Many children struggle with feeling confident. They may feel concerned about their grades, fearful of making friends, or unsure of their looks. However, high confidence levels are needed for success not only now but also in later years. Your special needs child needs your help in overcoming his fears and reaching forward to a positive future. Here are a few quick ideas for how you can help your child grow in confidence even if he is currently finding school or extracurricular activities difficult.
- Encourage all efforts on your child’s part. Even if your child is not successful, recognize the effort that he has put into his work.
- Help your child learn to think for himself. Let him work through problems now so that he will have the critical thinking skills he needs in adulthood.
- Encourage your child’s creativity. Instead of making everything about schoolwork and grades, give your child plenty of chances to read, explore, and create new things. Do not make him grow up too fast.
- Help your child learn from mistakes rather than castigating him. Although there may occasionally be consequences for certain mistakes, your child can learn that these things are often a part of life.
- Never criticize what your child does. While it is all right to teach him and to help him learn from mistakes, an overly critical demeanor will make your child fearful of trying something new.
- Do not tell your child about your worries. Your child can easily pick up on your emotions, and if you give him something to worry about, he will most likely do that. Instead, act confident in front of him even if you are not feeling that way.
- Give your child unconditional love. If your child feels love at home, he will be more confident when facing the world.
Confidence is vital for a positive school experience. If your child feels low self-esteem when it comes to sports, music, or academics, there is a high likelihood that his grades and his demeanor will reflect this. When it comes to special education, the teachers in your child’s school should be on your side in wanting to increase your child’s self-esteem. Take some time to request a parent/teacher meeting in the upcoming weeks, and bring any concerns that you have to teachers or the administration at your child’s school.