Children Who Lack Confidence

“You have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you” (Psalm 71:5,6).

A concerned mother asked this question: “Is there anything I can do to give my 9-year-old son more confidence?”

What a smart mother! A lack of confidence can keep children from succeeding in school and in life.

I learned this truth while teaching first and second grades. When children are not confident, they don’t perform as well as they could academically. I tried very hard to help all the children in my class feel as good about themselves as possible. I praised each child for different things: good math grades, a neat desk, a happy smile.

One of the most effective ways to build confidence in anyone is to help them succeed. Parents should find something their child is good at and capitalize on it.

If your child is struggling in school right now, analyze his personality. What does he do well? Maybe he has a good singing voice, is artistic, or athletic. Maybe he is industrious or has a cheerful disposition. Whatever it is, find something he does well. Praise him for it often. Then put him in a situation where he can show these skills off and learn them better.

If your child is good at basketball but a poor reader, don’t force him to give up basketball to stay in the house and read. Make sure he has time to do both. The confidence he’ll get from being good at something will help him try harder academically. You’ll win both ways!

Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.

From “Moments for Moms,” a free email subscription.
Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.


Maxim of the Moment

I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. - George Burns