- What activities boost confidence?
- What group activities build confidence?
- How do I practice confidence boosting?
As a parent, you want nothing more than to see your child happy and thriving. Healthy self-confidence is a huge part of reaching that goal. When your child is self-confident, they can form healthier relationships, experience more success, and ultimately, find more joy in their lives.
However, self-confidence isn’t always easy to come by. Even young children can get discouraged by failures and negative words from others, making it harder for them to see all their wonderful traits. You can’t protect your child from these failures or unkind words, but you can help them have a healthy foundation of self-esteem. There are plenty of confidence-building activities for kids, and we’re here to share with you the best ones.
What activities boost confidence?
Building confidence in early years is essential to set your child up for a happy life. As you surely know, the world gets meaner as you grow up. While your child is young, instilling a strong sense of self-confidence can help them better navigate the challenges of teenagehood and beyond. These confidence activities can be fun, too! Read on to learn some of our favorites.
“I am afraid but…” exercise
Fear is a foundational human emotion, and young children are not immune from experiencing it. Perhaps your child is afraid of moving to a new town or trying a new sport. This exercise can help your child quell those anxious “What if?” thoughts.
Have your child write down their fear. Then, encourage them to write down all the positive alternatives to those fears. For example, if your child is afraid of starting at a new school, they can write “I am afraid but I am brave,” or “I am afraid but I will make lots of new friends.” This exercise helps them reframe those negative thoughts and remember how strong and competent they are. (This is also a great activity for grown-ups, too!) If your child is too young to write, do this activity out loud.
Draw a self portrait
Many children enjoy arts and crafts, and you can use their creativity to get help boost their confidence! 🎨 Have your child draw a picture of themself. Then, around the picture, have them write adjectives that describe who they are. This not only will help grow their confidence but also work on their language skills!
This activity can also be done with siblings. Ask your child to draw a picture of their brother or sister, and then write words to describe them. Not only will the compliments be beneficial for your child, but it will help grow a happy and loving relationship between your children.
Encourage imagination play
Remember the fun of playing pretend? We sure do. While the fun of the game is a worthwhile reason enough to play, it can actually be one of the best child self-esteem activities! Embodying another person is a great way to help grow your child’s confidence. Whether your child wants to be a pirate, a superhero, or just literally try on mum’s shoes for the day, playing pretend is a great way to expand your child’s mind. It also reinforces a very important part of healthy self-esteem--you can be anything you set your mind to, even if it’s a dragon slayer. 🐉
When your child is engaging in imaginative play, ask them about who they are pretending to be. Have a conversation about that person’s positive traits, and how your child shares them. If their imagination play is more rooted in reality, talk with them about those kinds of people they know in real life. For example, if your child is pretending to be a doctor, discuss their own doctor. What kind of traits does she have? Why does your child want to be like her? When a child understands they already have the good characteristics of someone they admire, it helps grow their confidence.
What group activities build confidence?
While we all may wish it were different, it’s not easy to ignore the opinions of others. Even the most confident among us still often worry about how others perceive us. Feeling valued, seen, and respected by our peers is important for our self-esteem, and it’s no different for young children, either. Fun self-esteem activities for groups help children not only recognize their worth but learn how to speak kindly about others, too. (P.S. While many of these games are designed for young children, they can be great teenage confidence-building activities, too!)
Catch the compliment
This game is great for building confidence in primary school students. Have the children stand in a circle and randomly throw a ball to one other. Whoever throws the ball has to say a compliment about the person who catches the ball. For fairness, make it a rule that the same person cannot catch the ball twice until everyone has a turn. Encourage children, too, to focus on compliments about personality, not appearance.
Rolling in admiration
This is also a great game for primary school students, especially if you’re searching for how to build confidence at school. Have children sit in a circle. One person rolls a die. 🎲 Whatever number they get, they have to say that many compliments about the person next to them. Keep going until everyone gets a turn.
You likely remember this fun game from your own childhood. After all, how thrilling was it to go on a hunt, and when you found what you were looking for? A scavenger hunt boosts children’s creative and critical thinking skills, and it allows children to see how much they can succeed when they think hard and work together. There are lots of great scavenger hunt lists on Pinterest, or if you’re feeling creative, make one up on your own! You can do one as a family, splitting up into teams at the park. The options are endless!
How do I practice confidence boosting?
Though games and activities can certainly help grow self-esteem, it requires much more than that. It’s important that your child grows up in an environment that encourages their confidence, too. Parents must be sure to practice confidence boosting at home.
Encourage your child to pursue their hobbies
Even if you may not understand or personally enjoy your child’s hobby, encouraging them to put time and energy into it is crucial. Spending time on a hobby is a way for a child to see the correlation between their efforts and their success. Whether it’s football, dancing, or video games, let your child spend time doing something they enjoy and are good at.
Don’t compare your child to others
Comparison is the thief of joy, they say, and it’s true. As children begin to approach teenage years, they are more likely to start comparing themselves to others. Whether it’s wondering why they can’t run as fast as their classmate or have as nice hair as their best friend, it’s inevitable that your child will feel that sting of jealousy.
As your child gets older, it’s more important than ever not to compare them to others--and especially important not to compare them to their siblings. Remind your children what their positive traits are when they start to express envy, and that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. One person’s success doesn’t negate their own. It’s a lesson we all struggle with throughout our lives, and as a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your child remember they are special just as they are.
Do a daily check-In
It can be difficult to notice your accomplishments, even as a grownup. You likely have your own moments of self-doubt, so why not work on building confidence as a family?
Each day, do an accomplishment check-in. Each family member shares one thing they accomplished that day. It can be something big, like a perfect score on a math test or closing a new client deal, or something small, like catching the bus on time or making a perfect cup of tea. Doing this activity is a great way to focus on all the little wins and remind each other that we are doing great, even if we may not feel like it sometimes.
Watch how you speak about yourself
Children absorb everything you say and are likely listening even when you think they are not. It’s important to avoid negative self-talk around your child. Complimenting them for something, and then tearing yourself down for the same thing can be awfully confusing for a child! As children enter their teenage years, this is incredibly important when it comes to physical appearance, especially for girls.
Don’t say negative things about your body around your child. Those kinds of statements will only reinforce negative societal views about appearance, and your teenager is already having to tune them out from the rest of the world--they don’t need it from you, either!
Additionally, practice accepting compliments, and model to your children how to do so. When someone compliments you, say thank you--don’t argue or say it’s untrue. It’s important that your child knows how to talk kindly about themselves, and they’ll learn it from you before they learn from anyone else.
Your child can find confidence and happiness
As a parent, you see your child for the special, incredible person they are. It can be heartbreaking to see your child doubt themselves or feel as if they aren’t good enough. Confidence-building activities, along with a positive home environment, can help ensure your child feels happy and confident no matter what.
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