How to Build Your Child’s Confidence Without Bloating His Ego

How to Build Your Child’s Confidence Without Bloating His Ego

As parents, how do we distinguish between building our child's self-confidence and overpraising? Learn what truly boosts a child's self-esteem below!


PLAYING: How to Build Your Child’s Confidence Without Bloating His Ego

7 min read

Confidence is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child. As such, parenting has a clear impact in how children see themselves and build confidence. 

Below are some tips for raising a confident child: 

1. Appreciate your child’s effort no matter if he wins or loses
As the saying goes, “when you're growing up, the journey is more important than the destination”. 

2. Encourage practice to build competence
Encourage your child to practice whatever interests him without putting too much pressure on him

3. Let your child figure out problems by himself
If you do the hard work for your child, then he will never develop the abilities or the confidence to figure out problems on his own.

4. Let him act his age 
Don't expect your child to act like an adult. Striving to meet advanced age expectations can reduce confidence.

5. Encourage curiosity
Sometimes a child's endless stream of questions can be tiresome, but it should be encouraged.

6. Give him new challenges
Show your child that he can make and accomplish small goals to reach a big accomplishment. Parents can nurture confidence by increasing responsibilities that must be met.

7. Avoid creating short cuts or making exceptions for your child
Special treatment can communicate a lack of confidence. Entitlement is no substitute for confidence.

8. Never criticize your child’s performance
Nothing will discourage your child more than criticizing his or her efforts. Giving useful feedback and making suggestions is fine, but never tell him that he’s doing a bad job.

9. Treat mistakes as building blocks for learning
Learning from mistakes builds confidence. Parents should treat mistakes as an opportunity for their child to learn and grow. 

10. Open the door to new experiences
Parent have a responsibility to increase life exposures and experiences so the child can develop confidence in coping with a larger world.

11. Teach your child what you know how to do
You are your child's hero and use that power to teach him what you know about how to think, act, and speak. Set a good example and be a role model.

12. Don't tell your child when you're worried about him
Parental worry can often be interpreted by the child as a vote of no confidence.

13. Offer your help and support, but not too much of it
Giving too much assistance too soon can reduce the child's ability for self-help. 

14. Applaud your child’s courage to try something new

15. Praise your child when he deals with adversity

When a child encounters hardship, parents should point out how enduring these challenges will increase his resilience. It's important to remind your child that every road to success is filled with setbacks. 

As mentioned, praising your child is one of the ways by which his self-confidence is developed. However, overpraising him may be dangerous as it might lead either to an inflated view of one's own capabilities or, equally possible, could lead to feelings of anxiety and inferiority. A child knows when the way he is being described does not reflect reality. It is a given fact that those with grandiose views of themselves, with high self-esteem that borders on narcissism, tend to be more aggressive when their egos are threatened. 

The most important way to boost your child's confidence and self-esteem is to honor his feelings. If a child does not get accurate feedback and that he only gets positive feedback, then, he can never improve in an area of performance. Your child must get negative feedback which is honest and straightforward so as to improve.

Children need to live with people they love and who love them, people who have realistic expectations of them. These are what boost a child's self-esteem.



Eco Chamber Escape

A psychologist says parents should do these 18 things to raise a more confident child
Business Insider. Nov 9, 2016

Overblown Ego
By Chris Maul Rice. 
Special to the Chicago Tribune 
MARCH 17, 2002 

About The Expert


DR. JOSELYN EUSEBIODR. JOSELYN EUSEBIO, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician

Dr. Joselyn C. Alonzo-Eusebio is a graduate of Doctor of Medicine from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. She had her Pediatric Residency Training in the same institution, after which, she pursued a fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at UP-PGH. She had had further trainings in Developmental Pediatrics abroad (US and UK).

Dr. Eusebio is involved both in teaching and in clinical practice. For the academe, she’s currently an Associate Professor of the College of Medicine of UERMMMC, and Clinical Instructor at the New Era College of Medicine and St Luke’s College of Medicine. Dr. Eusebio holds various positions including the following: Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, UERMMMC; Head, Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at National Children’s Hospital; Vice-President, Philippine Pediatric Society and the Perinatal Association of the Philippines.

She’s a much sought-after speaker in conferences, scientific symposia, lay fora, here and abroad, both in platforms and in media, most especially on the topic of child development and behavior. 


Adapted from Sibling Relationships (Copyright © 2007American Academy of Pediatrics,Updated3/2007) Last Updated 4/10/2019


The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.

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