Celebrate Your Children on Youth Confidence Day!

October 20th is National Youth Confidence Day. You probably haven’t heard much about this special day but it is a day we should all add to our mom radar. National Youth Confidence Day is designed to celebrate the energy, spirit, character, and potential of young people. I would have been excited to celebrate a day like this when I was younger. An entire day dedicated to bolstering my young and very fragile confidence would have been amazing. We didn’t get to celebrate this day but we can definitely change that for our children. Make October 20th a special day by telling your children what makes you proud and doing things to help build their confidence.

Sounds simple, right? But wait…how exactly do we celebrate the energy, spirit, character, and potential of our children in a way that will matter to them? Here are a few simple suggestions:

Share a story with them about something they have done that inspires you. Have they overcome an obstacle? Achieved amazing academic success? Volunteered in the community? Or have they just done something outstanding or unique? Tell them how proud you are of them. Praise goes a long way towards building self-confidence in your child.

Share something from your youth that helped build your confidence. Maybe there is a story you haven’t told them yet, something that will showcase your own strength as a child. Your children need to know we were not all born as the confident adults we portray each day. Being real with your children is a great way to connect with them at their level.

Pick a project to do together designed to build confidence. What tools, knowledge or skills can you share to help build their confidence? Find something that matters to them and work together to confidently achieve the goal as a team. Teamwork is also a known confidence builder.

October 20th is the one day each year to celebrate building confidence in our youth but it isn’t the only day building confidence matters. Building confidence matters 365 days a year. Confidence is a high predictor of a person’s character so here are 10 tips for building self-confidence in your child:

1.   Love your child. Simply the most important rule of all.
2.  Give praise where praise is due. Everyone loves to hear when they’ve done a great job.
3.  Help your child set realistic goals. Unrealistic goals can be a real confidence killer.
4.  Model self-love and positive self-talk. Remember, you are always being watched!
5.  Teach resilience. Most confidence comes from learning to get up after we fall.
6.  Instill independence and a sense of adventure. Confident children are not afraid to try new things.
7.  Encourage sports or other physical activities. Numerous studies show the advantage of team sports in building confidence.
8.  Support their pursuit of a passion. Everyone excels at something. Help them figure out what it is!
9.  Set rules and expectations and stay consistent. Children are always more confident when they know who is in charge and what to expect.
10. Coach relationship skills. The most important initial relationship your child has is with you. Teach them compassion, kindness and most importantly, confidence in themselves.

When October 20th arrives don’t let it pass as any other day. Teach your children that this is their day to celebrate. Make the day about putting the suggestions above to good use. Craft a plan for building self-confidence to work on for the rest of this year. Over the holiday break in December re-visit the plan and adjust things as needed to fit your child’s best interest.

It is our job as parents to build confident children and teach them to hold their heads high every day. On October 20th start celebrating and building confidence in your children!

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Melissa Arceneaux
Melissa Koran Arceneaux came to Atlanta, Georgia in 1995 from Florida where she was a graduate of the University of Florida. Melissa moved to Atlanta to work for a series of record labels and spent several exciting years working in the music industry before transitioning to higher education in 2003. Melissa works full-time at Georgia Tech and is an older mother (at age 47!) to 3 ½ year old Abigail and 10 year old Ariel, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2. Melissa enjoys using a realistic, yet comedic approach to sharing her life experiences as a triple threat – an older, working mother with a special needs child. Melissa is married to Doug and the family enjoys frequent travels, swimming, and doing anything outrageous and fun!