Adults should know that our best advocate is one’s self. If you don’t have self-confidence life itself can be a real challenge. It is a parent’s duty to teach their children essential life skills such as confidence and positive self-esteem through role modelling. A child who shies away from public experiences or neglects getting involved at home or at school due to feeling unconfident will miss out on pivotal opportunities to learn and grow.
The Development of a lack of confidence
Many parents report to us that their child is simply not performing in the classroom and that their teachers observe a lack of engagement especially in a whole class situation. Some children feel uncomfortable speaking in front of large groups, but especially their peers. This can be due to several reasons:
- Having an introverted personality
- Naturally shy and withdrawn
- Feeling insecure about their own skills and intelligence
When children are young they are just like sponges soaking up the environment around them. They are exposed to many new experiences and whilst some of these can be fulfilling others can leave a negative mark on their development. A lack of encouragement and support can be the real clincher in developing a lack of confidence. Children seek approval from their parents and people they look up to and it is vital that these individuals offer praise, acceptance and understanding. This is integral when a child fails at something, it is at this time that a parent’s or role model’s acceptance is most important. To be confident you must first suffer failure to realise the importance of self-confidence in achieving success. There are some ways beyond developmental confidence that you can help your child gain and build confidence for their time in a classroom.
1. Home Practice – Stay up to date with what your child is studying and learning in school. For homework sit with them and do some additional research into the topic. Call on Google, Encyclopaedias, friends and family to guard your child with additional knowledge that will help them feel confident about answering a question in class or even add in useful information to a class discussion.
2. Practice Foundations – The foundation of principles for literacy and numeracy are at the heart of every subject your child takes at school. Some children respond better to numbers rather than letters and words and vice versa and sometimes children have problems with both. By implementing the practice of literacy and numeracy in everyday tasks it will complement the skills they are learning in the classroom. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Ask them to help you work out the best bulk buy items at the supermarket for value and price
- Use new words regularly and discuss their meaning
- Play word related games together as a family such as scrabble and boggle
- Get your child to help count money when paying for items
- Make practice counting a game in the car with counting by 2’s or 4’s or 6’s
3. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage! Children need to know that if they make a mistake it is going to be alright. Remind them that it isn’t the end of the world and encourage them to persevere with things until they feel more confident doing them. Resilience is a really important asset not just for learning but for confidence at home and at school too.