If we start from the etymology of the word confidence which contains the terms self and believe we can attribute the following meanings: the belief that we have about ourselves, that is how we perceive ourselves. The perception that we have for ourselves may be either positive or negative. So there is a distinction between high and low confidence. High confidence characterizes people with faith in themselves, confidence in their decisions, positive interpersonal relationships, success in life, while low confidence characterizes insecure people that don’t have faith in their abilities, feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, failure, with negative interpersonal relations .
So high self-esteem is the cornerstone of a harmonious coexistence with the different aspects of ourselves and harmonious relations with our fellows where respect, recognition, acceptance and assertiveness are at the forefront.
The development of self-confidence starts from the early childhood where the interaction with important people in life will determine the image that one has for himself. So it is necessary that the emotional needs of children are met in order to feel safe. As far as it concerns parents, they need to trust the abilities of their children by letting them take initiatives. It is important to emphasize that parents should not criticize negatively their children when they make a mistake, but they should think of it as an opportunity for feedback and productive dialogue. They can express their criticism in a positive way for example instead of saying “you’re lazy for not tidying your space”they can say “I know that you can arrange this if you try.” So they need to encourage their children in trusting their skills, focusing on the positive attributes of their behavior as well as encouraging the expression of their feelings.
Furthermore they need to let their children take part in family decisions such as daily selection of the clothes they want to wear, selection of family meals so that they feel actively involved in the family’s daily routine and that their parents take consideration of their views.
In addition, parents need to express their positive emotions towards their children and not only the negative ones as these are recorded in the memory of their children and retrieved every time someone criticizes them. The criticism that children accept from others confirms that of their parents. For this reason parents need to be especially careful in using terms like useless, lazy, incompetent, unworthy. On the contrary the use of praise works effectively in fostering children’s confidence, for example parents could tell their children that they are very happy for being able to control their anger, that they shared the game with a classmate, that they tried their best in playing basketball regardless of the result, that they spent the time in arranging their room. These awards also help children gain positive judgments about themselves and emphasize on their efforts regardless of the outcome.
Moreover the decision-making process helps children evaluate every possible solution based on its advantages and disadvantages. Thus they can choose the best possible solution understanding their capabilities and the consequences of their choices. Thereby improving their efficiency and boosting their confidence.
Also the involvement of children in activities that satisfy them helps them in maintaining a positive self-image.
These steps help children to respect and appreciate themselves as they learn to defend it, take responsibility for their actions and feel that they are the masters of themselves. So they make healthy relationships that are characterised of dignity, responsibility and respect.
From the above you can understand the importance of confidence and the positive impact on their development. In adulthood they will successfully meet their personal goals.