9 Secrets of Confident Kids

Many researchers say that it's more important to help kids feel competent than confident. Here are the most effective ways to help your child become happy, self-assured, and successful.

Consider Your Compliments

Of course, young kids need plenty of encouragement, whether they're learning to crawl, throw a ball, or draw a circle. But your child can get so accustomed to hearing "Good job!" that he may have a hard time realizing when his accomplishments are really worth celebrating. He'll also sense when you're exaggerating ("That's the best block tower I have ever seen!") and may start ignoring your compliments. Don't praise your child if he does something that he's supposed to do. When he brushes his teeth or throws his shirt into the hamper, for example, a simple "thank you" is sufficient. Try to offer specific feedback: Instead of saying that your child's drawing is gorgeous, you might point out his nice use of purple.

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