are vital to ensuring that a child can identify and avoid poor behaviour, but it’s equally imperative to reward your children for the good things they do too! Naturally, it’s a case of praise where praise is due – one too many well done’s may turn into white noise and that’s not what you want. What you want is for your child to be able to respond positively to any praise they might receive because children – especially at a young age – find it hard to recognise their own achievements so they simply rely on those around them to point out the good bits for them. A “good job” or a “well done” will make them feel good and help them to acknowledge good behaviour.
Encourage their efforts
Does your child have a real strong passion for something? Of course they do! Nearly every child has something, a hobby, an interest, a like, something they’re truly, well, obsessed with. If this is the case, stand by their side and support them every step of the way! If you encourage their endeavours, their self-esteem will take a welcome boost each time you do, as their passion becomes your passion. A lot of children’s confidence comes from those close to them, whether that be a parent, a carer or even a teacher, believing in them, so recognise that this is the time for you to cheer their corner and make them feel great about themselves!
Set your rules and stick to them
Don’t be afraid of discipline and stick to your guns. You’ll soon realise that structure and standards are something that children actually respect because they know where the line in and more importantly, what the repercussions are if they cross it! Believe it or not, kids are actually more confident when they know who’s in charge because they’re completely aware of their boundaries – there’s no confusion about right or wrong. Just be sure that when you set your rules, you’re consistent. Any sort of mixing things up too often might just upset the apple cart a little too much and don’t forget, in these situations, confidence can quickly change to a young ‘un being a bit too big for their boots!
So there you have it, and from experience, we firmly believe that these are some of the best ways to help your kids. Sure, we’re children’s entertainers, but we’re so good at what we do because we take a vested interest in children and how to really get the best out of them! So – with this is mind – keep your eyes out for our next few posts. Who knows, you might just learn a thing or two!