Daily Activities to Build Your Kid’s Confidence
We all want confident kids. Every parent wants to raise resilient little tykes that ooze self-confidence and tackle challenges ferocity.
But confidence and self-esteem don’t come easy. They’re built up over time, through experience. Here are 6 daily activities to help your kids
Kids who do chores (or “family contributions” according to parenting expert Amy McCready’s Positive Parenting Solutions) tend to exude self confidence. This may sound counterintuitive if you’re used to kids complaining about chores. But hear me out.
According to Adlerian Psychology, a child’s primary goal is to be a meaningful part of the family. They want to feel a sense of belonging and significance. One of the best ways to make them feel like a part of the team is to give them their fair share of responsibility (without any extrinsic rewards or allowance). When they are responsible for family duties, they feel capable. And when they successfully complete their share of the chores, they feel accomplished. Over time, this can build into a strong sense of self-worth.
Start with small tasks you know your kids are capable of so they feel a sense of accomplishment when they are done. Even young toddlers are capable of turned out lights, putting dirty clothes in a hamper, or folding washcloths.
So why should you avoid rewards (including allowance) for chores? Because it leads to a sense of entitlement. In other words, kids have a “what’s in it for me” attitude. This can fuel power struggles and will be counterproductive to your self-confidence goal.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to provide adequate training and practice for more complicated tasks! You don’t want your kids to feel incapable of completing their responsibilities.
Let Them do Meal Prep
Learning their way around the kitchen is an excellent way to help children build confidence. Food is a basic human need, and when kids know they are capable of fending for themselves in the kitchen, they will feel powerful.
Get a set of nylon, kid-safe knives and get your kids started during toddlerhood. You’ll be surprised at how quickly toddlers can master chopping soft fruits and veggies. And all toddlers love to pour and stir!
As soon as you’re comfortable, let your kids start preparing their own meals, even if it’s just packing a lunch using pre-packaged items (think premade sandwiches and bags of chips).
As if building confidence isn’t reason enough to let them help in the kitchen, your kids will also discover a sense of independence. Another added bonus is that these are life skills that will serve them as they venture away from your nest!
Do Games or Puzzles Daily
Puzzles are an excellent way to build confidence.
My family completes puzzles often, and I am always surprised at how quickly my kids are willing to break up a completed puzzle and put it back in the box. We literally spent days completing some of these puzzles… and as soon as that final piece is placed, they are totally cool with busting it up and putting it away.
This is because the task of finishing the puzzle is what gives them a sense of accomplishment. They are always excited and proud. And we usually have to take a photo. But once the puzzle is done, we’ve succeeded, and it can be put away.
Ravensburger (the puzzle manufacturer) has a great post on the psychology of puzzles here.
Explore New Hobbies Together
Trying new things can have a huge impact on confidence. You can help your kids explore activities outside their comfort zone by trying new things together. You’ll discover that new activities will do more than improve confidence. It will also increase their creativity, dispel fears, and offer new outlets for frustration and anxiety.
And the best part? Confidence gained from learning new things can create a snowball effect. Once a single new skill is mastered, it’s easy for children to find the confidence to try something else new. And you’ll probably discover that your child is willing to take on even bigger challenges as they continue to grow their confidence with new hobbies and skills.
Get Outside Daily
This might come as a surprise, but just spending time outside can impact your child’s self confidence. Green exercise, or outdoor activities amongst trees, provides a plethora of mood boosting benefits, including self-esteem. Even just five minutes can make a difference.
And if the mood benefits aren’t enough, research also suggests children experience improved cognitive functioning (including concentration, attention capacities, and academic performance), better motor coordination, reduced stress levels, increased social interaction with adults and other children, and improved social skills from outdoor play. All of these will also indirectly impact your child’s self esteem.
Give Your Kids One-on-One Time
Spend time truly connecting with your kids. This means give them your completely undivided attention, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day. When your kids feel like a valuable part of your life, they will feel great about themselves.
It’s easier than you think to fit one-on-one time into your schedule. Use the car ride to school, or the 15 minutes during dinner prep to engage with your child. Another option is to build “mommy and me” time right into your bedtime routine. This is a great option if your daily schedule is inconsistent.
If you’re ready to help your kids build confidence, try these 6 daily habits:
- Assign Chores
- Involve Kids in Meal Prep
- Do Puzzles
- Explore New Hobbies
- Get Outside
- Give Kids One-on-One Time