How to teach confidence

The example you provide for your kids or students makes the greatest impact on their self-confidence. However, there are activities, exercises, and practices that parents and teachers can do to help increase children’s confidence and self-esteem. Children with self-confidence believe in their competence and abilities, and confident children become confident adults who can overcome fears and clear obstacles in the way of their goals. Confidence wards off low self-esteem and can improve academic performance.

Find a variety of lesson ideas here to teach young students to recognize positive traits in themselves and others.

Teach children to distinguish between low self-esteem and high self-esteem by having them draw depictions of each and put together a self-esteem quilt.

Try these games to show kids how they can see the good in themselves and in their friends.

This activity teaches students to keep track of their achievements over time so they can develop a positive perception of their abilities.

Students can combine their talents to create a demonstration of the ways in which they’re all unique.

Help kids to maintain their individuality and have pride in themselves with these ideas.

This article lists activities parents can do at home with their kids to build self-assurance, practice problem-solving, and teach responsibility.

Parents can grow their children’s confidence in many ways, including playing with them, giving them small jobs around the house, making time to listen, and providing lots of encouragement.

Find things that parents and other guardians can do to raise children who are resilient in the face of failure and have a positive self-image.

This article presents the findings of a research study that suggests that a person’s predominant self-esteem level is set before the age of 5.

Learn about parents’ roles in instilling self-esteem by example and through how they react to their children’s emotions in this article.

Read this article to learn about helping kids to view failures as opportunities to learn.

In this article, the author explains the importance of using failure as a catalyst for building self-confidence, as well as a parent’s vital role in providing validation.

Characteristics that distinguish children with high self-esteem from children with low self-esteem are identified in this article.

This article lists practices for parents of babies that nurture self-esteem, such as increased eye contact with your baby, quickly comforting them, and incorporating more physical contact.

Learn about guiding a child to enjoy extracurricular activities they’re good at as a way of nurturing self-esteem.

Follow these four steps to give your child a healthy amount of self-assurance.

Help children to think about their own self-worth and how they can feel better about themselves with this lesson plan.

Learn more about the traits children need to have a healthy self-image in this article.

In this article, the author explains the nuances of praising children correctly and promotes parenting styles that give kids freedom to make choices and take risks.

Read about the effects that authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved parents have on children and how authoritative parenting can build children’s self-confidence.

This study found that children of parents practicing authoritative parenting had higher levels of self-esteem relative to those of parents who were authoritarian, permissive, or uninvolved.

Find out more about the difference between authoritarian parenting and authoritative parenting and the way these styles impact children’s self-confidence and behavior.

Characteristics of children raised with different parenting styles are listed in this article, in which the author also explains why authoritative parenting works best.

This article offers 15 tips parents can start using right away to gain control over conflict resolution with their kids.

Learn ways that parents and teachers can help children develop conflict-resolution skills.

Useful for teachers in the classroom, this resource shows instructors how to use conflicts among students as teachable moments.

This article walks through five steps parents can teach their children to respond to conflicts, from calming down first to following up after a solution has been found.

Learn what children need to know about conflict and mending relationships.

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

Self-confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. Self-confidence is important to your health and psychological well-being. Having a healthy level of self-confidence can help you become successful in your personal and professional life.

Benefits of Self-Confidence

Having self-confidence can bring many benefits—at home, at work, and within your relationships. Here's a look at a few of the positive effects self-confidence can have on your life.

  • Better performance: Rather than waste time and energy worrying that you aren’t good enough, you can devote your energy to your efforts. So ultimately, you’ll perform better when you feel confident.
  • Healthy relationships: Having self-confidence not only impacts how you feel about yourself, but it helps you better understand and love others. It also gives you the strength to walk away if you’re not getting what you deserve.
  • Openness to try new things: When you believe in yourself, you’re more willing to try new things. Whether you apply for a promotion or sign up for a cooking class, putting yourself out there is a lot easier when you have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
  • Resilience: Believing in yourself can enhance your resilience, or ability to bounce back from any challenges or adversities you face in life.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to boost your self-confidence. Whether you lack confidence in one specific area or you struggle to feel confident about anything, these strategies can help.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Whether you compare how you look to your friends on Facebook or you compare your salary to your friend’s income, comparisons aren’t healthy. In fact, a 2018 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found a direct link between envy and the way you feel about yourself.

Researchers found that people who compared themselves to others experienced envy. And the more envy they experienced, the worse they felt about themselves.

If you’re feeling envious of someone else’s life, remind yourself of your own strengths and successes. Consider keeping an ongoing gratitude journal to help you focus on your own life and not the lives of others.

When you notice you are drawing comparisons, remind yourself that doing so isn’t helpful. Everyone is running their own race and life isn’t a competition.

This post may contain affiliate links and this site is not connected with, affiliated with, approved by, endorsed by The Girl Scouts of the USA or the Frontier Girls. Ideas are my own and I share to help you run your troops with ease.

Feeling confident in yourself and your abilities is one of the most important aspects of a successful woman, so it’s vital that you can take the time to teach these lessons to your girls in order to lay the best foundations for their future. Thankfully, figuring out exactly how to show your girls how to be as confident as ever doesn’t have to be as tricky as you might expect, as there are several super effective ideas that you can make the most of to help them learn about self confidence in no time at all. So, if you’re interested in finding out more, then simply read on to learn how to uplift your girls today!

Who’s Opinion Truly Matters?

One of the most essential lessons that must be taught to begin building confidence and self assurance focuses around the decision of whose opinions truly matter. Taking every bit of criticism on board, despite its origin, will likely have a disastrous effect on the way that you feel about yourself, and subsequently lead to a lack of confidence and an excess of doubt.

On the other hand, choosing only to accept the comments of those who you genuinely value and care about will reduce the negativity, bitterness and jealousy that would have previously been apparent. Your family and closest friends will want to watch you grow and flourish, so any criticisms will be constructive to help you become a better person. Plus, when they say something kind and supportive that reinforces you in some way, it means far more coming from somebody that you look up to and admire.

Teach your girls that the opinions of those who don’t matter (including nasty school classmates, social media users, and even celebrities) should never be taken too seriously, as they do not have your best interests at heart.

The Adventures To Me

How to teach confidence This book was wrote by my sister – Who was a Girl Scout as a girl and a Leader for many years before starting a family of her own.

Teach your girls about integrity and values. This beautifully illustrated book empowers kids to be nice and kind human beings. ‘The Adventures To Me ’ is an endearing story of a little elephant on a journey to becoming the best version of “me”.

Equipped with nothing other than a colorful scooter, a backpack, and a map, the little elephant starts their “Adventures to Me”. Along the way, meets new friends of all different backgrounds as encounters challenges, has to make choices, and learns lessons along the way.

The road to discovering the best version of “me” is paved with lessons about confidence, truthfulness, resilience and strength, respect, kindness, responsibility, accepting differences, using what you have, dreaming big, setting goals, and looking ahead towards the future with a positive mindset.

For the little elephant, the journey of life is full of a wealth of possibilities –– ready to embark on a beautiful journey alongside our elephant friend?

Learn about the choices we all make to be good people and explore the great “Adventures To Me”!

Find People Who Lift You Up, Not Tear You Down

The people that your girls spend time with will have a dramatic impact on their confidence levels, so it’s vital that you can teach them to find the right crowd rather than befriending selfish and negative individuals. It can be hard to see a person’s true colors upon first meeting them so it’s always good to give every person a chance before you make a decision regarding the quality of their friendship, but you must take the chance to look for red flags.

If one of your girls forms a friendship that is totally one sided in favor of the other party, you will soon see their confidence dip as they take a back seat! Fortunately you can do lots of things to help you girls form better quality bonds with more positive and uplifting friends. Starting with the scouting family.

Encouraging your girls to work on their confidence and also their general mental well-being in such an environment surrounded by other girls who are similarly motivated will help to establish a strong network of self assured individuals who can build each other up.

How to teach confidence

Are you as confident as you’d like to be? Few people would answer “yes” to that question. But, according to Becky Blalock, author and former Fortune 500 executive, anyone can learn to be more confident. And it’s a skill we can teach ourselves.

Begin by forgetting the notion that confidence, leadership, and public speaking are abilities people are born with. In fact, research shows that being shy and cautious is the natural human state. “That’s how people in early times lived to pass on their genes, so it’s in our gene pool,” she says. “You had to be cautious to survive. But the things they needed to worry about then are not the things we need to worry about today.”

How do you teach yourself to be more confident? Here’s Blalock’s advice:

1. Put your thoughts in their place.

The average human has 65,000 thoughts every day, Blalock says, and 85 to 90 percent of them are negative–things to worry about or fear. “They’re warnings to yourself,” Blalock says, and left over from our cave-dwelling past. It makes sense–if we stick our hand in a flame our brain wants to make sure we don’t ever do that again. But this survival mechanism works against us because it causes us to focus on fears rather than hopes or dreams.

The point is to be aware that your brain works this way, and keep that negativity in proportion. “What you have to realize is your thoughts are just thoughts,” Blalock says. They don’t necessarily represent objective reality.

2. Begin at the end.

“There are so many people that I’ve asked, ‘What do you want to do? What do you want to be?’ and they would say, ‘I don’t know,'” Blalock says. “Knowing what you want is the key. Everything else you do should be leading you where you want to go.”

3. Start with gratitude.

Begin the day by thinking about some of the things you have to be grateful for, Blalock advises. “Most of the 7 billion people in the world won’t have the opportunities you do,” she says. “If you start out with that perspective, you’ll be in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day.”

4. Take a daily step outside your comfort zone.

There’s a funny thing about comfort zones. If we step outside them on a regular basis, they expand. If we stay within them, they shrink. Avoid getting trapped inside a shrinking comfort zone by pushing yourself to do things that are outside it.

We’ve all had experiences where we’ve done something that terrified us, and then discovered it wasn’t so bad. In Blalock’s case, she was visiting a military base and had gotten to the top of the parachute-training tower for a practice jump. “They had me all hooked up, and I said, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do this, I have a small child at home,'” she recalls. “The guy took his foot and pushed me off the tower. When I got out there I realized it wasn’t that bad.”

We won’t always have someone standing by to kick us out of our comfort zones, so we have to do it for ourselves. “Just act!” Blalock says.

5. Remember: Dogs don’t chase parked cars.

If you’re running into opposition, questions, and doubts, there’s probably a good reason–you’re going somewhere. That doesn’t mean you should ignore warning signs, but it does mean you should put those negatives in perspective. If you don’t make changes, and challenge the status quo, no one will ever object to anything you do.

6. Get ready to bounce back.

“It’s not failure that destroys our confidence, it’s not getting back up,” Blalock says. “Once we get back up, we’ve learned what doesn’t work and we can give it another try.” Blalock points out that the baseball players with the biggest home run records also have the biggest strikeout records. Taking more swings gets you where you want to go.

7. Find a mentor.

Whatever you’ve set out to do, there are likely others who’ve done it first and can offer you useful advice or at least serve as role models. Find those people and learn as much from them as you can.

8. Choose your companions wisely.

“Your outlook–negative or positive–will be the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Blalock says. “So be careful who you hang out with. Make sure you’re hanging out with people who encourage you and lift you up.”

When she quit her C-suite job to write books, she adds, some people were aghast and predicted that no one would read them while others were quite encouraging. It didn’t take her long to figure out that the encouraging friends were the ones she should gravitate toward.

9. Do your homework.

In almost any situation, preparation can help boost your confidence. Have to give a speech? Practice it several times, record yourself, and listen. Meeting people for the first time? Check them and their organizations out on the Web, and check their social media profiles as well. “If you’re prepared you will be more confident,” Blalock says. “The Internet makes it so easy.”

10. Get plenty of rest and exercise.

There’s ample evidence by now that getting enough sleep, exercise, and good nutrition profoundly affects both your mood and your effectiveness. “Just moderate exercise three times a week for 20 minutes does so much for the hippocampus and is more effective than anything else for warding off Alzheimer’s and depression,” Blalock says. “Yet it always falls of the list when we’re prioritizing. While there are many things we can delegate, exercise isn’t one of them. If there were a way to do that, I would have figured it out by now.”

11. Breathe!

“This one is so simple,” Blalock says. “If you breathe heavily, it saturates your brain with oxygen and makes you more awake and aware. It’s very important in a tense situation because it will make you realize that you control your body, and not your unconscious mind. If you’re not practicing breathing, you should be.”

12. Be willing to fake it.

No, you shouldn’t pretend to have qualifications or experience that you don’t. But if you have most of the skills you need and can likely figure out the rest, don’t hang back. One company did a study to discover why fewer of its female employees were getting promotions than men. It turned out not to be so much a matter of bias as of confidence: If a man had about half the qualifications for a posted job he’d be likely to apply for it, while a woman would be likelier to wait till she had most or all of them. Don’t hold yourself back by assuming you need to have vast experience for a job or a piece of business before you go after it.

13. Don’t forget to ask for help.

“Don’t assume people know what you want,” Blalock says. “You have to figure out what that is, and then educate them.”

Once people know what you want, and that you want their help, you may be surprised at how forthcoming they are. “People are really flattered when you ask for advice and support,” she says. “If someone says no you can always ask someone else. But in my experience, they rarely say no.”

Like this post? Sign up here for Minda’s weekly email and you’ll never miss her columns. Next time: Why–and how–to unplug every day.

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, international bestselling author and host of the The Verywell Mind Podcast.

Ann-Louise T. Lockhart, PsyD, ABPP, is a board-certified pediatric psychologist, parent coach, author, speaker, and owner of A New Day Pediatric Psychology, PLLC.

Olivia Bell Photography / Getty Images

There’s no need to try and force a quiet teen to become the life of the party. Being shy isn’t a bad thing. But sometimes shyness can stem from low-confidence and it can interfere with a teen’s ability to communicate effectively, join activities, or meet new people. If your teen’s shyness gets in the way of doing things she wants to do, these strategies can help her come out of her shell.

Why Some Teens Are Shy

Teens may be more likely to have unhealthy coping skills. So whereas an adult who feels shy may still greet someone or may force themselves to attend functions, shy teens may be more likely to avoid people or steer clear of optional social gatherings.  

Studies found that in general adults are more likely to be shy than teenagers. This may be because teens are usually surrounded by peers much of the time.  

Genetics can play a role in why some teens experience moderate or severe amounts of shyness.   Teens whose parents grew up being very shy may be more likely to experience shyness.

Life experiences can also be a factor. A teen who has had negative experiences when trying new things, speaking up, or when approaching people, may become less outgoing over time. Teens who grow up with overprotective parents may also be more likely to be shy.

Passive Communication and Behavior in Teens

Passive behavior often accompanies feelings of shyness. Passive teens don’t speak up for themselves, even when rights are being violated. That passive behavior can lead to an even bigger decrease in self-esteem, relationship problems, educational issues, and mental health problems.

For example, a shy teenager may stare at the floor when others speak to her. She may find it difficult to make eye contact because she's so shy.

If someone points out that she doesn't look at people, she isn't likely to explain why. She may worry that others are judging her harshly, which could make it even more difficult for her to speak up or make eye contact.

In addition to lack of eye contact, slumped posture is also characteristic of passive behavior. A passive teen may prefer to blend into the back of the room and may struggle to be in large crowds.

Shy teens have difficulty making decisions and making their opinion known. They may try to please everyone by saying things like “I don’t care,” when asked simple questions.

The Challenge of Shyness

Extremely shy teens can experience several types of problems. For example, a teen who doesn’t dare speak up to ask a teacher a question may fall behind in school. Instead of seeking help when she doesn’t understand an assignment, she may stare silently at her paper. Consequently she may get poor grades because she’s too shy to ask for help.

Passive teens are also likely to experience relationship issues. If a teen doesn’t tell their friends that they’ve got hurt feelings, they may grow angry and resentful toward them over time. The issue isn’t likely to be resolved if they won't say why they are upset.  

Over time, a shy teen may feel increasingly helpless. She may think she doesn't have control to improve her life and she may avoid tackling problems she encounters.

Build Your Teen’s Self-Confidence

There are several things you can do to help your teen feel more confident. Here are several strategies that will help banish your teen's self-doubt:

  • Give them opportunities to practice speaking up: It may be tempting to make calls on your teen’s behalf or order for her in a restaurant if she’s shy. But doing too much for her will make things worse. Coach her how she can do those things on her own.
  • Help them discover their talents: Encourage her to get involved in a variety of sports, clubs, organizations or other opportunities that will help her learn new skills and uncover hidden talent.
  • Provide opportunities to meet new people and get involved in new activities: Although attending events and activities can be difficult for shy teens, over time their comfort level will increase when they enjoy positive interactions.
  • Provide praise and positive reinforcement for your teen’s efforts: Normalize that it can be difficult to meet new people or try new activities when she feels shy. But the more she does it, the easier it will get.
  • Teach assertiveness skills: Help her learn how to speak up for herself so she can feel more comfortable expressing her emotions in an appropriate manner.

When to Seek Professional Help

Seek professional help if your child’s shyness causes educational or social problems. Talk to your child’s pediatrician or seek help from a mental health professional. A professional can help rule out other mental health issues and can determine whether or not therapy could be helpful in building your teen’s confidence.

How to teach confidence

We’ve all come across those special people who ooze natural confidence and strength. Whether they’re a member of your work or friend circle, these individuals carry themselves with grace, they have excellent eye contact, a firm handshake, and they speak with conviction. You may have previously envied their ability to work a room, and wondered how you could build your confidence to the same level. The truth is, it takes practice. (And no, it doesn’t come from practice walking in our favorite six-inch heels— although that can certainly help.) It comes from investing in ourselves. But don’t take our word for it. We asked mental health experts how we can all build our confidence step-by-step, and ensure we’re ready to take on the world.

What Is Confidence?

In general, confidence has to do with how well a person feels “solid” within themselves, and how much they trust in their own qualities or abilities, explains Dr. Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based psychologist . “Having confidence means that you believe in and feel emotionally secure about yourself. It means you have healthy self-esteem and a sense of self,” she continues. “Confidence involves feeling self-assured in an unassuming way, rather than being pretentious or arrogant about your characteristics or abilities.”

Why Does Confidence Matter?

Simply put, confidence positively affects every area of our life, including work, relationships, and our physical and mental health, says Kristi Coppa, founder of Wondergrade . Our confidence reminds us that not only can we make goals, we can also meet them. So no matter if we’re working toward getting a promotion at work, making healthier food choices, maintaining a self-care routine, or choosing a life partner, we can trust ourselves. What a beautiful thing.

Confidence also helps when things don’t turn out as expected. “When failure or mistakes happen, confident people are more likely to look at the situation positively, learn from their mistakes, and move forward,” Coppa continues. “This ability to adapt to setbacks allows confident people to pursue higher reaching goals and remain open to changes in the environment or situation.”

Also, while everyone experiences periods of sadness and bouts of anxiety, those who are confident are better equipped to push past these feelings. “When fears do arrive, confident people typically can calm fearful thoughts with positive self-talk and are less likely to ruminate on worries,” Coppa says. “This allows confident people to move through anxiety and difficulty, and cope with challenging emotions more positively. Confidence is associated with almost every aspect of a fulfilling and satisfying life.”

How Can I Build Confidence?

First, give yourself a break. Having a killer sense of confidence doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it blooms from practice, patience, and continuously trying to be your own greatest fan. Here’s a look at some ways you can begin to strengthen your self-esteem.

Invest in your natural skills. Do you have a knack for interior design? Perhaps you can read through contracts without breaking a sweat (or Googling for an answer!) Maybe you’re an amazing chef, a talented writer, or an artist in the making. To build confidence, start by honing in on your innate skills and work to improve them, Dr. Thomas suggests. This could mean taking a class, investing in a coach or mentor, opening up a side hustle, or other activities that challenge your skillset.

Accept your emotions. Remember, having confidence doesn’t mean you won’t experience fear or anxiety. Rather, it means that when fear and anxieties arise, you don’t let them discourage you from completing the task, explains Janette Marsac , a licensed master social worker. “Acknowledge all emotions that come up. You don’t have to entertain them for long or give them much attention, but it is important to recognize their existence,” she continues. “Confidence means you can handle any emotional outcome.”

An effective way to work through your feelings is to get curious about them. As you experience self-doubt, monitor how your body feels and the types of thoughts that are running through your mind, suggests Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, a psychologist and Hope for Depression Research Foundation advisor. “When we don’t feel confident, these emotions and thoughts will arise, and can sometimes make us feel worse about ourselves. We may also feel paralyzed by fear of failing and feel stuck,” he explains. “Curiosity can help us slow down and teach us that sometimes a thought is just a thought and an emotion is just an emotion that can rise and fall in intensity.”

Track what’s going well. As humans, we tend to zero in on our shortcomings rather than celebrating our achievements. Also, we are often too critical of what’s considered a ‘win.’ While most of us would say getting a raise is a biggie, we might also be tempted to say that making it through a week without hitting snooze is insignificant. But it’s not! That’s why it’s important to track all of your accomplishments, no matter how large or small, so you have data points that boost your self-esteem, according to Joanna Lovering, an executive presence coach and the founder of Copper + Rise . You can call this a ‘ What’s Working & Wins ,’ record, an ‘ Accomplishment Journal ,’ or whatever you’d like.

“Take ten minutes out of your Friday to log anything that went well that week,” she shares. “It can be anything: ‘I triumphed over that presentation I’ve been working on for three months!’ counts just as much as ‘I had a lovely lunch with my CEO.’ Anything that confirms your worth and significance.”

Stop couching your statements. In her practice, Lovering says women tend to soften their statements so they’ll come across as more likable and easy-going. Phrases like “Just wondering if…” “…but I’m new at this, ” or “Y ou know what I mean? ” are prime examples.

“When we do this, we’re taking power away from ourselves and handing it over to the other person on a silver platter, as though we need the other person to validate us,” she continues. “Noticing when we say this type of disqualifying language and eliminating it will help you come off in a better light to everyone in the room.”

Rephrase your self-talk. All day, every day, we have an inner dialogue running. While this is a natural, normal human practice that we should embrace, we also have to take an in-depth look at how we’re speaking to ourselves. We will never (ever) build confidence if we’re constantly talking down to ourselves. If you notice yourself using scolding or overly critical words with yourself, try to switch up your repertoire to encouraging and life-affirming phrases, Coppa suggests.

“If we want to grow in confidence, we must train our brains to look for positive qualities in ourselves and our situation and turn that into positive self-talk,” she says. “Write down commonly used positive self-talk and post them around your house and workspace. Set aside time each day to recite and practice saying these positive phrases until they naturally become part of your self-talk.”

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The teenage years are fun, difficult, and a bit scary for our sons, but here are a few things we can do to set them up with the confidence they need to find success throughout their life.

How to teach confidence

7 Ways to Build Confidence in Your Teenage Son

Give Him Responsibility

Your son’s confidence will grow as he sees that you trust him to take on responsibilities in your home. He may grumble and complain a bit, but having responsibilities will help him to see that he is capable of doing things and that you have enough confidence in him to handover tasks that you may have always done. Providing daily and weekly responsibilities will help prepare him for the future when he moves out and is on his own.

Listen to Him

Let your son know that what he has to say is valued and important. Give him a voice and really listen to him. Have family councils where you discuss family needs, goals and decisions and really listen to the ideas he brings to the discussion

Let Him Make Decisions

It would be nice if we could wrap them in a bubble and keep them safe in our home forever, but our sons need to be given the chance to think for themselves and even to make mistakes in order to realize that the things they do have consequences for themselves and others. Your son’s confidence will grow as he learns to make good decisions in his life.

Find Positive Role Models

As your son grows, help him to find positive role models to look up to. If our sons are not inspired by the right types of people, they will be inspired by the wrong types of people. The people around them will have a lasting influence on their self-esteem and confidence.

Help Him Develop His Talents

Help your son develop his talents and interests. If you see that he is taking an interest in or that he is naturally good at something, let him know that and encourage him to learn as much as he can. Also give him opportunities to share those talents with others.

How to teach confidence

Give Him Chances to Try New Things and Even Fail

Failure is a huge part of success. If our sons never learn to try new things and even to fail, they will never know the feeling that comes with success. As parents, it is really difficult to watch the hurt that comes with failure, but their confidence will grow as they push past the defeat and succeed down the road.

Teach Good Hygiene

As a former high school teacher, I can tell you that not all teenage boys are taught proper hygiene, and that can cause some pretty smelly situations.

How to teach confidence
I’ve experienced being in a room with the two extremes – really bad body odor or so much body spray that a cloud of fragrance follows teen boys around. The way a teenage boy smells, will definitely affect how he feels around other people.

With gym class typically being held right in the middle of the school day, make sure you teach your son to keep deodorant in his gym locker and to apply it each day during class.

How to teach confidence

Body spray i s an affordable alternative to cologne that is great for teaching boys how to smell fresh all day long, without overdoing it. And, it is easy to apply. Teach them to hold the can about 6 inches away and do one quick spray across their chest in a quick “7” motion. That’s it! No more cloud of spray following them around!

Teen boys will have more confidence as they smell good and look great!

How to teach confidence

Helping my teenage son grow into a confident adult is very important to me. The teen years are hard and our teenage sons need guidance, even though they would most likely never admit it.

I hope these 7 ways to build your teenage son’s confidence have been helpful. What can you add to the list?

It can seem hard to know where to start with these mysterious invisible concepts, but Beth Budden is here to help.

How to teach confidence

How to teach confidence

Download your free digital copy!

Forces are, by nature, hard to understand; often only their effects can be seen, while the force itself remains hidden. In addition, forces are with us all day, every day yet we hardly ever notice their presence, which can make it even harder to extricate them from our everyday experiences.

All of this means that teaching forces can feel like a walk into wonderland as we try to elucidate things that are on the one hand invisible and seemingly incomprehensible, yet at the same time obvious and everywhere.

With all this mystery and intrigue, it can seem hard to know where to start. However, clearing up some basic misconceptions and clarifying a few straightforward concepts can help you to teach forces with more confidence.

What are forces?

It’s always a good idea to plan your explanations of difficult concepts beforehand, just like you plan other parts of the lesson. This will ensure you teach difficult concepts accurately without getting into a knot on the spot.

Firstly, it’s important to establish what forces are. Establish this from the start:

A force is a process that causes a change in an object’s shape, speed or direction

This means that we usually see the effect of a force, rather than the force itself. A nice thing to do is give children a pair of cardboard glasses each and call them ‘forces goggles.’ With these on, we can think differently and try to see (or visualise) the invisible!

There are a number of key concepts that are important for teachers of forces to understand and, in turn, make clear to children. Firstly, establish this:

A force is acting on an object when it changes its shape, speed or direction

The second concept to make clear is this:

There are two types of forces: contact forces, like pushes and pulls, and forces acting at a distance, like gravity

Importantly, more than one force can act on an object, so it can be quite difficult to unravel which force is at work. However, the one fact we can be sure of is this:

When an object is still, the forces acting on that object are balanced and equal

Practical activities

Before thinking about which forces are acting, the first step is to isolate the object. For example, when thinking about a cup on a table, we need to think about the cup itself, rather than ‘the cup on a table’.

This is a difficult concept to convey, but will help to separate objects from others they are in contact with, so the specific forces in action become clear.

Give children paper arrows and ask them to stick them onto an object to show the direction of forces acting on it. Importantly, ensure they stick these arrows to the actual object, rather than floating above.

Alternatively, if you’re using drawings, encourage children to draw arrows in contact with the objects. The important thing is to avoid the arrows floating beside the object, because forces act on, not beside, objects.

This is a small but important point that will help to avoid misconceptions.

When teaching about a force like gravity, establish the rule that a force is acting on an object when it changes shape, speed or direction and that they are balanced when objects are still.

Next, establish that gravity is a force that acts at a distance. Explain that gravity is a force by which all objects with mass are attracted to each other, creating a pull.

However, objects with a larger mass have a stronger pull on objects with a smaller mass and this is why objects on earth fall towards the ground – the massive object that we live on.

How to teach confidence

As you introduce pupils to different types of forces, like friction or air resistance, try giving them more complex situations. Set up scenarios like the below around your classroom and give children lots of stick-on arrows. Ask them to identify and explain the forces acting on objects.

How to teach confidence

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Common errors to avoid

How to teach confidence

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A common mistake in the above ball-kicking scenario is to say a push is acting on the ball. The kick was a push acting on the ball (it changed the ball’s shape, speed or direction).

Once the touch ceased, so did the force acting on the ball. The ball stays on the ground because of the pull of the earth’s gravity, but it doesn’t fall through the floor because of the push up from the floor.

The ball eventually slows down because friction and air resistance act on the ball (changing the ball’s shape, speed or direction).

If there was no friction or air resistance the ball would carry on and on, not because a push is acting on the ball, but because no other force is causing a change to shape, speed or direction.

This is the same if you throw a ball up in the air. Once it’s in mid-air there is no longer a push up. The ball will keep going up until gravity and air resistance change its shape, speed or direction, then the ball begins to fall back down.