Five Tips for Raising Your Kids to Have Self-Confidence

Toddler with father

I have a knee-jerk reaction to ignore so much of the parenting advice on the internet. First, a lot of it just seems arbitrary and judge-y. (Second, a lot of it seems downright wrong — I’m not here to provide receipts, but I’m sure you’ve found plenty of your own evidence in this category!)

But if there’s one parenting aspect that I gather as much intel as I possibly can, it’s tips for raising kids with self-confidence. That’s because confident kids mean proud, happy, strong kids. Kids empowered to put bullies in their place. To stand up for the underdogs. And to go out and live their absolute best lives, fearlessly and with purpose.

To that end, here are some of the best pieces of advice for raising self-confident kids, which I’ve gathered from trusted sources — and also pieced together from my own experience keeping twins alive and thriving for six years.

Little girl playing outer space 

Model self-confidence.

If you want to raise self-confident kids, you have to show them what that looks like by modeling some of the behavior yourself — and that may be among the hardest things to achieve on our list because in some cases, it means unpacking and dismantling a lifetime of self-criticism. But this is a gift you can give to both your kids and to yourself!

Don’t compare them to anyone else.

I admit this is an especially tough one for me since I am a parent of twins. Both of my kids — like all kids — are totally unique and have their own set of strengths… and also areas with potential for improvement. Comparing your kid to anyone else’s kid (or another kid of your own) is a recipe for cutting down their confidence in their own abilities and also diminishing the likelihood that they’ll get excited about expressing just what makes them special.

Display their work in the house.

When you’re a parent, you tend to think each crayon drawing and sweetly misspelled word is the most charming thing ever. And that’s great — because when you gush over and display your kid’s schoolwork, art, and other projects in the home, you’re showing just how worthy they are of elevation and praise.

Pay them undivided attention (when you can).

Look, I’m a working parent living through a historic pandemic in a two-bedroom house with twins. I get that it is not feasible to give my children 100% of my attention all the time. (And TBH, sometimes mommy needs to just play Scrabble on her phone and scroll Instagram mindlessly. Zero judgment if that’s you, too.) But at the times when you’re able to focus on your kids without distraction, do give them that undivided time to show them they’re worth that uninterrupted focus. Get all up in their games and let their imagination inspire your sense of analog fun, too.

Most of all, make sure they know you love them no matter what.

Obviously, we all love our kids. But to make sure their self-confidence soars, they need to know that our love is completely unconditional — and you can’t say that explicitly or frequently enough to overdo it. Pile it on!

Written by: Alesandra Dubin