Why is having confidence so important for your child's development?
All parents want their children to feel confident and while they know it is important, many often don't think about why. So how can confidence affect children’s development and how can a lack of it cause them to suffer?
Confidence comes from a range of factors including (but not limited to):
Children who have strong self-esteem typically feel loved and accepted, are proud of their abilities, and have faith in themselves. In contrast, kids who lack self-confidence often feel inferior to others, are more reclusive, are very critical of themselves, and have a difficult time believing in themselves or their skills.
From the above list it is clear, then, that children with higher levels of confidence will achieve more, 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.
Higher self-confidence is associated with a growth mindset, a willingness to take chances and make mistakes in their learning, and a belief that making mistakes is an essential component of learning. Children who lack self-assurance are less inclined to take chances and commit errors, which results in slower growth.
For youngsters who lack confidence, it is a vicious cycle because each time they witness their friends achieving success while they don't, their confidence levels drop even further. It is very challenging to break this cycle.
For some children, private tutoring can be a great 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 and My Secondary Tutor for a number of years, and we are very experienced at working with families to support their child.
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 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 more positively. Once they are ready, they can take this new learning with them into school, as well as any further tuition that might be appropriate.
My Primary Tutor and My Secondary Tutor have developed a programme designed to support children on their emotional literacy journey called "Emotions First." The aim of the programme is to help your child to develop a growth mindset and move forward in a more confident way. The 8-12 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 new learning goals which are achievable and work together to help them to reach them, using the practical strategies they have learned along the way.
We have created a free children’s feelings journal which can be downloaded to use 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 us at email@example.com or PM us on the Facebook Page where we’ll be glad to give you all the details you need.