How to Raise a Confident Kid

5 ways to lay a strong foundation for your little child.

How to Raise a Confident Kid

At some point in our lives, we’ve all needed an extra shot of confidence. And while we’ll lack plenty of confidence even in our parenting, it’s something we desperately want for our kids--for them to believe in themselves and to live boldly. A lot of times, confidence comes down to personality, environment, and just phases of life. Still, parents lay the foundation for their children’s worldviews, core values, and overall life experience. With that in mind, while you’re still the driving force in your kid’s life, here are 5 tips to infuse them with confidence.

1. Set boundaries. It may seem counterintuitive when you’re talking about confidence, but children thrive with boundaries. When a child has a clear line drawn, then they know how far to go or what the consequences may be to overstepping. Making choices when the lines are blurry comes at an older age; when your kids are little, let them know where they stand.

2. Facilitate new experiences. Part of being confident is having a willingness to new experiences and change. If this is part of your regular rhythm, then your child will be more confident. Push them with new foods, new friends, a new class. Help them learn the correct behaviors for travel, enjoying art, or meeting people by creating space to do it together.

3. Find the balance of encouragement and space. Your kid needs to know you believe in them. Words of affirmation go a long way for anyone, but especially a child. At the same time, an over-encouraged child may develop a false sense of self or easily give up if something is hard. Make sure your kid always knows that you are on his or her side, and in a way that sets correct expectations.

4. Ask questions and expect answers. You and your child will both have more confidence in a relationship that exists on communication and understanding. Ask your child about his or her day, specifics about what they learned or saw, and especially how things make them feel. Talking through these things will help your child learn to interpret and communicate his or her own feelings, building confidence in conversational skills and self-awareness.

5. Show interest in what interests your child. Sometimes what you need to feel confident is just for someone to think what you’re doing is cool. If your kid demonstrates a particular interest in something, find a way to nurture that interest. At a young age, don’t make it as much about skill as just what gets them excited, and really get into it with them.

Photography by Belle Savransky for Well Rounded.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.


I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

Keep reading Show less

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

Keep reading Show less