How These Kid Influencers Can Help Boost Your Child's Confidence

Many parents struggle to figure out how to help their children build self-esteem. Now, there's online help—run by kids, for kids.

Photo composite of Brody and Danielle Schaffer

Courtesy of Danielle Schaffer

One of the biggest worries for parents is how to help their children build self-confidence. After all, when a child feels positive about themself, they can conquer anything, from making friends to learning how to read and tie their shoes. We know that confident kids can better handle life's curveballs emotionally, too. When they feel good about their abilities, they can shrug off mistakes and try again. Research shows kids as young as preschool seek ways to build their self-esteem because it is essential to their growth and development. 

But there is only so much grown-ups can do to help kids feel empowered and confident. Sometimes, kids need to feel valued by their peers. Now, there's help in a program run by kids—for kids. Its aim? It's all about building up that precious confidence we know can help our children glide through the sticky parts of childhood.

The Kids Can Helpline

Aveeno Kids has launched an online platform called the Kids Can Helpline. It offers guidance for parents on how to help little kids build their self-confidence. The expert advice comes directly from kid influencers like Brody Hudson Schaffer, a popular 7-year-old TikTok and Instagram star known for breaking gender norms through his passion for ballet.

"We are always seeking ways to inspire parents and their children through our platforms," says Danielle Schaffer, Brody's mom. "We understand the challenges that come with a rapidly widening world for kids, but we firmly believe that allowing kids to be their authentic selves is crucial." 

How the Helpline Works

When a parent is having trouble finding ways to connect with their kids over things like doing chores, making friends, or even dealing with scary nighttime thoughts, they can turn to the Kids Can Helpline and have internet-famous kid influencers speak directly to their child through pre-recorded videos that cover challenges that most kids face at some point.

When a parent or caregiver enters the site, they can choose between a handful of videos to listen to advice from other kids. Because let's face it, sometimes kids just don't want to listen to their parents. But they may respond to their peers, and this helpline provides an easy way to do just that. The project, launched this February, includes advice on the following topics:

  • Making Friends
  • Nighttime Scary Thoughts
  • Chores at Home
  • School Homework
  • Keeping the Bedroom Clean

What Kids Get From the Helpline

Part of building confidence is feeling capable and valued as a person. The helpline keeps that mantra in mind, applying it to common daily challenges kids face. When a child feels uneasy about making new friends, they can hear from other kids who have done it and are thrilled to share their experiences.

In the Kids Can Helpline video dishing up helpful advice on making friends, kid influencers Schaffer, JaBria McCullum, Giada LaPalomento, and Cassidy Brianna smile brightly while giving some pretty solid—and sometimes funny!—advice.

"Do not scream at them; they will not like that!" says Cassidy Brianna.

"When I'm scared to make a new friend," says Giada LaPalomento, "I just take a deep breath in and a deep breath out."

JaBria McCullum shares a heartwarming story about how she met her best friend, who was scared to make friends. "Mom, are we supposed to help friends?" she asks her mom, who is off-screen. "Yes, we are always supposed to help friends. Being nice is something you always want to do," her mom answers.

The videos are upbeat and to the point, which is excellent for young kids who need answers quickly. Each video on the website highlights tips and advice from super friendly and adorable kids who clearly have confidence—something every kid needs.

Brody's own story illustrates how powerful building confidence can be for a child. As a talented ballet dancer, Brody quickly went viral on TikTok, but with instant fame came horrible comments.

"I have always encouraged my kids to be their authentic selves. When Brody started going viral with his dance videos, I encouraged his passion," mom Danielle says. "Although we received comments that boys shouldn't be doing ballet, we defied gender norms and instead focused on unconditionally supporting Brody in his passion. Nothing has brought us greater joy!"

Danielle says she hopes other kids will feel encouraged to try new things and believe in themselves after hearing Brody's advice on the Aveeno Kids helpline. After all, Danielle points out, there is power in kids listening to the advice of other kids who had the same hesitations but took on the experience despite their fears.

Other Ways To Build Confidence in Kids

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), all kids need to feel empowered—it is human nature to thrive on feeling important and loved. The AAP offers some helpful tips for parents to encourage kids to build healthy self-esteem through discipline, trust, responsibility, and more.

The AAP also points out that when a child's lived experience of how they see themself aligns with their ideal of how they would like to be, their self-esteem increases. Parents can encourage this confidence growth in various ways, including creating a safe environment, modeling positive behaviors, and treating children with respect and dignity.

If your child struggles with self-esteem, you can always talk to your family doctor for advice.

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  1. Implicit measures for preschool children confirm self-esteem’s role in maintaining a balanced identity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2016.

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