If your child struggles in school, the new year is less about fresh clothes and supplies and more about anxiety, fear, and self-doubt. Building your child’s confidence and self-esteem is a way for your child to begin to believe in themselves, even in areas that difficult or require extra effort. Let’s look at 5 confidence building tips for struggling students as they start the new school year:
1. Give Specific Praise
When your child does something well, your first instinct might be to say “good job” or “nice work.” These general phrases, while well-intentioned, don’t actually mean much to your child. What specifically did your child do well? Isolate the area of praise so your child has a specific reference point to see what they’ve done well.
2. Share Your Own Struggles
When kids feel down about themselves or their abilities, it can be a very isolating emotion. They may feel like they are the only one in the world who can’t memorize their math facts or master riding a bike. It’s important to let kids know that they’re not alone with their struggles, and that everyone has a hard time with something in their lives. Share your own struggles or difficulties with your child to show them that even adults have a hard time mastering new skills.
3. Then, Share Your Problem-Solving Skills
After creating a dialogue of your own struggles with your child, now show them what you do to solve or fix the problem. This way, you’ve reassured your child that they’re not alone, but also that they have the ability to problem solve and find a solution. This can be a very empowering lesson for children!
4. It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination
When your child struggles in school, they are often putting forth a lot of effort and not feeling the “success” of getting a great grade at the end of a test or assignment. This can make your child feel that their efforts weren’t worth the final product. Emphasize to your child that their hard work along the journey is important as well, not just the final outcome. This validates their hard work and extra effort, even if the final product wasn’t what they hoped for.
5. Reinforce Your Unconditional Love
Kids carry a lot of unseen stress, and may feel like they’re letting you down if they’re not successful in school. A child that feels loved knows that no matter what, their family still accepts and cares for them. Make sure your child knows that no matter what, you will always love them.
To learn more about why our whole-child approach is the most effective way to help your child, contact us online or find a center near you.