4 Manners to Help Build Self-Confidence

Teach these manners to help kids feel good and build confidence.
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We want so much for our kids! We want them to be healthy, happy, smart, athletic, to have friends, to be accepted, and also to have the self-confidence to make the right decisions and be independent when they leave our nest.

As a mother of two teenagers, I have realized how important it is for my kids to have a good sense of self so that they make good decisions when I am not around to "help" them, so they can stand up for themselves, and feel comfortable and happy with who they are, and, what they are not.

There are many ways that a child develops his/her self-confidence, and one of those ways is to teach them specific manners so that they know what to do in social situations. When they do, they get positive reinforcement from peers and adults, and they realize that they can do things on their own and they feel good about that. Start teaching your children to do these simple things and you'll soon see how it makes a positive impact on them and their behavior.

1. Speak for them self.

When someone (adult or child) asks your child a question like, "What grade are you in?", let your child answer for him/her self. It's amazing how many parents speak for their kids, but this makes your child more shy and doesn't help them in any way.  Even from a very young age (when they are old enough to talk), encourage your kids to speak up for them self. Another example of when they should do this is when are they are ordering food in a restaurant. Have them tell the waiter what they want, and this will make them feel more independent and capable.

2. Make eye contact.

When your kids are talking to other people it is very important for them to look others in the eyes. It will help them to overcome any shyness and they will get positive feedback from others (both verbally and non-verbally) that others like them because they are looking them in the eyes showing they care. It's a two way street and your kids will see how well people react to them and this will in turn boost their self-esteem.

3. Make conversation.

It's important for your kids to know how to make conversation with both kids and adults, because it will help them to make friends and make a good impression on others. If they can make a good impression on others and people respond well to them, it will make them feel good about them self. Have your kids at dinner carry the conversation throughout the meal. Teach them how to ask questions of other people, listen to their answers, and then ask follow-up questions. Teach them that a good conversation is like a game of catch. When you have the "ball" you ask a question and "throw" it back to the other person. The other person has to answer the question and then ask another question and "throw" it back. This "game" should go on and on and on….

4. Help others.

Give your kids opportunities to help the family or others and then praise them for their good work. Kids can do things like take out a neighbor's trash, feed your animals, make part of a meal, raise money for a charity, etc., and once they have accomplished their task tell them they did a good job. Kids will feel good about them self and their accomplishments which will boost their confidence.

According to the American Journal of Public Health’s 20-year study, “kindergarteners with strong social and emotional skills were more likely that their peers to succeed academically and professionally. Kids with weaker social skills were more likely to develop substance abuse problems, be unemployed, and get arrested.” They found that when a child has good social skills, they tend to get along better with others, feel confident and comfortable in social situations, and do better in school, and that these skills and abilities carry through school to help them to be more successful throughout their career. In fact, good social skills were found to be more of an influencing factor of success more than a child’s gender, race, or social-economic upbringing.

For more information on manners or social skills training, please go to my website, finesseworldwide.com. If you are looking for a manner's class for your child, school or group, please contact me at aimee@finesseworldwide.com.