We, parents, know that raising socially confident children is challenging but necessary. We all love our children no matter how they look, what grades they get, or how they behave. But parents often overlook their children’s social abilities.
Their social confidence is crucial for their emotional development. Children that develop high social confidence are comfortable with communicating with others. Social confidence is the source of children’s self-esteem. It is the engine that pushes them forward.
On the other hand, children with low social confidence are shy, introverted, left out, and have low self-esteem. So, in this article, we’ll look at how to help your child become socially confident.
What is Social Confidence?
Social confidence is the ability to talk with others and share opinions and thoughts. Socially confident children develop strong and successful relationships. But on the other hand, some people have trouble with their social confidence and communication with others.
For example, job interviews are difficult for people with low social confidence. Most of them don’t even pass the interview (I’m including myself in this group too). Many signs point to your child having low social confidence, such as:
- Low self-esteem;
- Shyness and isolation;
- Fear of failure;
Factors That Affect Social Confidence in Children
To overcome problems with social confidence in our children, we must know the factors that affect social confidence in our little (or grown) ones.
· Genetics and Temperament
Studies have shown that genes have a strong impact on children’s temperament. Children with a shy and withdrawn temperament can’t communicate and develop low social confidence.
On the other hand, open children are cheerful, know how to set rules in relationships and develop high self-esteem.
· Parenting Styles
There are many types of parenting styles. But for example, authoritative parents develop socially confident children.
They have open and warm communication with their children, are reasonable, and always consider children’s feelings. This sets a strong foundation for the child to build high social confidence.
· Peer Interactions
Peers are a crucial factor in children’s socialization. Whether your children are confident or not, depends on whether they are accepted by peers or rejected and humiliated.
· School Environment
School environments and teachers can help shy children develop social confidence by including them in school projects, team sports, and competitions.
Also, educators can encourage other peers to communicate with introverted children and accept them as friends.
How to Boost Your Child’s Social Confidence
We, parents and caregivers, can work on our children’s social confidence. So, here are some tips on how to boost it.
· Building a Strong Parent-Child Bond
Promote a positive, strong bond with your children from an early age, play with them, build trust, and tell them you love them. Living in a loving family environment makes your child healthy and socially confident individuals.
· Encouraging Independence and Autonomy
Be a life mentor to your children. Encourage them to think and evaluate independently, set their limits and create opinions.
Teach your children to respect their thoughts but also respect others’ way of thinking (you don’t want to create egoistic children).
· Fostering a Growth Mindset
Having a growth mindset is the closest a human can get to his instinct. Children that have a growth mindset don’t see failure as a bad thing. Instead, they learn from their mistakes, try to improve, and create a positive way of thinking.
· Helping Your Child Develop Empathy and Perspective-Taking
Teach your children to show empathy and concern about others, control their feelings, and manage their temper. Having this habit makes children stable individuals that have strong self-confidence and self-esteem.
· Encouraging Positive Self-Talk
Motivate your children to value themselves and remove any negative thoughts. Positive self-talk gives your children courage, self-esteem, and social confidence.
How to Build Social Skills in Children
When your children can’t develop social skills themselves, parents must help them. You can start your children’s social journey by taking them to a playground when they’re young.
Children love to play, so finding other children to play with is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
As your children grow teach them the importance of body language and encourage them to practice social skills with their peers. And if your children have talents and interests but are shy, sign them up for extracurricular activities.
Addressing Social Anxiety in Children
If your children are shy, it doesn’t mean they have social anxiety. While shyness is more of a personality trait, social anxiety is a medical condition recognized by medical professionals.
So, it’s up to parents to protect their children and help them overcome social anxiety. A good strategy is exposing your child to the source that gives your child anxiety.
This method is called exposure therapy and is ideal for battling social anxiety. If your child has a more severe case of social anxiety you should consult professionals.
Cultivating Social Media Habits in Children
Nowadays, social media plays a key role in building children’s social confidence. So, parents should focus on teaching their children how to properly use social media and develop healthy habits.
Moreover, parents mustn’t forget to monitor their children’s social media usage with the help of parental control apps such as Qustodio, Norton Family, mSpy, and others.
Build strong and trusting relationships with your children. Pay attention to your little ones and be a shoulder they can cry on. Raise self-confident children that will grow into strong individuals that will lead the future.
Is shyness the same as social anxiety?
No. Social anxiety is a medical condition, while shyness is more of a personality trait.
Can social anxiety in children be treated without professional help?
Parents and caregivers can engage their children in outdoor activities, constant communication, and family bonding to help treat social anxiety. But professional treatment is best.
How can parents help their children handle rejection and failure?
Parents must teach their children that rejection and failure are a way to look back on their mistakes and improve.
What are some positive social media habits parents can teach their children?
Set strong passwords, respect others, report inappropriate content, and set screen time limits. And, parents, don’t forget to set yourself as an example.
How can parents work with schools to create a positive school environment for their children?
Parents can raise awareness that schools should give children the chance to build a healthy social life in the school halls.
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