6 ways you are destroying your child's confidence

Make sure you are not doing these six things that harm your child.

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  • We all want our children to grow up feeling loved, appreciated and confident in who they are. We often forget that, while confidence may take years to master, it takes only a few blunt or careless words to shatter. Here are six ways you could be harming your child's self-esteem:

  • 1. Judging their preferences

  • Your child is an individual human in a world of many people. They are unique. As such, don't criticize your child's passions and interests, even if they are different from yours. Signing them up for music lessons to get them to try something new is never a bad choice, but forcing them to keep taking lessons even when they don't enjoy them is a surefire way to put intense pressure on them and sabotage their confidence. Let your child indulge in the things they are passionate about. Be sure they try new things, but never force them to be someone they are not.

  • 2. Comparing them

  • "You should try to be more like your sister" is one of the most damaging sentences you could ever say. Even if one of your children has a calmer demeanor or is easier to raise, telling your child to be like the "better" sibling is another way of saying you don't like who that child is as a person. If anything, compare your child with himself. If you notice that your son is getting better at behaving, point that out or kindly remind a screaming child how impressed you were the last time he made it through the grocery store without throwing a fit.

  • 3. Being overprotective

  • Every parent worries for their children's safety, but there is a point when being protective crosses the line. When you are constantly hovering over your child and protecting them from every form of harm or danger, how will they learn to fend for themselves? The truth is, you cannot shield them forever, and growth and development come from experiencing and venturing out into the world. Always swooping in to save the day will teach your children they don't have the courage or strength to deal with difficult situations on their own. Let them figure it out themselves and you'll realize how capable your children actually are.

  • 4. Belittling their mistakes

  • Nobody is perfect, especially a growing child. Children make mistakes, sometimes ones that take a long time to rebound from. When moments like these happen, don't be a constant reminder of those bad decisions by belittling your children for the choices they made. Doing so will cause their self-esteem to plummet into nothingness. Instead, work with them to solve the problem, and give them the encouragement they need to right their wrongs.

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  • 5. Holding unrealistic expectations

  • Constantly telling your children to get perfect grades in school or telling them about the one mistake they made during their otherwise great soccer game is a way to say their best is never good enough in your eyes. No person is perfect. It takes time to master a skill. You may think some of your comments count as constructive criticism, but that may not always be the case. If your children begin to feel like doing their best never reaches your standards, their confidence will dwindle. Instead, teach your kids to set goals so they can push themselves to be their best.

  • 6. Choosing degrading media

  • Media has a major impact on kids and adults alike. There are sexist, dark and profane themes in many movies and television programs (even though you may not realize it). Be aware of what your children are watching and reading and of damaging content some movies portray. The Dove Channel offers clean, uplifting movies for the whole family to enjoy, with thousands of options available to help you raise confident kids.

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Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.

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