6 Helpful Strategies to Boost Your Child's Learning Confidence
Learning doesn’t always come easy for children.
Sometimes there are one or two academic areas that are challenging while other times learning is challenging across the board. Learning challenges can stem from a simple lack of interest in a given subject area to social or emotional issues or a learning disability.
Having a supportive parent or parents can make an enormous difference in a child’s ability to learn but oftentimes even the most enthusiastic parent feels lost when it comes to finding practical ways to help.
That’s why we compiled a list of effective strategies you can use to boost your child’s learning confidence and fuel their learning capabilities.
1. Be specific when you compliment your child
As parents, we love watching the unique attributes of our children emerge as they grow, change and engage in new experiences. However, in the bustle of life it can be easy to keep these observations to ourselves and praise our children in more general terms. “You’re doing great in school, honey.” “Nice work at the game last night.” It can also be easy to simply complement our children on things they excel at.
Be specific when complimenting your child—“I’ve noticed that you’re very articulate when you write.” or “I noticed how you paid close attention to where your opponent was on the field so you could guard them well. Way to go!” Also, be intentional about calling out your child’s hard work and attitude on difficult tasks. “Even though this math lesson is challenging, I love how you keep a good attitude and keep plugging away.”
2. Be an active listener
In the same way that making your compliments specific requires intentionality, so does being an active listener. Kids love to tell stories and sometimes they can be pretty long! It’s easy to backchannel just enough to acknowledge your child while continuing to prep dinner or wrap up work.
If you want to build your child’s confidence, step away from your task, look into your child’s eyes and engage by making thoughtful observations or asking thoughtful questions. If you’re unable to pull away from the task at hand, let them know that it’s important to you to hear their story and give them your full attention and ask them to wait until your task is finished to share it.
3. Communicate a message of teamwork
When a child gets a bad grade or struggles in a specific subject area, their self-confidence is likely to take a hit. One of the best things you can do to support your child’s learning confidence is to acknowledge their struggles but let them know that you’re there to help them both emotionally and academically. Allow your child to talk openly about their disappointments and struggles and never resort to shame or punishment.
Need ideas? Speak to your child’s teacher privately about practical ways you can support your child’s emotional wellbeing and academic success.
4. Encourage extra curricular activities
Involvement in sports and clubs can go a long way towards building up your child’s self-esteem and developing socialization skills and teamwork. Encourage your child to get involved in after school clubs and school or community sports. If they try something and it’s not a fit for them, encourage them to keep looking. When your child succeeds in a sport or gets involved in an activity that aligns with their passions, they cultivate more confidence which fuels their academic success.
5. Foster curiosity
Curiosity begins in a child’s early years. Read books together. Ask questions. Look up and research answers. Get outside and make adventures. Explore. Model curiosity and a love of learning and create an environment in your home where both are encouraged. When you do, you give your child the gift of a growing confidence in their knowledge and abilities and a sense of wonder that they will carry with them throughout their life.
6. Identify learning barriers
When your child consistently gets poor grades in or complains about a subject in school, it may be because certain cognitive weaknesses make learning that subject difficult. If you notice this pattern of behavior, we recommend that your child takes our free Brain Quiz which helps us perform a high-level assessment to determine if your child could benefit from brain training at LearningRx.
Our brain training therapies help children (and adults) with ADHD, autism, TBI, dyslexia and more. Our fun, engaging and challenging mental exercises boost cognitive skills and confidence and help facilitate a lifetime love of learning.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can help your child grow their learning confidence, contact us here. We’d be happy to speak with you!