Poor self-image, body insecurities, and a lack of confidence have been the bane of our existence since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, these issues strongly affect young children and teenagers.

When I was in middle school and high school, I remember always turning to the side in the mirror to see if I was ‘skinny enough’. I would have to pass my ‘skinny test’ before I could leave the house in my outfit.

This occurred before the days of intrusive, all-encompassing social media.

The truth is, there are THOUSANDS of outside influences that can cause insecurity in people. These influences can make an extreme impact on children and youth.

The least we can do as parents, friends, sisters and teachers is to do our part to change the conversation.

Not only is confidence an extremely important attribute in relationships, in the workforce and in life – but also, confidence creates boundaries.

By being a confident person, you’re more apt to stand up for yourself. Confident people exude power and set their standards more strongly.

If you’re trying to breed confidence in your child, here are a few tips and tricks that might help:

Subliminal Messages

I know we all think of subliminal messaging as a negative thing. However, I suggest using it constructively. Hang up canvases of quotes that discuss strength, intelligence, kindness or focus.

“A woman who knows what she brings to the table is not afraid to eat alone”

Listen to music that preaches about being a good person, instead of being a pretty person.

“You are your only limit”

Accessorize your house with coffee-table books such as Strong Is The New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker.

Sign Up For an Art Class

Creativity builds confidence. Give your child a creative outlook and let them positively express themselves.

With art, there is no right or wrong way to do something.

Give Praise Where Praise Is Due

Good mark on a test? Give them praise!

Won a competition? Give them praise!

Let them know that their great efforts won’t go unnoticed.

Model Positive Self-Talk

If your daughter regularly hears about your diet or hears you talk negatively about yourself, then she likely will fall into the same pattern of behaviour.

Let her hear you say kind things about yourself.

Be Honest About Your Mistakes

You are likely your daughters biggest role model. By hiding your mistakes, you may be setting unrealistic expectations to her.

Set the understanding that mistakes happen! There is nothing to be ashamed of.

Encourage Her To Seek Adventure

Help her get out of her comfort zone and seek adventure! New experiences, new people and new habits will help instil confidence.

Compliment Intelligence, Kindness and Humour

Basically, compliment more than just her looks. Of course, you think she’s beautiful – she’s your daughter! But focus on all the other great qualities she has, too.

When she is feeling down about a bad hair day, then maybe she can reflect on how funny she is.

Encourage Them To Not Be Afraid of Constructive Confrontation

You want your daughter to be confident in standing up for herself.

There may come a day when a boss or a boyfriend mistreats her – it’s crucial that she has the confidence and the voice to stand up against that.

Open The Lines of Communication

Get honest with your children! Talk it out. Talk out how their feeling. Talk out a bad day. Talk it all out. It may help offer clarity.

Let them know there is power in their words, in their thoughts and in their actions.

Encourage Sports

There is always something uplifting about getting active. Sportsmanship and team mentality can breed closeness and a positive atmosphere.

Change The World!

Encourage your child to make the difference! Whether you get out there on a Spring day and clean up litter, or sign up at a local shelter to feed the animals – do what you can to make the world a better place.

After all, that’s what life is all about.

Besides, does anything feel better than just being a GOOD person?


Confidence is a jog, not a sprint. Even as adults, we have our days where we don’t feel our best. And that’s okay!

However, it’s important that we set the tone that it is okay to disagree with people.

It is okay to set boundaries.

It is okay to stand up for yourself.

It is okay to be outspoken.

It is okay to be powerful. 

Written by Celina Dawdy