How to Help My Toddler Gain Confidence

happy playing toddler

One of the first things you wonder while dealing with a pregnancy in Singapore is how your child will turn out.

Will they be prone to laughter or otherwise? Will they have a lot of friends? Be sociable and popular in their age group?

Related to most of these is whether or not a child will be a confident one. Fortunately, confidence is something that can be built up early on.

In today’s guide, we’ll talk about how to help toddlers gain confidence, in particular. If you feel as though your 2-year-old could do with a bit more belief in himself, our tips here could help!

Is Shyness/Lack of Confidence a Problem?

shy baby boy hiding beneath the sheets

First, we should address the matter of shyness, which is usually construed as lack of confidence in children.

Shyness is actually fairly normal in very young children. That’s why you shouldn’t treat it as an intrinsic problem when you run into it in child development.

Some children are just naturally a little less outgoing than others. Some take a little more time to warm up to various situations too - or need time to build up confidence in a situation.

As such, it’s important to avoid labelling it as a problem from the start. That said, you do want to look out for other issues that could be contributing to your child’s lack of confidence.

You can consult your child’s paediatrician if you’re worried about issues like a hearing impairment or autism spectrum disorder being at the root of this, for example.

Otherwise, you can just try to build up your child’s confidence using these tips.

Techniques for Building a Toddler’s Confidence

Building up your toddler’s confidence is largely an exercise in patience, demonstration, and care.

To illustrate, here are the most important things you can do for your little one to get more confident.

Serve as an Example

mother and child playing together

Believe it or not, a lot of your baby’s behaviour is learned from you.

That’s why toddlers who seem to lack confidence can actually suddenly gain confidence if you put them around people who have it too.

For example, if you show your child that you can be friendly with people you’ve just met, he may very well emulate that next time he meets someone new.

Don’t Push Too Hard

happy girl confidently doing her own painting

One of the worst things you can do when trying to train a toddler to be confident is to force him into it.

Training babies takes time and patience. They have to assimilate and learn ideas before putting them into practice.

The moment you push, you turn the situation uncomfortable, which can only reduce their confidence.

Instead, give your child as much time and as many opportunities as he needs. Don’t tell him to play immediately with the children nearby - tell him to play near them instead, if necessary.

And try to be nearby, yourself. This can help him feel more comfortable in unfamiliar territory.

You can start moving away gradually if necessary, but never move so far away that he can’t see you and you can’t reach him immediately.

That will help both of you feel more comfortable in the situation even as he starts learning confidence.

Provide Reassurance but Don’t Overdo It

parent guiding child

It’s important to reassure your child that his misgivings or concerns are normal.

That way, he knows it’s fine to be nervous about a new situation and that you’ll help him get through it or learn how to deal with it.

That doesn’t mean you should overdo it, though. If you start giving him too much attention in a bid to comfort him, he might think that this is genuinely a situation where he should be nervous.

Try to sound calm and make it clear that the situation is normal. Above all, reassure the child that he will get through it.

Show Your Child He’s Loved