A stigma is traditionally defined as the disgrace associated with the presence of a specific characteristic, quality, or circumstance. While stigmas can be connected to a variety of conditions, they are commonly linked to the use of glasses. Children who wear glasses may be especially at risk for the development of the taunts and name-calling that can result from wearing glasses. Unfortunately, it is often quite difficult to prevent this teasing from happening—especially among middle-school aged children. However, by building self-confidence and personal respect, children and adolescents will be less likely to be negatively affected by the stigma of glasses. Parents who are interested in increasing the self-confidence of their children should model confidence themselves, mirror strengths and skills, provide trust, and brush off mistakes. Those who have difficulty with these techniques may want to consult with child-care experts or other professionals in the field.
Eating, talking, dressing—children learn almost everything from their parents. It should come as no surprise, then, that children with parents who display high levels of self-confidence often develop this strength as well. While parents can mirror confidence in a variety of ways, those who have impaired vision themselves may want to consider the use of glasses in place of contacts—at least until the child’s confidence has been built. By seeing their parents wear glasses, children may be less embarrassed about their need for vision enhancement. Parents who attempt this technique should never allow their child hear them complain about how they look or feel while using the glasses, as this can be exceptionally counter-productive.
Mirroring strengths and skills is another effective way that parents can increase the self-confidence of their children. Mirroring strengths and skills is traditionally defined as the process by which parents or caregivers tell or show children that they have excelled in a particular activity. While this can be confidence-building while in public, it is especially beneficial when the activities occur as part of a private, day-to-day routine. Parents and elders should use enthusiasm and affection to ensure optimal results when it comes to mirroring strengths and skills.
In some cases, a lack of confidence occurs in children when they feel that they cannot trust their parents. Parents can instill a sense of trust not only by verbally providing confirmation, but also by giving children the chance to attempt a difficult or challenging task without adult interference. In addition, avoiding the micro-management of children or adolescents can increase the sense of trust in all members of the family. Remember that when building trust, it is best to start off small, and gradually “increase the ante” of the tasks or events in question.
In most cases, mistakes are inevitable. Unfortunately, many parents use mistakes as a way to critique or criticize their children, believing that it will prevent the same mistake from happening in the future. While they may have good intentions, this technique often results in children having poor self-confidence, limited esteem, and even fear of failure. Instead of viewing mistakes as “errors,” parents should consider them as learning opportunities. By using appropriate forms of language and behaviors when handling mistakes, parents can increase both their personal growth and sense of self-confidence.
Self-confidence is essential at all ages. However, research has found that developing an appropriate level of self-confidence is especially important for children. By using appropriate methods, parents can dramatically increase the sense of self-worth in their children. Modeling confidence, mirroring strengths and skills, providing trust, and brushing off mistakes are only a few of the most popular methods of increasing self-worth.
Those who are learning more about increasing self-confidence in children should consider reviewing the following links:
- Raising a Confident Child—Tips and suggestions for raising a confident child.
- Raising Confident Kids—Describes methods of building self-confidence in children.
- Raising Self-Confident Kids—Suggestions for parents on raising self-confident kids.
- Parenting Advice: Are you Raising Confident Kids or Cling-Ons?—Advice for parents on methods of improving self-confidents in kids.
- I Can Do It! Raising Confident Kids—Step-by-step guidelines for raising confident kids.
- How to Raise a Confident Kid—Myths and realities about raising confident kids.
- Stop, Look, Ask: 3 Tools for Raising Confident Kids—Sample dialog for parents interested in raising confident kids.
- Attached at the Hip: Raising Confident Kids—How to help kids increase their self-confidence.
- Kids Health: Raising Confident Kids—Tips for parents on raising kids with high self-confidence.
- Building Confidence in Children—Guidance for parents on helping/hindering the development of self-confidence.
- How to Raise a Confidence Child—List of qualities associated with high self-confidence.
- Healthy Parenting—Your Options: Raising Confident and Secure Children—Recommendations for parenting children with high self-confidence.
- Share Our Strength—Activities to increase self-confidence of children.
- 12 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Confidence—List of activities to increase self-confidence.
- A Guide for Father Involvement in Systems of Care—Describes how fathers can play an important role in increasing self-confidence of children.