Psychologists say parents should do these 21 things to raise a more confident child

Jacob Tremblay actor
  • One of the most important parts of parenting is showing a child how to be confident.
  • But you may be confused as to how to raise a child who has high self-esteem.
  • It starts with complimenting their efforts, talking openly about their emotions, and letting them know it’s okay to make mistakes.


Confidence is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child. 

Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist and author of 15 parenting books, told Business Insider that a kid who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others.

This can end up holding them back later in life and prevent them from having a successful career.

„The enemies of confidence are discouragement and fear,“ he told Business Insider. 

Luckily, confidence is something you can encourage even in a child’s earliest years. With „emotional coaching,“ Terri Apter, psychologist and author of seven books on family, wrote that parents can raise children who are comfortable with solving problems, managing their emotions, and socializing.

Here are 21 more tips for raising a confident child, from Pickhardt, Apter, and other child psychologists.

SEE ALSO: I asked two relationship experts how to keep young kids from eroding your marriage

Appreciate effort no matter if they win or lose

Applauding your child’s effort is more important than what they actually did, Pickhardt said.

Whether they manage to score the winning goal or kick it out of bounds, your child shouldn’t be embarrassed for trying. 

„Over the long haul, consistently trying hard builds more confidence than intermittently doing well,“ he said.

Encourage practice to build competence

Encourage your child to invest lots of time in whatever it is they’re interested in, Pickhardt said. As they improve at the task at hand, they’ll become more confident in their growing abilities. 

Don’t distinguish between activities that seem practical, like building robots, over, say, starting a rock band. Discouraging certain activities over others can make a child feel like their interests aren’t important.

Let them figure out problems by themselves

If you do the hard work for your child, they’ll never develop the abilities or the confidence to figure out problems on their own.

„Parental help can prevent confidence derived from self-help and figuring out on the child’s own,“ Pickhardt said. 

In other words, better that your child gets a few B’s and C’s rather than straight A’s, so long as they are actually learning how to solve the problems and do the work. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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