Hi Parents! As much as we love to watch sparkling costumes, talented performers, and kids that seem on the top of their game; boosting your child's confidence has absolutely nothing to do about what they're wearing, how they look, how talented they are, or even how famous they are. It's about their pride, their self worth, and their ability to say "I can do it myself!" Most people see the performance as the final product as confidence, but that is not true. It's the daily activities and the encouragement from others that is helping create a child whose ready to take on anything. I’m going to give you parents some tips on how to boost your child’s confidence from the inside out.
Find their Spark. Find that activity that not only peaks their interest, but one they can dive into and identify with. Of course, I’m partial to Dance. Dance is a wonderful activity, and it is one where kids can become a part of a community. Not only can they learn new steps, but over time they can become good at it and proud of themselves. Instead of saying I dance, they say with pride, “I am a Dancer.” Whatever the activity is, you want them to find passion and pride for it, “I am a Musician.” “I am a Gymnast.” “I am an Athlete.”
Friends are important. Create space and time for your child to play with friends. School just isn’t enough. They need open ended time to socialize. They want to and need to spend time with their peers. Their friends will laugh at their jokes, spend time with them doing mutual interests, cheer them up when they’re feeling sad, and may encourage them to try new things.
Encourage Reading. You can learn almost anything if you can read. No matter what they may be struggling with, reading will give them the tool to be confident that they can learn anything. When they are young read to them; when they are learning read with them; when they are older make sure they have interesting books on hand.
Listen to them. Listening to their thoughts, ideas, and feelings is important. Being a child you often feel unheard. When you believe that what they are saying is important, they will learn to believe in themselves too. Get to their eye level and just listen.
Volunteer as a family. Doing good for others makes every human feel valuable. This is true even for children. Make sure they are doing something age appropriate and that they understand the why. They start to find the value in every person and they will find the value in themselves.
Help them with Goal setting and achieving. While you’re listening to them, ask them some goals. If they are achievable goals, talk about how they’re going to take steps to achieve them. Often goals can be long term and kids may need reminders to stay on track. Once they reach those goals, it’s amazing how much it boosts their confidence! I love to use the dance recital as a goal. They work really hard memorizing a routine with their friends and then they work up the courage to perform it.
Encourage Independence. As much as I would love to do everything for my children, if I did that they would never learn a sense of accomplishment and belief that they can do anything they set their mind to. As they grow at each age ask yourself, could they do this by themselves? From tying their shoes, ordering their own meals at restaurants, cleaning up the table after dinner, and even helping cook dinner. Imagine how confident they will be knowing, “I can do that myself.”
Encourage Creativity. Each person can be creative in their own way. Whether it’s problem solving, painting, dancing, lego building, or singing; give them the time and space to be creative. Where they can say, “I made that myself.”
Smile and have FUN! It’s scientifically proven that laughter and smiling (even if you’re just pretending) can have a positive influence on your dopamine and serotonin. Children will mimic that behavior. So if you’re smiling, they will smile. You will both receive the benefits and feel happier. Also making every day fun for them will teach them to embrace life’s ups and downs and know that outside forces does not dictate their smile and joy for life.
Every parent and teacher has the power to use these techniques to help boost your child's confidence. We at Dance-N-Magic incorporate all of these things right into our studio. I love seeing kids learn and grow using these techniques. Here’s how:
- They find their spark as a Dancer.
- They make lifelong dance friends that share a healthy activity together.
- We have a reading area students utilize before and after class. In addition, we give each older student a journal for writing.
- We listen to our students. We get at their eye level and we ask them about their day, their favorite things, and listen to any ideas they have. We care what they have to say.
- We have a caring club where we organize group volunteer activities for your family to do together.
- We help them with each goal they have, a skill, memorizing a piece of choreography, or even getting the courage to perform and share your dance with others.
- Our students are proud at each level to be independent learners.
- We encourage the students to learn to freestyle, to create their own choreography, and to bring their talents to other aspects of life like art and creative problem solving.
- Most importantly, we do all of this in a fun atmosphere with smiling happy staff. Dance is about the fun.
- We are learning Dance to build Confidence, Skills, have Fun, and create MAGIC!