Between social media, school pressures, and sometimes pressure from parents, many children can start to lose confidence in themselves. Once a bright-eyed first grader, your child comes home a dower third grader. Your athletic high school student refuses to try out for a sport. A previously precocious child now hangs their head and slumps their shoulders in silence. Here are six signs your child is losing confidence and what to do about it.
They need constant validation
When children are small, parents often praise them for every little thing. While that sounds like a great idea, after a while, most kids see right through the empty praise. What they really need is to know that you love them no matter what. If your child needs validation for everything, then it may be that you’ve overpraised them. Focus on letting them know you love them unconditionally and only praise them when they have accomplished something significant. If they’ve put a lot of hard work into something, and you tell them how great it is, they will be proud of themselves for what they’ve done.
They compare themselves to others
When children begin to lose confidence in themselves, they might start to look to others for self-improvement. Unfortunately, they will often see themselves lacking in comparison. Social media plays a large roll in this because we often only see a shiny and polished version of someone. Help your child find and nurture their own interests. Once they’ve discovered something they love, get them around adults who also have that interest. An adult, in person, can help them see all the good and bad realities that comes with, say, being an artist, or working on antique cars. If you find that your child feels pressure from learning in a traditional classroom, then online schooling is a great alternative. Here, your child can gain confidence in academics without worrying about social pressures.
They are quiet
Courtesy of Family Braces
Sometimes when decisions need to be made, children who lack confidence are quiet. What if your child refuses to speak up on their own or voice their own opinions when the family is deciding on where to go for dinner or planning the next vacation? A child who lacks confidence will keep their thoughts to themselves. They may not want to rock the boat, or, more importantly, they may not think their ideas are good enough to express. Try giving them a couple of options, and ask them, “What do you think we should do?” Then, do what they said. They will see that their choices are good and lead to good things. If they’re small, play with them, and let them be in charge. The ability to boss mom or dad around can help them find their voice in a safe place.
Sometimes children are quiet because they are afraid of releasing their emotions and getting punished for it. The Emotion Code is an energy healing technique that parents can use to help their children identify and release their emotions in a healthy way.
They fear failure
The perfect is the enemy of the good, and children who lack confidence don’t want to try something if they can’t get it perfect. They become immobilized by the fear that they will fail. Help them develop problem-solving skills so that they can handle setbacks when they try something new. Good problem-solving skills include communicating well with others, trying different options, and learning from the problem. These are the kinds of skills that will stay with them their whole lives.
They have poor posture or hygiene
Sometimes children who lack confidence are not focused on their physical bodies. They may have poor posture, or they may not care about their hygiene. If they are interested, get them involved in a sport. If they don’t want to be a part of a team sport, maybe they would like working out with you. It’s a great opportunity for time together. The focus on their physical self can help them get out of their heads, and help them build a routine toward physical fitness and good hygiene. Physio Works points out a few ways that your child can improve their posture for better health.
They are overly dependent
Courtesy of MammaMia
Children depend on their parents for so many things, and when they’re little, that makes sense. However, as they grow older, their lack of confidence may cause them to be overly dependent. Help them begin to do things on their own. Making their own lunches is an excellent way to start, and it’s helpful to you. Show them how to do it, watch them as they do it, then let them do it on their own. This can be done with chores or hobbies. Their confidence will grow as they master each new task.
Children of all ages can start to lose their confidence. It can be hard to tell if they’re going through a phase or if they need an intervention. However, many of these ideas can help parents build good relationships with their children, whether they lack confidence or not. For more information on understanding your child’s behavior, check out our blog!