Creative Child

5 Tips for Raising a Confident Child

by Deborah Song

Confidence is one of those qualities easier spotted than defined. I recently spotted confidence so unequivocally in a 16-year-old, it left me pondering what confidence really was. What made Shreyas Parab, an accomplished yet down-to-earth kid, pursue such ambitious endeavors at such a young age?

[Related: What Does a Confident Kid Look Like: Like Someone Who’s Willing to Fail]

It wasn’t easily discernable at first because he was so relatable. It was clear Shreyas had fears and doubts like every other kid. But this two-time entrepreneur, two-time national speller and four-time Tedx talk speaker viewed failure in these terms:

  1. Even the biggest failures always produce small successes
  2. The sting of failure isn’t as bad as missed opportunity
  3. Failure is not the best way to learn, it’s the only way to learn

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Much of these views are clichés we’ve all heard before. But it’s one thing to hear something repeatedly and quite another to experience and have the epiphany yourself, which he did.

He attributed his ability to learn firsthand to his parents who supported him yet never told him whether or not his pursuits were the right or wrong move.

“I thank my parents everyday for letting me go out there and make those mistakes and learn from them,” said Shreyas Parab. “Because where I've learned the most is not from someone telling me, this is the answer. It's from me figuring it out myself.” 

The question to ask when raising a confident child is not how to make your child confident, but how to afford your child the opportunities to become confident.  Let’s face it, we can’t make our child be or do anything. All we can do is encourage him and set good examples.

As grownups, we often forget that confidence is a process, not something you are or some quality you’re born with. What we can do as parents, the only thing we can do, really, is to encourage your child to try new things, preferably things that excite them, and provide them with the tools to succeed.

One of the best things parents can do is to ingrain the habit of venturing out of one’s comfort zone at an early age. When you’re a young kid, you don’t know to be embarrassed, not fully. Besides starting young, here are some other tips to help your child find avenues that lead to confidence

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