Confidence is a feeling of emotional security that results from faith in oneself. It is a firm belief in one’s powers, abilities, or capacities. It is an important attitude for children to learn in order to have a positive perception of themselves. Building confidence allows children to make decisions and choices. Each of us builds confidence from the experiences we encounter and how we manage these experiences. It is also influenced by the reactions of those around us.

Criticism and blame diminish confidence. Verbal and physical abuse damage children’s feelings of emotional security and faith in themselves. Children are self-centered, which may cause them to blame themselves for things they actually play no role in, such as a divorce or death of a loved one.

As a parent, you play a major role in developing your child’s confidence. Confidence develops over time but should be taught early. If you encourage children’s problem solving and applaud their efforts, not just their successes, you promote confidence.


A Child Shows Confidence When…

A Confident Child Understands These Words…

  • He presents himself effectively.
  • She recognizes her ability to affect outcomes.
  • He identifies problems and seeks solutions.
  • She shows persistence and determination.
  • He demonstrates a positive attitude.
  • She listens attentively.
  • He seeks adult help when needed.
  • Able
  • Attitude
  • Can
  • Capable
  • Challenges
  • Confidence
  • Confident
  • Courage
  • Determined
  • Failure
  • Independent
  • Obstacles
  • Optimistic
  • Problem-Solving
  • Persistent
  • Proud
  • Self
  • Solve
  • Success

What You Can Do to Boost a Child’s Confidence Skills:

Talk about Confidence

  • Define it.
  • Encourage children to try something new.
  • Create an “I Did It” spot.
  • Read books.

Model Confidence

  • Describe one of your challenges.
  • Talk about the pros and cons of a solution.

Practice Confidence

  • Challenge children.
  • Keep physical spaces cozy.
  • Avoid perfectionism.
  • Encourage persistence.
  • Be fully present.
  • Practice problem solving.
  • Foster Creative and critical thinking skills.
  • Encourage children’s suggestions and solutions.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Encourage children to talk out loud when problem solving.
  • Use encouragement, not praise.
  • Encourage independence.
  • Break tasks into small parts.

Acknowledge Confidence

  • Help Children acknowledge their acts that demostrate confidence.
  • Celebrate small steps alond the way to success.
  • Acknowledge successes.
  • Participate in brainstorming and problem-solving activities.

Reflect on Confidence

  • Ask children questions that will help them think about confidence.

If children always fail, they will lose the validation they need to develop confidence. If they always succeed, they will not know how to react to failure. Real confidence requires an understanding of the possibility of failure while still pursuing a solution. Confident people have deep, realistic faith in their abilities.

Click here to view the PDF version.