A great deal of your child’s self-confidence stems from self-belief, which in turn stems from the belief you have in your child – what you think of him, how much you value him, and how secure he feels in his relationships.
1 / 10 Believe in himLoad more
2 / 10 Encourage social skillsLoad more
Social skills such as taking turns, sharing and following rules don’t come naturally to most children. These are essential skills that usually have to be learned through parental guidance and experience. As well as teaching him these at home, he acquires them spontaneously through mixing with his peers.
3 / 10 Explain mannersLoad more
Children who are polite and who recognise the rights of others typically cope very well in social situations with both children and adults. Explain to your child the importance of politeness, such as saying “please” and “thank you” at the appropriate times. He’ll soon start to notice the effect of good manners himself.
Related: Teach your toddler good manners
4 / 10 Involve him in family discussionsLoad more
For example, during mealtimes or when you are all together in the evening, these are good chances for him to learn how to take part in conversations, and contribute his ideas calmly and clearly. He’ll soon be able to transfer these skills to non-family discussions.
6 / 10 Take note of body languageLoad more
The way your child stands, holds his hands, and makes eye-contact with the person he speaks to is another component of social confidence. Suggest to him that he always looks at the other speaker, he faces them square-on, smiles, and stands upright.
7 / 10 Ask his opinionLoad more
He may be young, but your child does have ideas of his own about most things. Asking him to tell you what he thinks gets him used to sharing his thoughts with others. The more he does this with you, the easier it becomes for him to chat confidently and smoothly with others.
8 / 10 Make small talkLoad more
For some kids, the most difficult part of any social encounter is the first few moments with another party, when he just can’t think of anything to say. You can increase his confidence by giving him ideas for “small talk”, such as asking the other child what her favourite toy is or what songs she likes.
9 / 10 Give him speech guidelinesLoad more
It’s not enough to tell your child how he shouldn’t speak. You also need to explain the style and type of language he should use. For example, point out that he should talk slowly and clearly, use full sentences rather than phrases, and listen to the other person’s comments, too.
10 / 10 Set a good example yourselfLoad more
He watches you closely and learns from you. So if you are socially confident and well-spoken, this provides a role model for him to copy in his own social interactions. Be prepared to answer any questions he might ask about what you said or the way you stood – that’s part of the process.