Learning to Take Compliments May Help Your Child’s Self-Confidence


Self-Confidence can be defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.

As a mom, sometimes the reflections I have about myself seem to seep out onto my kids.

A few years ago, my husband said to me, “You are beautiful.” I replied with the usual moan, instantly criticizing myself internally while running down the list of things wrong with me. A list of reasons why I didn’t deem myself worthy of the phrase “beautiful.”

I wasn’t confident enough to accept his compliment and would say things like, “I’m not beautiful,” or “I need to lose weight.”

Over time I noticed when I would freely give compliments to my kids, instead of responding with a simple “thank you,” they would instead say, “I’m dumb” or “That’s not what Johnny said at school.”

It made me stop and think, why wouldn’t they believe what I’m telling them?

Later on, I read an article about children mimicking their parents. They watch and observe even when we don’t realize it. One of the things mentioned was beating up ourselves internally.

A lightbulb went off that day.

I looked at my children and didn’t want them to have the voice inside their heads constantly berating themselves. Because when I looked at them I saw beautiful,
kind, and smart human beings.

I hated thinking they thought otherwise.
But it was already happening.
It had happened.

At that moment, I decided to figure out how to improve my self-confidence so I would stop doubting myself by letting negative thoughts creep in.

I will say I have improved over the years, although it is still a struggle to receive compliments and something I will more than likely battle for the years to come.

I’ve read many books, articles, and blogs, and listened to podcasts. Although I am not an expert on self-confidence, these little tasks that are free can help improve your self-confidence by leaps and bounds.

Improving Self-Confidence

  1. Stop the negative self-talk. Ask yourself – would you say (fill in the blank) about anyone else? No, probably not so stop saying it about yourself.
  2. Positive Self Talk. This doesn’t have to be out loud or to anyone else but yourself. When you look in the mirror say something positive. Make it a habit every time you see yourself in the mirror to say something positive.
  3. If there is a part of your life that you want to improve, then do it. Show your kids that you can still improve as an adult.
  4. Exercise. Most confident people exercise.
  5. Close your eyes and envision how you think a confident person would be. Envision how you would be if the things holding you back were no longer holding you back.
  6. Realize that even the most confident people out there still have times when they aren’t confident.
  7. Compliment others. It feels good and will help you feel better about yourself.
  8. If you think you have to wait to be confident because of something then you may never get there. (Example: artist taking lessons before they are confident enough to show their work, Mom wearing a bathing suit once she loses another 10lbs.
  9. Fake it. Simple right. Ever heard the saying fake it until you make it? When all else fails then you need to fake being a confident person.

Simple Ways to Help Raise Self-confident Children

  1. Praise them when they do something good. Praise them, even more, when they keep trying. It’s simple and free.
  2. Being a good role model. Be confident by showing them your confidence.
  3. Teach them that mistakes happen to everyone. It’s a learning experience so they can continue to grow. Sometimes children make mistakes and then they beat themself up internally. We need to continue to teach them that mistakes happen, but it’s more important to learn something from those mistakes.
  4. Teach them – positive self-talk. (There are numerous studies showing the tremendously positive effects of learning positive self-talk.)
  5. Love them.


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