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5 Habits Parents Should Break If They Want To Raise Confident Kids

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mother and daughter hug before going to school

There is no set rulebook on how to raise confident kids, but there are habits that parents can be aware of to help their children cultivate confidence during their early developmental years.

Confidence is a crucial trait that empowers children to navigate challenges, embrace their uniqueness, and thrive in various aspects of life. The way a parent treats their child plays a huge role in their growth, and sometimes, what may appear as harmless habits can inadvertently hinder their children’s development. 

There are five common habits parents should break if they want to raise their kids to be confident:

Jai Institute, a parenting coach account on TikTok, shared some of the most common mistakes parents make that end up unintentionally inhibiting their children’s confidence levels.

   

   

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1. Don’t compare your kids to other kids.

Every child is different and has their own unique qualities. Comparing your kids to others forces them to believe they are not good enough early in life, initiating what will become a very difficult habit to break as they grow older. This toxic comparison pattern will repeat in their lives, causing them to struggle with low self-esteem and self-worth. 

Kids are reliant on their parents for validation, which is all the more reason why you should choose to commend your kids' abilities and talents. 

   

   

Everyone will suffer from comparison culture at some point in their lives, but parents give kids the tools to rally against it. Teach your children to know their worth and embrace their individuality from a young age. Encourage them to be proud of who they are without feeling the need to measure up to others. 

2. Avoid sheltering your kids from 'failures and mistakes.'

Failures and mistakes are a natural part of life that takes many individuals years to accept, likely due to their own parents’ sheltering. 

As a parent, you have the power to foster this life lesson from an early age by allowing your children to recognize and embrace their mistakes as opportunities for growth. Instead of viewing failures as reflections of their abilities, they learn to see them as stepping stones toward improvement and success. 

   

   

Sheltering your kids from failing and knowing when they’re wrong will only cause them to struggle with taking accountability in adulthood. This will inhibit their confidence and growth, and create conflicts in their relationships with others. 

Demonstrating the significance of facing and learning from mistakes will help your children develop resilience and understand that setbacks are a natural part of life.

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3. Don’t nitpick every one of their mistakes. 

While guiding your children through their mistakes is necessary, it’s important not to confuse this with nitpicking every mistake they make. 

The whole point of helping your kids acknowledge their faults is so they understand the human nature of being imperfect and the continuous journey of learning and growing.

   

   

Constant criticism and nitpicking can damage a child’s self-esteem and cause them to doubt their abilities and worth.

Instead of focusing on every mistake, parents should emphasize progress and effort. It’s important to strike a balance between providing guidance and allowing your children the freedom to learn from their mistakes.

4. Avoid controlling every decision they make.

It's natural for parents to want to be involved in their kids’ decisions, and as their parent, you should be by their side to guide them. However, it’s equally important to allow your children to make certain decisions on their own. This allows them to foster responsibility and confidence in their choices.

   

   

By micromanaging every decision, even if you believe it’s for the best, your children lose the autonomy to think and decide for themselves, which will cause them to struggle with independently making the right choices later on in life and depend on others to do it for them. 

When children are allowed to make their own decisions, they gain confidence in their abilities to navigate the world around them. They learn to trust their judgment and develop a sense of self-efficacy.

Additionally, making decisions allows children to explore their individual interests, preferences, and values. It enables them to discover who they are and what matters to them.

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5. Not letting them witness your 'lack of confidence.'

A very common, and natural, mistake many parents make without realizing the impact it will make on their children is not revealing their own lack of confidence. 

Parents lead by example, and children soak in and emulate their parents’ actions. When you openly confess or exhibit your own human flaws, your children will observe and absorb these behaviors and be more willing to treat their own insecurities with kindness. 

When you demonstrate a confident attitude towards life and encourage your children to do the same, they will follow in your footsteps and become their own natural leaders. But when you teach them that you, too, are vulnerable they will realize that no one is without fault, and there is strength in that too.

These habits not only inhibit your children’s confidence but can strain your relationship with them as well. 

Be mindful of how your words, actions, and habits can affect your child’s mental well-being. 

Children will lose trust in their parents when they feel they can’t comfortably be themselves. It’s important for parents to provide a supportive and nurturing environment where children feel loved and accepted, even when they make mistakes.

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, and spirituality topics.