Articles for parents

Five activities to boost your child's confidence

Dec 2011
Building your child's self-confidence will help them to thrive, have the ability to face life's challenges and encourage them to explore a variety of new situations.

[Updated in August 2020]

Part of any child’s development is the understanding and being able to accept that some aspects of day-to-day life are necessary, but not always their idea of fun. Building your child's self-confidence will help them to thrive, have the ability to face life's challenges and encourage them to explore a variety of new situations.
 
Self-confidence is something that we all build upon as we go through life. With the support and encouragement of their parents, family and circle of friends, every child can begin to build their confidence and empower themselves.
 
Here are five excellent activities that will help boost your child's confidence, (aside from studying with Kumon, of course!) 
 

1) Playing sports

Playing sports not only helps children to exercise and be healthy but through games and sports, we learn to deal with frustration and accept that it is not possible to always be the winner. As in life, sometimes we’ll be ahead and sometimes we’ll be behind, and sport helps us understand the required effort and skills to challenge ourselves. Playing sports – particularly team sports – means that children have to mix and work together, something that can improve their empathy, group and social skills.
 
Additionally, by valuing the effort that the sport requires to be successful, children can become more confident and persistent in following their own sporting goals.
 
2) Drama clubs and choirs
Acting, of course, requires a great amount of self-confidence. Performing or even just being on stage for most people is one of the most challenging things we can try to do, and it requires a level of self-assurance, confidence and teamwork. Drama clubs can offer a great collective experience, friendship and team-ethos and they usually understand the needs of less confident children. Within the environment of a drama class, nerves usually disappear once children experience the fun they can have with their classmates.

Introducing a child to practise drama at a young age can have a dramatic effect on their self-confidence. A drama, theatre club or a choir can help children become more confident to perform at their best, have fun and become less self-conscious.
 
3) Cooking and baking
Learning a new skill at home and becoming confident in that environment is a wonderful way of stretching new skills to a receptive ‘safe’ audience. Understanding from you, that your skills in the kitchen were developed over time is so useful as well as seeing practice, effort and food appreciation in action. The kitchen is a great way of enjoying our success and dealing with the occasional failure too!  
 
Encourage your children to cook often and cook alongside them too. Aside from great family time and learning about food and nutrition, once their dish is ready, they’ll be able to appreciate that the effort has been worth it. Overcoming challenges is the foundation for increasing confidence and cooking can help children to learn to stretch themselves in the relative safety of their own home.
 
4) Learning to play a musical instrument
Although playing an instrument can be seen as a great challenge by many, it can be extremely rewarding. Children can learn to play a simple tune relatively quickly, which should encourage them to continue. Mastering any instrument also requires patience, dedication and resilience. Having a hobby and activity they find rewarding to practice and develop for oneself will encourage their self-confidence. 

5) Finding adventure
The best thing about travelling and experiencing new places is that children learn how big their world is and how different people are. Whether it’s in this country or a distant destination, being able to explore and experience new activities and meeting different types of people, can increase a child's self-esteem considerably and begins to open their mind to new possibilities. Discussing our collective experiences and acknowledging any challenges we encounter on our adventures helps us to process the events and gain confidence in how you and they handled a new situation.

For example, if your family missed a train connection, had a problem with a new language, experienced a car breakdown or a bicycle tyre puncture, accepting these challenges and knowing that we dealt with them can help us all to gain further confidence for the next exciting adventure!