Some kids seem like they come out of the womb sporting a baseball mitt while others couldn’t even be bothered to throw a ball. Every child is a unique individual, and as parents, we’re all about supporting their strengths.
But when you learned self-confidence on the basketball court, how do you pass those lessons on without sports? And what can you expect for their future?
There’s even an outdated belief that your kids will be more vulnerable to drug addiction if they don’t participate in sports. So if you’re seeing addictive personality signs, it’s natural to be a little worried.
And there are also plenty of ways to teach your kids to be self-confident without sports. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most effective methods.
Let your kids solve their own problems
When you step in and solve every problem for your child, you aren’t empowering them to take risks and take care of themselves with confidence. This can leave them feeling ultra-dependent on you, which means they’ll feel insecure when you’re not around.
Resist the urge to jump in and fix everything right away. Instead, let your kids know that you’re there if they need help, but you want them to work things out themselves. This can go for anything from tying shoes to working out problems on the playground. When they see all that they can do for themselves, they will be proud and move forward with increased confidence.
As parents, we can sometimes take an overbearing approach without even realizing it. For example, how do you handle it when your kid wants to conduct a messy experiment? You already know it’s not going to work as your child has planned. Do you let them do it anyway?
When we step back and let our children try, fail and learn, they will build confidence and hands-on experience that they won’t get from us telling them “no.”
Instead, encourage them to experiment with all things. You may even find a few fun experiments for them to try. Each time they try something new, they’re gaining knowledge, experience and confidence.
How you handle your child’s mistakes will have a major impact on their confidence. If they’re afraid to fail around you, they’ll become people who fear failure. In order to be confident, your child must feel comfortable trying. So be careful about how you respond to their mistakes. It’s okay to give constructive criticisms, but always keep the tone positive.
Instead of saying something like, “that’s not quite right,” try something like, “that’s awesome, and I bet with some practice, you can make it look just like this.”
Mistakes mean your child is trying, and that’s always going to be a good thing.
Try new things together
If you want your child to be confident, it’s important to lead by example. Let your child see you trying new things and having new experiences. This is especially important for those times when we find ourselves in a rut. It’s those times when we find ourselves spending too much time on the couch and not enough time enjoying life… those times are bad for us all.
In those moments, look for things you can try together as a family. Visit a new place or try a Groupon for something new. Try painting or paintballing. Do something to get everyone out of their comfort zone. Not only will this make it easier for your kids to try new things, but they will become more experienced along the way. So that thing that they’ve never done before will become part of their repertoire.
Curb your worry
It’s only natural for us to worry about our children, but too much worry from parents can transfer to the child. So do your best to curb your worrying expressions and words. Try to avoid the words “be careful.” And instead, think of more encouraging things you can say. If you’re really worried about something, find a way to point out the potential danger without assuming your child will fall into it.
And if you’re suffering from anxiety, do what you can to find treatment because your worries may be causing anxiety in your child.
Kids can definitely learn self-confidence from playing sports in school, but that’s not the only way. You can teach your child to be self-confident during everyday circumstances — whether they play sports or not.