I’d love to tell you that my kids got their confidence from me (it’s part of the package that comes with being an Italian New Yorker). But the truth is so much sweeter: they got it from themselves. What I love most about my kids is how different they all are. Each one is so completely unique in their personality and interests, but all share one thing: confidence. I truly believe that strong self-esteem is the key to life, so read on for my tips on how to raise strong and confident kids.
Encourage your kids to try new things. Attaining new skills makes kids feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way.
Practice What You Preach
While my kids have found their confidence on their own journey of growth, I do think it’s important to practice what you preach. I’m always mindful of being a great role model for them. If my kids see me acting confident and embracing my own unique quirks, strengths, and flaws, then they are more likely to do the same.
Especially in their younger years, our kids are so fascinated with us and what we do—they really are watching what we’re doing all the time. Even on my down days, I still teach my kids to hold their heads up high and love themselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two from them.
Foster Their Talents
Seeing Brody embrace the things he loved so freely was so eye-opening for me. Just like the rest of my kids, he just went down his own path, marching to the beat of his own drum. For Jackson it was sports and modeling, Dylan loved dance, Roman loved toys and puzzles, and Brody? Wearing princess dresses and putting on a damn good show.
Whether you enroll them in classes, make time for what they love, or just cheer them on when they do it, clearly showing that you support their interests can make your kids’ self-esteem soar. It can be verbal affirmation, action moves, or even just a round of applause!
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Allow your kids to fail. It’s natural to want to protect your child from failure, but trial and error are how kids learn, and falling short on a goal helps kids find out that it’s not fatal.
Teach Them Their Power
I always want my kids to feel empowered by their individuality. You know that saying: “there’s only one of you?” They should feel great about what sets them apart. As parents, we should remind our kids of that as often as possible. Slip notes in their lunch boxes, leave sticky notes on their doors, tell them in person: you are powerful just as you are.
The beauty is that no matter what road they go down, or how different they may seem from others, that individuality is what makes their life (and ours) so bright and colorful.
I can’t imagine Brody living in a socially-guided box of traditions and stereotypes. Or Dylan without dance. Why would we want our kids to be like everyone else? Is their happiness really worth “fitting in?” Authenticity is so hard to come by these days, but our kids are our best teachers. The more they break free, the happier they will be.
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Help your kids find their passion. Exploring their own interests can help kids develop a sense of identity, which is essential to building confidence.