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Ways to Build Your Child's Confidence-Part 3

Teach resilience.

No one succeeds at everything all the time. There will be setbacks and failures, criticism and pain. Use these hurdles as learning experiences rather than dwelling on the events as failures or disappointments. The adage, "Try, try, try again," has merit, especially in teaching kids not to give up. But, it's also important to validate your child's feelings rather than saying, "Oh, just cheer up," or, "You shouldn't feel so bad." This helps children learn to trust their feelings and feel comfortable sharing them. Children will learn that setbacks are a normal part of life and can be managed. If your child does poorly on a test, don't smother him with pity or tell him that he'll never be a good reader. Instead, talk about what steps he can take to do better next time. When he does succeed, he will take pride in his accomplishment.

Instill independence and adventure.

Self-confident children are willing to try new things without fear of failure. With younger children, you will need to supervise from the sidelines. Set up situations where she can do things for herself and make sure the situation is safe, but then give her space. For example, demonstrate how to make a sandwich and then let her try it on her own, without your hovering or intervening. Encourage exploration, whether it's a trip to a new park or new foods at mealtime. Daytrips and outings, new hobbies, vacations and trips with teammates or schoolmates can all expand your child's horizons and build confidence in her ability to handle new situations.

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