Nothing spells happiness like a confident child. When children are confident, they are performing to their potential, both socially and academically. As a child enters the higher elementary school grades, beginning in grade 4, a variety of things can contribute to a decrease in self-esteem, which can affect their academic abilities. There are a number of ways in which parents and children can work together and set out a plan to boost confidence.  Here is a list of 5 things that can help:

  1. Not Giving up! – It is important for the parent to remind a child who is self-critical, that trying again is part of how you grow and learn; it is part of a process. The comfort of support and the knowledge that a parent is behind them, makes a child feel more confident.
  2. Positive Encouragement – In order to conquer self-criticism a child needs to be reminded that their effort is very important, and that there is always the chance to improve and succeed. Honest, positive and complimentary feedback is able to battle self-criticism head on. A child’s confidence soars when positive feedback is directed at them.
  3. Communication and Lessons – An open framework of communication in the home is key to the success of any child. A child with lowered self-esteem, who feels that he is a part of the goings-on in the house, is more able to communicate freely their thoughts, feelings and frustrations. Feeling safe to communicate in the home and discuss whatever may be troubling a child, enables the parent to lend guidance and support. The more open the child is, the more capable the parent becomes in corrective lessons and setting boundaries.
  4. Nudge in Right Direction – Kids who lack confidence often feel negatively about their abilities, it important that a parent correct any inaccurate beliefs that a child may hold of themselves. It is helpful to discuss the idea of perfection and set common standards, so that the child knows that they are on the same footing as their parents and will receive nothing but love and support.
  5. Praise, Love and Support – Every child is great, and should be reminded how and why they are great. If a child is self-critical, they will benefit knowing that they have a strong support system behind them and will be encouraged not to give up.