Self-Confidence – The best side effect of all.
When a child begins to struggle at school the first thing many parents notice is a lack of confidence. Your child may become reluctant to try new things or may only try the things they know they are good at. This lack of motivation is your child trying to overcome the negative feelings they are experiencing from struggling at school.
Your child could be sitting in class seeing other children finishing work, answering questions and enjoying the class. When a child struggles, they are reluctant to ask questions and bring their struggle to the attention of their friends and school mates. So, if they often fall further behind a vicious cycle of failure develops. This is when they start telling themselves that they hate school – that they are “dumb”. This is when they start convincing themselves that they can’t do their work. Psychologists call this, “negative self-talk”.
How to build self-confidence.
Building your child’s self-confidence is simple, yet complex. We find out what is preventing them from learning during their initial comprehensive assessment. We then propose solutions that fix that problem and start to help your child catch up. We do this by giving them work that is in their current ability and some which they may struggle to complete. We help them gain the skills to complete this more difficult work. The ability to complete this new difficult work is the first step in rebuilding their self-confidence and start a virtuous cycle of success.. This is an ongoing process that is different for each individual; assimilating and accommodating their new knowledge with their knowns, practising and reinforcing their knowns and challenging them with newer work.
Eventually, the balance between reinforcement and new challenges shifts and we are challenging them more often with them rising to the challenge. As their self-confidence builds so does their motivation to do their best. Attitude is crucial to success. Furthermore, it is important to give work that is at the edge of their abilities – if you want to build bigger muscles, you must occasionally lift things that are almost too heavy. Doing that harder work, with support, is what gives your child the edge in improving.
How will I know their self confidence is improving?
Every child is different. Some will stop complaining about school. Some will start telling you about their achievements. Others will want to start trying new things, perhaps reading for pleasure or taking up a new sport. As your child gets more confident in schoolwork, you will begin to see that they can be successful in all aspects of their life. Psychologists call this resilience. By helping them achieve their goals we also teach them that failure is not a disaster – it is an important step in the learning process. It is how you use that step that counts as they build their own virtuous cycle of enjoying learning and success.
When a child knows that they may fail in the early stages to eventually be successful they are more willing to try new things. This is when they have become more self-confident. This strengthens a child’s self-esteem making failure something less scary and increasing their motivation to try again.