As an adult, there aren’t a lot of things that are scary. You might also think that children have it easy. After all, childhood is one of the best times of your child’s life. Quite often it is not the case at all. Children really can get nervous from time to time, and sometimes this can even turn into anxiety. If they change classes frequently, or if they struggle with keeping on pace with their classwork, then this can really have a huge effect on their lives. The sooner we as parents recognize the fears and anxiety that our kids face, the sooner we are able to give them the support that they need. It does not have to be difficult to improve your child’s confidence at school. Paying attention and listening to what your child needs can make all the difference.
Routine activities at school can be stressful for your child. For example, if they have a pop quiz at the end of every week, then this can make it difficult for them to relax at night. If they are like my son, and have test anxiety, they will be under a lot of pressure and may not sleep well. Helping your child to boost their confidence and their self-esteem is crucial here. You may even be able to show them some coping skills that they can take with them throughout life.
You may want to try some relaxation techniques with your child. There are quite a few relaxation CDs and DVDs that will teach your child how to relax. It may be that you need to speak to your child’s school as well. Your child may have less anxiety if they are able to take their tests and quizzes in a quite room away from the other children. It may also be that your child has some underlying learning disabilities that are causing the test anxiety. In this case, you will want to speak with your child’s’ pediatrician. The more you can do to help your child with their anxiety, the more confidence they will have and the better they will do in school.
Find Out What They Struggle With
It helps to know what your child likes and what they don’t like. Some topics really will be obvious, and it is a good sign that your child will do really well in those classes. If you know that your child hates certain subjects then this is where you will have to lend them some additional support. If you notice that your child is avoiding certain subjects, you will want to pay close attention. Your child may even try to fake illnesses just to avoid those classes that they do not like. If your child is reluctant to go to school then this may be because their academic needs are not being met. They may not be getting the resources they need to be on the same level as the other children who are in the class.
If this is the case, you may want to ask your school to do an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) evaluation. Schools have larger class sized than ever before, making it increasingly more difficult for teachers to help struggling students. If your child requires extra help, an IEP can help them get the services they need for success. Once your child qualifies for an IEP, a plan will be developed and services provides. Getting the necessary resources can have a tremendous affect on your child’s confidence in school.
Comment on Specifics
Every parent likes to shower their child with praise, but sometimes it helps to be more specific. Children really do expect their parents to tell them that they look great, that they are clever and more. A great way for you to try and help your child to be more confident is to comment on the specifics. Don’t concentrate on what they did, as much as the effort that was put into what they did. For example, rather than saying “Good Job” try and say “You stuck with it and now you know your addition facts.” Being vague won’t help here, and the more support you can give your child, the better. Praise the behavior not to outcome. This will help your child identify with what they did, rather than what they achieved.
When you do comment on the specifics then this will help your child to recognize their own talents. This helps them to identify their strengths which builds confidence. As they begin to see even the smallest successes, they will be motivated to continue. The more successes they have, the more they will build up their own confidence as well. If you see that your child is getting stressed because they can’t get a certain piece of homework done well, you can still praise the effort.
Sometimes as parents we feel as if we can’t give our children any praise until they have completed something. This is not the case at all! Quite the opposite is true. There are many things we can praise our kids for along the way to success. It is more than possible for you to tell them that you admire them for trying so hard. You can be their best cheerleader and tell them that they have the ability to carry on even when life gets hard. Knowing you are still proud of them when they fail will help their confidence greatly.
Listen to Them
Children like it when you are able to pay attention to them. Children are brilliant at knowing when you really are listening and when you are just hearing them talk. Ask them questions where they can see you are interested. Make sure that you are aware that they are listening as well. Try and let them know that you are there to support them, and that you are always going to be there for them.
When you listen, try not to judge or bring your own emotions into the conversation. If they get the hint that you are judging them, they will stop talking. When they open up to you, they are not looking for a lecture. Lectures have their place, but not when your child is opening up to you about their thoughts and feelings. Take what they are saying, and then be as supportive as you can be. Thank them for coming to you, and offer sound advice. If they want you to get involved, this is the time you can take action. Otherwise simply offer them tools and direction to solve their own problems. When your child begins to see that they can find solutions to their own problems, this builds confidence.
Help outside School
If you want to give your child the support that they need then one thing that you can do is try and help them with any extra-curricular activities. It’s a good idea to give them the encouragement they need to try new things without trying to pressure them. This can really help you to build their confidence and it can also help them to really excel. If your child is showing no interest then back off and give them the time they need to find a hobby on their own.
If they don’t seem to be doing this then try and work with their friends. For instance, if you know that they have friends who go horse-riding then ask them about it. Try and get your child interested in that way too. This will really help them to gain the confidence they need. It will also help them to meet new people as well. If you are open with them at every stage of the process or if you are able to work with them to make sure that they are happy with how things are going then you really shouldn’t have problems at all.
Another thing that you can do is try and work with them to give them the clothing that they need to feel comfortable. For example, if they wear older clothes and they want to try something new or even something more fashionable then you should try and do this for them, even if it means that your wallet is going to take a hit. After all, you can’t put a price on your child’s confidence. If you want to buy your child some brand new clothes that you know are trendy then click here to find out more.
So there are plenty of things that you can do to try and improve your child’s confidence at school, and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to really give them the help that they need. All you have to do is take the time to listen to them, and the rest will fall into place as they start their new path to confidence.