The new experiences that elementary school brings can be frightening for young children and parents alike. The new environment, different friends, and various teachers can be a lot to handle throughout the years.
When you add teasing, bullying, and anxiety, it can quickly become an unpleasant experience for the children and the parents who have to witness their child’s distress.
However, as parents, we can aid our children in having the best memories and experiences while navigating elementary school. We can do this by helping them to boost their confidence levels.
Here in this article, we provide a parent guide to building confidence for elementary-age kids. Check out our suggestions below.
Guide Them Through Situations
When entering a new classroom or dealing with teasing on the playground, it is helpful to talk your child through the experience and let them conceptualize what to expect. Some parents turn to social stories to plant the topic into their child’s head.
After that, role-playing the dialogue and interaction can help your child obtain the strength to push back or seek help when the need is present.
Depending on how high your child’s anxiety level is, you may need to repeat this routine several times until they are comfortable. Once they have practiced it to where they feel firm in their action plan, they will walk into school with their head held high, and their confidence level increased.
Allow Them Space
One way to help your child boost their confidence level is to stand back and allow them to figure things out on their own. For example, in situations where they are struggling to get their favorite toy out of the toy box or when they can’t quite reach the snack in the pantry, it can be highly beneficial to give them additional time to figure it out on their own – even if they ask for help.
When you give them space, and they come out successful, they feel pride in themselves for pushing through a challenge and coming out victorious. These small moments will show up down the line in other life experiences.
The confidence that has been instilled in them will allow them to navigate different challenging situations that they come up against in the future.
When you give your children the tools to take care of tasks independently, they feel more in control of their lives and actions. During their younger years, children are often reliant on their parents and caretakers for survival. However, when they can care for themselves in certain areas of life, they do so with inflated self-esteem and sense of autonomy.
Independence teaches children that they don’t have to rely on others to accomplish things and initiate the steps to do it themselves. This behavior can insert itself in situations like bullying and teasing.
Your child will feel an inner strength to assert control of the event and take the necessary steps to rectify the problem. Not only will they find the power to defend themselves, but their confidence level will be higher for pushing out of their comfort zone and accomplishing something important.
Elementary school and the years that it consists of can bring scary new situations. Between the new environment, new friends, and a new teacher every year, it can be difficult for a young child. It can quickly become an unpleasant experience if a child isn’t prepared.
Parents can play a huge role in how we prepare our children for these events and situations. Not only can specific components be incorporated early on, but we can continue to address new circumstances that arise as time goes on.
There are various learnings to incorporate, with only a few highlighted in this parent guide to building confidence for elementary-age kids. However, all of them culminate in a higher level of confidence for our children.
As parents and caretakers, it can be challenging to see our children struggle through some of the learning opportunities we and life provide. Still, the look of satisfaction and pride that we see on their faces in the end, as well as the tremendous confidence strides that show up even years later, makes it all worth it.