This past  school year I noticed my 3rd grader was struggling with believing in his capabilities to embrace and achieve new things. The simplest “no” or unsuccessful attempt would result in him being sullen and holding back tears.

As his mom, of course I want him to be self-confident and willing to embrace the new and different. I honestly believe that self-confidence is a key component of success in life. It’s, also, something I have struggled with throughout my life and want better for my children. But, honestly, just how do you teach and instill this important life skill?

Raising a Self-Confident Child

I’ve said before that children are born with the belief that they are the most awesome beings alive. It is as they grow and others feed into them – positively and negatively – that their beliefs begin to change and shift.

5 Ways to Raise a Self-Confident Child

Meet Needs

Experts note that babies and later children who have their needs met consistently – needs for food, comfort, a listening ear, etc. – are learning the message that they are worth paying attention to; they learn they have worth. Some professionals believe this is best accomplished through the practice of attachment parenting. Others simply note that prompt and consistent meeting of needs will send a positive message to children.

Play with Your Child

Play is how your child learns about and interacts with their world. When you participate, you validate this playful approach. You are sharing your child’s world and helping him or her to see that their parents enjoy the same things they do.

Let’s be honest, we can sometimes get pushy about teaching our children the value of hard work or the completion of tasks. While these things are certainly important, the time in our little one’s life when they are young, playful children is quite short. So embrace this time and play with your child. Honestly, it can be therapeutic for us! Win-win!

Raising a Self-Confident Child Importance of Play

Put on a Happy Face

Okay, not everyone is happy all the time, and parents get stressed. This is understandable, and there’s no need to invent a perpetually-cheerful persona; it’s not realistic or healthy. However, if your children receive the constant message that they are the source of your stress, they may begin to take on that identity. They will see themselves as an annoyance, interruption or after-though – and this may undermine their self-confidence.

Watch What You Say

B careful about complaining about your children in their hearing. Yes, parenting is hard, and our wonderful bundles of joy can try our patience at times. But if you need to vent to your friends about the things your child does that drive you crazy, do it at a time when your child is not present.

Don’t Withhold Yourself

If your child fails at something – and he or she will at some point – it’s important not to withdraw or withhold love and attention. This sends the message that your child’s achievements are more important that the child him/herself. Instead, make sure your child knows you love him or her no matter what failures happen.

Of course, this does not mean you as a parent need to accept constant failure or not encourage your child to do better. The important thing is for your child not to think your love is conditional. Privileges can be conditional; parental love shouldn’t be.


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  • These are great tips to use in raising kids! I know that I lack in self confidence a lot but definitely want to have my kids not be the same way. It can hold you back if the lack of confidence is bad enough. Not a good thing!

  • Amy E

    I can totally relate to this as my child struggles sometimes. I find that taking a few mins at the end of each day before bed and chatting together has really helped. We talk about our struggles and dreams and it has helped him become a little more confident.

  • Louise Smith

    These are really great tips. My other half is the worst for complaining about the kids in front of them. I’m forever telling them to ignore him as he doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

    Louise x

  • Lois Alter Mark

    These are great tips. There is nothing more important than giving your child confidence, and a big part of that just comes from listening to them and making them feel they’re worth listening to.

  • Reesa Lewandowski

    I feel like that world is just made to knock us down. I wish I could shield my children from all of the things that will break them down.

  • Keikilani Jackson

    I agree that the first step it turning off the media. It’s easy to be confident behind a computer screen. But face to face is another lesson.

  • Totally thinking turning off the media is the very first place to start.
    So hard to listen to your child when you have a phone in your face!

  • Such an important part of parenting. My mom kept some standard test results from me one year because I tested lowest in writing and that was the thing I loved the most. I think that was one of the best things she did for me as a kid. – Katy

  • Alicia Vanatta

    This is a spot on post. Very wise words to advise others on. Thanks for posting about it.

  • Ashley @irishred02

    Watching what you say is a big one. I’ve seen the affects of not watching your words on kids.

  • Great post. The thing on here I probably need to get better at is watching what I say when my daughter is around. It’s easy sometimes to forget that they are always listening

  • Alecia @CSNY

    I have very little self confidence and I can already see that reflected in my 3 year old. it’s hard to help your children through something you struggle with yourself. Thank you for the tips.

  • Paula Atwell

    Great post. I think that there are lots of things that bombard our children, especially girls, in today’s society, not to mention any additional prejudice against anyone who is slightly different whether it be race, religion, gender issues, or even creativity. The confidence to stand out in a crowd and dare to be yourself is only a skill that most people develop later in life. Embuing this quality in a child or young adult is a difficult yet worthy goal for any parent or guardian.

  • Saving Common Cents

    Raising my 3 daughters to be self-confident, proud, and feeling worthy and capable is really important to me. These are all good reminders on how to encourage these important characteristics while they are growing.