For parents, raising confident kids means teaching them how to meet life’s many challenges and to succeed. According to experts, throughout their formative years, kids will look to their families, friends and peers to help develop their sense of self, but as they master skills, they become more secure in their abilities. And, with positive reinforcement, kids’ self-confidence and self-esteem will grow exponentially, which leads them to try new things, do their best and feel proud of their achievements. Keep reading to learn why it’s so important to raise kids with confidence. 

It Helps Them Be Successful

Possessing self-confidence can help a child take on challenges and risks that may exceed their current abilities. By successfully pushing boundaries, a child’s confidence can create a virtuous circle where each win leads to the next win. Researchers at Stony Brook University wanted to see if there was truth in the adage “success breeds success,” and their study validated that early successes bestowed on individuals produced significant increases in subsequent rates of success.

Confidence has been shown to help children in education as well: Behavioral psychologist Stanley Coopersmith said, “In the critical childhood years, positive feelings of self-esteem have been shown to increase children’s confidence and success at school.”

It Super-Charges Their Creativity

As parents, we know that children are innately creative and there are few things as precious as a child’s vivid imagination. But the wellspring of a kiddo’s creativity can diminish over time if she is discouraged from nurturing her creative confidence. A survey conducted by IBM found that creativity was the single most sought-after trait in leaders today. Children who are self-possessed and confident are more likely to retain their super-charged creativity.

According to Tom Kelley, co-author of Creative Confidence and partner at IDEO, a global design and innovation firm, “Creativity, far from requiring rare gifts and skills, depends on what you believe you can do with the talents and skills you already have.” Confidence is an oft-ignored but essential part of creativity. It’s the confidence that allows people to super-charge their creativity.

It Nurtures Their Mental and Physical Resilience

Studies have shown that self-confidence isn’t just a feeling or emotional state of mind, but can have a direct impact on mental and physical health. A child with a strong foundation of confidence is better at coping with stress and more resilient against illnesses.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the protective nature of confidence and self-esteem, especially when it comes to the impact of stress and physical disease. In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, patients with a greater feeling of mastery and high self-esteem, in combination with having close relationships, were shown to be less prone to mental or physical illness. The study reported, “Positive self-esteem is associated with mental well-being, adjustment, happiness, success, and satisfaction.”

It Fosters Empathy

Children’s confidence and self-esteem grow when they see what they do matters to others. Letting kids help around the house or do service projects at school can help them build their confidence as well as foster empathy for others. Encouraging kids to feel secure in themselves can help them see the world beyond themselves and understand that they are part of a larger community.

Parents can nurture a child’s confidence by modeling positive behavior and being thoughtful about praise, experts say. Rather than overpraising when it’s unwarranted, which can come across as hollow and insincere, help kids set goals, then recognize and praise their effort instead of the end results.

It Helps Them Find Happiness

Last but certainly not least, according to this study, confidence inspires contentment, happiness, and pride in any kid. By encouraging play and being attentive during playtime, parents demonstrate to their kids the importance of having fun and understanding what brings joy to themselves. Showing love, embracing imperfections, and helping your kiddo find his passions can help build his confidence and self-esteem in myriad ways that will benefit him for a lifetime to come.

—Kipp Jarecke-Cheng

 

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