We all want our children and students to be confident. But what does confident mean, and how do we purposefully instill it in children?
Confidence is an attribute of emotional intelligence that means a person can trust in someone, or feel certain about something because it is tried and true. As one might imagine, this relies heavily on the many experiences children have and the many people that influence their growth. As confidence grows, so does self-esteem so it is important to start early.
To build confidence in children, start with simple things that are befitting of their cognitive and physical skill levels. It is important that activities either provide an opportunity to be successful, or to be persistent and improve. The motor domain (physical skill) is the perfect way to begin this process. For example, a child may not know how to climb a playground ladder, so you begin with the steps. As they progress from step to step, offer encouragement to persist until they are ready for the ladder. For infants and toddlers, it is appropriate to assist in accomplishing physical feats as long as the intention is to, at some point, let them try on their own.
It is also important to be authentic with encouragement because if we applaud every single step, the motivation becomes extrinsic, rather than intrinsic, which is key to develop self-confidence.
At Crème we foster development in each domain and provide guidance on ways to improve. In S.T.E.A.M. program, we aim to pique curiosity and problem solve while we inspire creative courage and exploration. In Creative Movement, we engage children in play that scaffolds their gross motor skills and introduces teamwork. Our Positive Discipline policies help children reflect on their emotions and be confident with their resolutions. Our goals are to work with each child so they are prepared to face adversity and approach it with confidence!
Vice President of Education