Building your child’s confidence early

The key to help children build healthy confidence is to empower children to engage in positive behaviors. A solid foundation of healthy confidence can impact a child’s life by affecting their willingness to learn new things, interact with others, take positive risks and even fail.

Boy in CapeConfidence goes hand-in-hand with building positive self-esteem. Parents play an important role in raising a confident child, while also not encouraging a sense of overconfidence. There are many steps that parents can take to build their child’s confidence in the earliest years of life.

Boost confidence from birth
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to babies and infants. Building an infant’s confidence is a direct result of the relationship formed with parents and caregivers. Babies build confidence as their caretakers appropriately respond to communication cues.

As infants interact with parents and caregivers, they learn that they have the power to communicate and achieve goals. Being responded to appropriately builds infants’ self-recognition of ability, resulting in confidence.

Teach self-care, reflection and positive self-talk
The earliest years of life are prime time to teach positive self-affirmations and self-care. When children learn that they can be their own biggest cheerleader, they realize that it’s not necessary to gain or maintain confidence solely from feedback and recognition from others.

Take a moment to develop a special mantra with your child. Common self-affirmations that children, and adults, can use uphold self confidence include phrases like “you can do it,” and “mistakes happen.” Developing positive messaging and a glass-half-full attitude may help children practice a more positive mindset throughout life.

Let children take risks and solve problems
Solving problems and taking risks teaches perseverance. When children learn early in life that it’s okay not to always “win,” they may feel more comfortable knowing that they can keep trying and deliver their best effort. Not only does solving problems build confident judgement, but it also simulates a sense of independence.

Taking risks allows children to make mistakes and learn from them in a healthy way. In life, some mistakes can be the building blocks for future success.

Encourage your child to try new hobbies
Engaging in a new hobby or sport can help children learn about achieving goals and failure, both of which are essential to building healthy confidence. By accepting one’s own strengths and weaknesses, an individual can become more confident in who they are.

Not only do activities help build new skills, they also increase social confidence. Routinely communicating with others will help children feel more confident when greeting others, asking questions and approaching new people.

For more tips and free child development support, call the Birth to Five Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437)
or download the Birth to Five Helpline app!


All content in this article, including any advice or commentary from Southwest Human Development staff and/or others, should be considered an opinion and is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for medical or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the direct advice of your own trusted professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the child/ren in your care. Southwest Human Development does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures or other information that may be mentioned in this article. You may contact Southwest Human Development’s Birth to Five Helpline at 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our early childhood professionals for personalized assistance. Birth to Five Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.