Self-confidence and its importance for kids both at home and at school.
As parents, we want our children to feel confident. We know it is important, but why? How can confidence affect our children’s school careers and how can a lack of it cause them to suffer?
Confidence comes from a range of factors including (but not limited to):
Children with high self-confidence generally feel liked and accepted, proud of what they can do and believe in themselves. Conversely, children with low self-confidence tend to feel that others are better than them (or somehow ‘get’ things that they don’t), are more withdrawn, are self-critical and extremely hard on themselves, and find it hard to believe in themselves or their abilities.
From the above list it is clear, then, that children with higher levels of confidence will do better academically, but why?
The answer is bound up with something called Growth Mindset, a theory put forward by Carol Dweck, who posts that people who believe that intelligence and ability is something that can always be improved upon, (as opposed to people who believe their intelligence is ‘fixed’ and can’t be altered) will generally achieve more because they are more willing to put in the hard work, effort and time required.
Children with higher levels of self-confidence tend to have a growth mindset, are willing to take risks and make mistakes in their learning because they believe that making mistakes is part of the learning process. Children with low self-confidence are less willing to take risks and make mistakes, and because of this, make less progress.
It is a vicious circle for those children with less self-confidence, because each time they see their peers make progress where they don’t, their confidence levels become even smaller – a cycle that is extremely hard to get out of.
For some children, academic tuition can be a way of improving their confidence, by giving them a little bit of extra input so that, when it comes to their school lessons, they are more prepared and ready to take part. We have been doing this at My Primary Tutor for years, and are very experienced at working alongside schools when needed, in order to make sure the child gets the most benefit from their sessions.
However, for some children, whose levels of confidence are critically low, academic tuition may not be the best place to start. For these children, it can be more appropriate to start off their tuition with a course about emotional intelligence – a bespoke set of sessions that helps them to recognise feelings, spot triggers for negative emotions and to come up with strategies that will help them to deal with this. Once they are ready, they can take this new learning with them into school, as well as any academic tuition that might be appropriate.
We are excited to say that My Primary Tutor will be offering our new Emotional Literacy Programme at the beginning of May! The aim of the programme is to help your child to develop a growth mindset and move forward in their learning in a more confident way. The 8-week course has been specially designed to help pupils understand their emotions and how they can affect how they feel about themselves. We will help them develop a range of practical strategies which they can use in class, at home and in our sessions, so they can become more willing to try, don't fear getting things wrong, and instead see it as all part of the learning process. Once they have completed the programme we will help them to set academic targets which are achievable and work together to help them to reach them, using the practical strategies they have learned along the way.
To celebrate the arrival of these sessions we have created a free children’s feelings journal which can be downloaded and used at home. You can sign up to receive it here, and if you would like any more information about the emotional literacy sessions, please do feel free to email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or PM us on the Facebook Page where we’ll be glad to give you all the details you need.