Interview Series: You Count

8 women share how they build kids' confidence as part of the Interview Series.
Morgan Kelly Burke and Melissa Roja Lawlor, Contributors
Articles> Interview Series: You Count
confident children

How do you teach confidence? Every parent wants their child to be strong and brave, to stand up for themselves, and to be happy with who they are. But it's a trait we often struggle with ourselves.'s You Count campaign is focused on building kids' confidence, no matter what their age. From your preschooler who's nervous for his first circle time to your 12-year-old who can't stomach the idea of starting middle school, confidence is a game changer in any child's life.

In order to help other moms navigate this tricky part of parenting, we asked 8 of our favorite bloggers for helpful tips on how to nurture and raise more confident children. Here's what they had to say:

8 Tips for Building Confidence:

  1. Don't underestimate the importance of unconditional love. "When I was younger, I had to work hard to receive praise, to be told, "Hey, I'm proud of you." I want my daughters to know that I am always and unconditionally proud of everything they do. That I believe in them." -- Stephanie Anderson, Confessions of a Stay At Home Mom

    Learn how Stephanie encourages her kids to step out of their comfort zone

  2. Realize that nobody's perfect. "Students often set themselves up for failure because they expect perfection from themselves. In fact, I know a lot of adults who struggle with this same issue. We're not looking for perfection. We're looking for your best." -- Sando Weis, The Daily Deelight

    See Sando's process for building confidence in the classroom

  3. Empower your kids through their own actions. "We make [our kids] take responsibility for their own actions, whether it be for successes or for things they didn't accomplish the way they hoped or should have." -- Amanda Rodriguez, Parenting By Dummies

    See how Amanda took charge of her son's lack of academic confidence

  4. Pile on the praise. "I always remind my kids that they are first and foremost smart. I like to talk about and praise them to other adults just loud enough so they can hear me praising them. I always tell my kids I am so proud of who they are, and what I know they can become." -- Erica Voll, Mommy's Fabulous

    She why Erica believes confidence is built by participating

  5. Find a balance. "Find the unique in each one of them, and nurture that. I also think it is important to have discipline and require them to take on responsibilities at home." -- Jo-Lynne Shane, Musings of a Housewife

    See how Jo-Lynne strikes a balance between building confidence and giving kids a big ego

  6. Don't allow negative talk in the house. "I do have my days when I'm not feeling my best; days when my self-confidence has taken a hiatus. I handle those days by reminding myself, "No Negative Self-Talk." I also remember the advice someone I look up to offered: feelings are just feelings and not necessarily reality." -- Arlett Hartie, Chasing Joy

    See what Arlett has to say about the beauty of standing out and being different

  7. Lead by example. "My parents/stepparents said the right things, but actions speak louder than words-they didn't always do the right thing. I try my hardest to walk the walk." -- Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes

    See why Lisa doesn't believe in the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality

  8. Practice good manners. "Good manners consists of eye contact, handshakes and knowing when to use your cell phone, but it really boils down to self-interest. You use your good manners because of the way it makes you feel on the inside." --Lisa Richey, Manners To Go

    Find out what helped Lisa come out of her shell when she was younger

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(3) Comments
Katie G.
Katie G.
Some of these points are wonderful, but some of them are the opposite of what I would do.

While it is 100% important to praise your children and the children you care for, do it quietly and when necessary. The most important thing is for them to feel proud of themselves, and not seek gratification from others, "piling" it on will make them think that's what they need to feel good about themselves. Instead of constantly praising them, ask them how THEY feel about their achievements. When they say proud, ask them how much they love that feeling. Remind them how important it is to be proud of yourself. "Empower your kids through their own actions."

Again, while it is important to stay away from self-negative talk, not allowing it makes it seem like something to be ashamed of. Pay close attention to your child and their actions or words that involve how it is they may be feeling, and quietly bring it up. Allow them to share with you if they are feeling like they didn't do their best. You may wish to ask how they think they can do their best another time, or just allow them to understand that there will be days that they aren't feeling as good as yesterday, and that's okay, and that it's okay to share. "Realize that nobody's perfect."
August 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM
Marilyn W.
Marilyn W.
As a professional I find your information to be inspiring and proactive! Thank you for your member services such as these!
August 11, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Robin T.
Robin T.
This was an awesome series on building confidence!! Loved it! Thank you, for taking the time to educate and encourage your members.
August 7, 2012 at 8:49 PM

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