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Basics Boost Self Confidence for Children

By: Dr. Jeremy Fink, LCSW, Psy.D.  |  April, 16th, 2017

This statue stands at a local park in Malibu. Those of you who are residents likely know exactly where it stands. The kids love it. My daughter likes to climb the feet, while it functions as safe for the older children who are playing tag. 

The question that often arises amongst the tribes of children that visit: what is it?

I asked one child about it who replied that it was an evil monster that was going to hit us all. I heard another child call it a "worker," and his friend explained that his dad uses the hammer to hammer things of course.

This got me thinking about how important it is to involve your children in work around the house. Involving your child in basic cleaning and household repair can boost their self confidence, and will ready them with the life skills they need to be successful teenagers and college age young adults. 

Amonsts parents that I work with in my private Malibu practice, there is a concern about their older children moving back into the home late into their twenties. The trendy name for this is "boomerang children", replacing the outdated and more dismissive "failure to launch."  There is not one reason alone for this phenomena; however, I would like site what I have observed and what I think might at least help a bit.

Raise children than are confident in doing for themselves. Parents are often focussed on the future and bottom line with their children. Getting good grades, and begining to worry early about the competitive nature of college admission has become more and more commonplace. Education and parenting has become more and more focussed on results and advancing to the next step; however, focussing on this sort of success generally does not instill self confidence and intrinsic motivation. Teaching children at a young age to do for their own and help around the house is essential to raising adults who have a good sence of self-efficacy, or one's ability to believe in themselves, playing a role in how one approaches goals, tasks and challenges. 

Teaching children to wash the car, dust, vaccum, do laundry, and make the bed, use basic tools like a hammer and a screwdriver to fix things around the house, cook meals--these skills are invaluable and will help to raise children that are more self-confident who turn into adults that feel sturdy footed in the world.