A Guide to Raising Independent, Confident Kids
We all want our children to grow up to be happy, confident, adventurous adults. Adults who know how to find joy in the small things yet know how amazing it is to step out of your comfort too! Here’s our round-up of the best tips to raising independent, confident children:
Children are born explorers. Curious, enthusiastic and ready-to-go! Help them strengthen their natural tendencies by encouraging their bold spirit, whether that's on the playground, around the house or on the beach. As caring parents, we can have the tendency to stop our children exploring and experimenting in case they get hurt... But to let our kids mentally and physically thrive, we need to trust their capabilities as much as possible. Let them try that zip wire, let them squish that mud!
Praise their efforts
Striving for perfectionism is a recipe for confidence knocks and stress (whether you’re a child or adult). Boost their confidence by praising their efforts and letting them know you’re proud of how hard they try.
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The easiest way to foster their independence when they’re tiny, invite them to do things for themselves. If you’re stuck for ideas on what responsibilities to hand over, ask them. Maybe they’d love to pour their own milk in the morning or want to help you put the shopping away each week. If we can resist the urge to ‘do it ourselves’ for convenience, we open up all sorts of fab learning opportunities.
Help them help you
Wondering how can you make your kids feel more independent around the house, without losing your own sense of control? One way is to help them help you! Young children often love the responsibility of helping a grown-up job get done.
Knowing our thoughts are heard and valued is huge when it comes to self-confidence. Give your kids the best start by taking the time to be present and listen as much as possible. There’s so much to learn from our tiny pioneers! And if we acknowledge this, we can boost their sense of self-worth.
As with careful listening, quality attention is crucial to a child’s confidence. The more time we can make for them (and acknowledging what’s important to them) the more confident they’ll feel in who they are. Factor in more time for the independent tasks you give them too. We all know somethings take a painstakingly long time to achieve when you’re a toddler...
Be a role model
The most important thing we can do to raise confident kids? Be a confident role model. This doesn’t mean hiding your insecurities and fears - it simply means modelling to our kids how to overcome them and what it looks like to achieve and grow in self-esteem.
Give them boundaries
Boundaries sound dull to a parent who wants to live life to the full and have plenty of adventures with their children. But giving our kids clear day-to-day expectations of how they should behave, to stay safe and protect their wellbeing (and that of others), helps ensure they have a safe space to try new things.
Gather your ‘village’
The responsibility to grow a confident child needn’t rest on you alone. Don’t forget family and friends who have skills, wisdom, and stories to share with your Hotdogs to boost their confidence and expand their minds. Kids love to be praised and encouraged by other adults who acknowledge their qualities and efforts.
How do you try to nurture your Hotdog’s confidence? Do you find it hard or are you a natural encourager? Leave us a comment, we love hearing from you.
If you liked this blog you may also like ‘How to Encourage Body Confidence from Toddlerhood’.