A while ago I read this article on the site Kidspot.com.au that questioned whether kids were born confident or if their confidence (or lack of) was a result of their upbringing.
I was interested to read the article and see that the author's elder kids were more confident than her younger one. With our two girls, they are the other way around. Our younger daughter has more confidence - particularly in social situations as compared to our elder daughter.
We have often put this down to us perhaps being more over protective of our elder daughter in her early years due to us being first time parents. With our second daughter, perhaps we allowed her to do more things independently at a younger age and so her confidence grew more.
It is always good to hear stories from other parents about their experiences with their kids. It helps you put your own experiences in perspective a little.
Whatever the reason there is a difference in confidence with our two girls, we do consciously try to help them both gain confidence as they grow.
The aforementioned article on Kidspot does have 5 great tips of how to nurture a confident kid. Basically you have to let them do more and more things independently - showing that you have trust in their abilities; make sure they try things, and let them figure things out rather than stepping in to help them.
Sometimes not helping a struggling child is hard - particularly when the tears start - but the rewards when the child finally figures something out, or manages to do something they didn't believe they could - are definitely worth it. We have done this countless times with our girls in so many different situations from something as simple as opening a new bottle with a tight lid, to crossing roads, solving puzzles and distance running.
Another thing we also try to do is encourage our girls to do more of things that they are good at. For example for our elder daughter, this is swimming. She has stuck to her swimming lessons since 3 months old and is now racing in swim meets and winning medals and ribbons. We can clearly see her confidence grow as each medal or ribbon gives her proof of her ability - and so her self belief grows. (Mum or Dad telling you you're good at something doesn't seem to have quite the same effect!)
Every day we encourage independence in our girls, and as they grow this is often harder for me as a mum to step back, let them go and leave them be, than it is for them to do things by themselves.
Do you have confident kids? Or were you a confident kid yourself perhaps?
Do you believe confidence is a result of nature or nurture and how do you help your kids grow in confidence?