Self-confidence is something I have struggled with. It’s something my daughter has struggled with.

And while it’s had to go through, it’s even harder to watch as a parent.

When our kids are unsure, stay quiet when things bother them, hold things in…it hurts to watch as a parent.

Because we know how great they are. And we want our kids to also know without a doubt how great they are.

Self-confidence isn’t something that magically increases over night. At least not in my experience. But I do believe that all the experiences and feedback we get can help raise our self-confidence.

So for our kids, it’s the little things we do as parents that can help raise their self-esteem confidence. Here’s some simple thing you can do that will add up to huge improvement in your child’s self-confidence.

Love freely. Of course you love your child. But here’s your reminder to show it and show it often. And of course, it’s one thing to say it, but it’s much more powerful to show it. This also includes being accepting of your children, mistakes and all. Make sure your kids know that mistakes are a part of life, and they have no bearing on what type of person they are or their worth.

Give out praise. When our kids are young, their self-worth is very much measured by what we think. It’s so important to give out praise when praise is due. This doesn’t mean you have to go overboard, but it’s important to point out when kids do something worth praising. Show your kids that you truly believe they can do whatever they put their minds to. This means pointing out the good and being encouraging.

Help them set realistic goals. Allow your kids to dream, and dream big. But you also want to keep those dreams realistic. Nothing brings down confidence faster than setting goals that will never be reached. Big goals are good, but help your child set intermediate goals that are reachable.

Set an example. This. Is. Huge. If you continuously model positive self-talk, your kids will naturally follow your example. Praise yourself when you do something good and celebrate your successes.

Start a conversation. List what you love about yourself or what you’re good at. Ask your kids to state what they think about themselves and take turns. Kids who tend to be unsure may struggle with listing what they think they are good at, and you may have to do some promoting in the beginning. Keep at it though; repeating this exercise will help it come easier and more naturally for your child.

Encourage their interests. I think it’s important to vary the activities you put your children in. How else will they know what they love? But when your child finds something he or she loves, fiercely encourage it. Kids who have a passion tend to have confidence in their expertise, no matter what that expertise is.

Give your child some space. It can be hard to sit by and watch them fail or get hurt. Trust me I know. I can be a helicopter mom at its finest. But I also know that continuously rescuing them won’t help them grow on their own. As hard as it may be at times, let them try, let them make mistakes and let them learn from those mistakes and come out of it stronger.

Give them some control. Like giving them space, giving them control over decisions helps to give them confidence in their own decision making process. Additionally, it shows that YOU have confidence in them, which makes them value themselves more. With kids and control, little things count. Give younger kids 2-3 options for outfits and allow them to choose. Older kids can help choose other things like which activities they want to participate in, what sides you make for dinner, etc. Allow them to choose and show how valued their choices are.

Focus on the positive. No matter what you do, things aren’t always going to go your way. Or your child’s way. Help them focus on the positive by looking on the bright side yourself. I’m not saying to ignore the disappointment; in fact, it’s always a good idea to validate your child’s feelings. But validate, console and move into focusing on anything positive in the situation.

A lack of self-confidence can be immobilizing. But as a parent of a kid with a lack of self-confidence, its heart breaking. Raising your child’s self-confidence isn’t going to be an overnight thing, it’s something you have to help them with, and something they need to work on within themselves. But it’s definitely possible!