Why is self-confidence important?
Self-confidence is a person’s belief that he or she has the ability to succeed. It is essential for all aspects of children’s healthy development and school success. Confidence can be a self-fulfilling message, as those without it may fail or not even try because they lack it, and those with it may succeed because they have it and keep trying.
Children who are confident are highly motivated to success, are eager to learn new knowledge and skills and take new challenges. Self-confidence is also crucial for getting along with others and working out many social challenges. Children with social confidence enjoy interacting with others by sharing, competing, and making a lot of friends, which is a key to team work and to succeed in the global society.
How does self-confidence develop?
Self-confidence is not an inborn ability. Babies learn who they are primarily through their interactions and experiences with others. A child’s sense of confidence is mostly shaped and nurtured by those who care for him or her. Let’s use some examples to see how confidence grows across the first several years of life.
- A newborn cries and is comforted by his parent. He is learning about love, and feeling he is important to his parents.
- An 8-month-old baby shakes a rattle and smiles at the sound it makes. His parent says, “You make it works! Good job!” He is learning he can do it, and feeling happy by parent’s praise.
- A toddler picks up a pen and drawing on the wall, his parent says “no!” and gives him a piece of paper, he starts drawing. He is learning that his interests are important and will be supported by those who love him.
- A 3-year-old counts “1, 2, 3”, his parent says “great!” and teaches him “4, 5”. He enjoys leaning and mastering new things.
- A 5-year-old figures out one plus one, his parent tells him, this is math, he feels he love math want to know more.
- A 7-year-old brings home his report card with a lot of “As”, he smiles and his parents smile.