6 Self Esteem Activities to Help Your Child Develop Confidence

Sarah Mead

Sarah Mead

Think about the times in your life when your confidence was put to the test. Perhaps you were interviewing for a new job, asking someone to dinner, or traversing a foreign country. These are all instances that demand a strong belief in your own abilities and strengths.

At Whitby, our focus is on empowering our students and giving them the confidence they need to succeed in a global community. Yet we can’t do it alone. Research has shown that parent involvement is key to helping students develop the skills they need to succeed.

Lessons in confidence-building should not end at the classroom walls.

As a parent, you have the opportunity to develop your child’s self esteem by encouraging them to take on challenges and learn from their mistakes. Your role is to offer guidance, not interference. That means, if your child is struggling with a problem, you shouldn’t give away a solution. Instead, ask thought-provoking questions or encourage different approaches.

Ready to get started challenging your child? Try one of these confidence building activities that you can do at home.

6 Self Esteem Activities to Try at Home

1. Packing for a Trip

Focus Skill: Independence

Instill confidence in your child by encouraging them to practice independence. Before you go on your next family trip, ask your child to pack their own suitcase. Once they’re packed, check the suitcase and prompt them to think about items they missed. Instead of saying, “You forgot your hiking shoes,” say, “Do you have everything you need for hiking the trail?”

2. Invent a Recipe

Focus Skill: Learning from Mistakes

Help your child see mistakes as learning opportunities, not failures. Gently encourage mistake-making by asking your child to invent their own pancake recipe. Have them write down an ingredient list and quantities of each item. Supervise the process so nothing dangerous is ingested, but do not interfere. Even if your child adds something unusual to the recipe (like goat cheese or garbanzo beans!), let them experiment. After cooking a test batch of pancakes, ask, “What could you have done differently?” Then, allow your child to modify the recipe and try again.

Easy Slime Recipe

3. Make Slime!

Focus Skill: Teaching Others

Children can build self-assuredness and develop confidence by demonstrating newly-learned skills when interacting with others. Give your child a chance to impress their friends and have fun by teaching them to build “slime” (a gooey substance that can be stretched or molded). Start by giving your child a recipe for “slime” and have them follow directions without your help. Once your child has concocted their slime, ask them to explain the process to you. Then, invite friends over! Have your child demonstrate the slime-making process before everyone tries it for themselves.

4. Chore with a Purpose

Focus Skill: Care of Environment

Taking on a consistent chore can be a huge responsibility. In order to promote your child’s confidence in their ability to care for their environment, have them pick out a special chore. They could be in charge of watering the plants, walking the dog, or sweeping the floor. Compliment them for good, consistent behavior with specific praises such as, “The plants look nice and healthy because you’ve been watering them regularly” or “Thank you for walking the dog every day. I know he enjoys it!”

5. Float Your Boat

Focus Skill: Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is one of the best self esteem activities. Give your child an open-ended challenge and let them brainstorm ways to create solutions. One great exercise is to give your kid several items from the recycling bin—milk jugs, cans, cardboard, glass jars—and challenge them to build a boat. Provide tape, glue, string…and nothing else! Let them experiment with different ways to put together their boat. Then test their creation in a lake or pond. This is also an excellent group activity.

6. Serve a Snack

Focus Skill: Multi-Step Planning

Develop your child’s confidence in their cognitive skills by giving them a multi-step challenge. Ask them to plan, prepare and serve a snack (or a lunch, for older children). This task forces your little one to think about many different things at once: what to serve, how to prepare the food, how to set the table, etc. This activity encourages multi-step planning and gives them the confidence that they can solve an open-ended challenge.

Step Forward with Confidence

When your child believes in their ability to overcome mistakes and accomplish tasks all on their own, they will feel empowered to take on challenges in school and in life. While there is no magic key to unlock every child’s inner-confidence, these activities will give you a good starting point. The key to helping your child trust in their abilities is look for opportunities to challenge them and then to let them seek solutions on their own.

If you’d like to learn more ways to empower your children, sign up for one of our upcoming Parents as Partners parenting workshops. These parenting classes are open to the public and are led by Whitby’s veteran Montessori and International Baccalaureate trained educators.

Join Whitby School for Parents as Partners workshops
Sarah Mead

Sarah Mead

Sarah Mead is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Whitby School. Sarah's mind is a stirring pot of thoughts and ideas on content marketing, blogging, photography, videography, storytelling, social media, and website optimization. Working at Whitby has inspired her to reeducate the world about education, and to spread the passion, wisdom and expertise of the school’s talented faculty and staff.