One of your priorities as a parent is raising your child to be confident in themselves. Confidence gives children the motivation to excel in their studies and personal lives, and take on challenges that they otherwise would avoid. The best way to build confidence is through hands-on activities similar to those used in your local Montessori elementary school, where children develop self-esteem by directing their own learning.
Below are three fun activities you can do at home that will build your child’s confidence:
Learn a new skill
One of the surest ways to build confidence at any age, but especially childhood, is learning a new skill in an area of personal interest. If your child isn’t invested in the subject area or the skill itself, they might lack motivation to carry through and lose confidence in themself. Sample skills to introduce to your child include cooking and baking (with supervision), drawing and/or painting, musical instruments, and basic coding.
Most of these skills can be learned at home under the supervision of you, another adult, or an older child, while others can be taught through child-friendly software programs or online videos. Some skills, like musical instruments, singing, and dancing, are difficult to learn without an experienced instructor. You could sign up your child for lessons, or perhaps learn the new skill together.
When your child hits an obstacle in their skill learning, such as having trouble mastering a certain technique, use the Montessori method of encouraging self-correction. A large part of confidence building is overcoming obstacles without help, but if your child is having an especially hard time, gently redirect them to something similar. For example, if your child is struggling with a piece of music, have them play another song. Or if your child doesn’t like how their drawings are turning out, suggest a different art subject.
Cook or bake a new recipe
Similar to learning a new skill, learning a new recipe is a sure way to build confidence. Recipes are a tangible way for your child to enjoy their efforts. Supervise them while they gather the ingredients, and if grocery shopping is necessary, have them lead you around the store. They’ll gain confidence from your trust in them taking charge.
Let them take the first steps in preparing the recipe, and if none of the steps are dangerous (using a knife, power mixer, etc.), only step in when assistance is needed. Once the recipe is ready to eat, your child can have a tasting showcase with your household. Cooking and baking is an especially powerful skill for children to learn as a lifelong skill, and will strengthen as they grow older and learn more complicated recipes. The progression in easy-to-difficult recipes will greatly improve their confidence.
Spend time together
One of the easiest ways to build confidence is simply showing your child you enjoy spending time with them. Whether you go on a hike, watch a movie, or play games, your child will feel appreciated. Take their time seriously, because if they sense you’re hanging out with them out of obligation, their confidence will take a hit.
Hill Point Montessori is dedicated to building children’s confidence and lifelong skills through hands-on lessons. They offer two elementary school programs: Lower Elementary for ages 6-9, and Upper Elementary for ages 9-12. Click here to schedule an in-person tour. Please note that masks and social distancing are required.