Strategies to Boost Self-Confidence and Wellbeing in your Child


Dr. Natalie Flatt (nee McCabe), East Sandringham JFC Chief Mental Health Officer and Mum of  2 Zebbies

Sports offer a unique platform for children to develop not only physical skills but also essential life skills such as teamwork, resilience, and self-confidence. How can parents boost a child’s self-confidence and wellbeing both on and off the field? Hefe are 6 ways to start!


  1. Encourage a Growth Mindset:

Encourage a growth mindset by teaching children that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Emphasize viewing challenges as opportunities for growth and praise efforts, perseverance, and strategies employed, rather than just outcomes.

Praise Effort and Strategy: Instead of solely praising outcomes, acknowledge the effort and strategies children employ to achieve their goals.

Normalise Mistakes: Highlight that mistakes are a natural part of learning and emphasize the importance of learning from them.

Use Growth Mindset Language: Encourage phrases like “I haven’t mastered this YET” rather than “I can’t do this,” promoting a belief in the potential for growth and improvement.

  1. Model Confidence and Embrace Imperfection:

Parents should model confidence, showcasing optimism and preparation even during times of uncertainty. Acknowledge anxieties while highlighting the positive aspects of preparation. Embrace imperfection, teaching children that it’s okay not to be perfect and that setbacks are a natural part of growth.

Demonstrate Positive Self-Talk: Verbally express confidence in yourself and your abilities, even when faced with challenges.

Share Your Challenges: Openly discuss your own fears and struggles but focus on the steps you’re taking to overcome them.

Celebrate Mistakes: When you make a mistake, demonstrate resilience by acknowledging it, learning from it, and moving forward positively.


  1. Encourage Trying New Things and Allow Failure:

Diversifying experiences and trying new things helps children feel capable and confident. It’s essential to allow children to fail and learn from their mistakes. Failure is a natural part of learning, and it teaches resilience and the importance of perseverance.

Create a Safe Environment: Create an atmosphere where trying new things is encouraged and mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth.

Explore Different Activities: Expose children to a variety of experiences and interests, allowing them to discover their passions and strengths.

Highlight Learning Opportunities: When children encounter setbacks or failures, help them identify lessons learned and areas for improvement.


  1. Praise Perseverance and Effort:

Acknowledge and praise children’s efforts and perseverance, regardless of the outcome. Learning not to give up easily and bouncing back from setbacks are crucial life skills that contribute to confidence and self-esteem.


Acknowledge Effort: Focus praise on the process rather than just the outcome, recognizing the determination and persistence children demonstrate.

Highlight Specific Efforts: Point out specific actions or strategies children used to overcome challenges, reinforcing the value of perseverance.

Provide Encouragement: Offer words of encouragement during difficult tasks or setbacks, reminding children of their ability to overcome challenges through effort and resilience.


  1. Help Them Find Their Passion:

Encourage children to explore their interests and passions. Developing a sense of identity and seeing their talents grow will significantly boost their self-esteem.

Expose Them to Various Activities: Provide opportunities for exploration across different interests and hobbies, allowing children to discover what they enjoy and excel in.

Encourage Curiosity: Support children’s natural curiosity by asking open-ended questions and facilitating hands-on experiences in areas of interest.

Provide Resources and Support: Offer guidance, resources, and encouragement as children explore their passions, helping them develop skills and pursue their interests with confidence.


  1. Expect Them to Pitch In:

Assigning age-appropriate responsibilities to children helps them feel valued and connected. Knowing they’re contributing to the family fosters a sense of responsibility and confidence in their abilities.

Assign Age-Appropriate Responsibilities: Delegate tasks that match children’s abilities and developmental stages, allowing them to contribute meaningfully to the family.

 Provide Guidance and Support: Offer clear instructions and demonstrations when assigning responsibilities, helping children feel confident in their ability to complete tasks independently.

Express Gratitude: Acknowledge and express appreciation for children’s contributions, reinforcing their sense of responsibility and value within the family unit.

Boosting a child’s self-confidence and wellbeing requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses mindset, goal-setting, feedback, environment, mental health, role modelling, and celebrating effort. By integrating these strategies into parenting, , we can empower our kids to believe in themselves, overcome challenges, and reach their full potential, both in sports and in life.


Go Zebbies!!! 🦓