How to help your child

feel confident and secure

Filter by age group



We all want our children to grow up feeling safe, secure, and happy. The good news is, there are small, simple things we can do that will help make a big difference to their development and their wellbeing now and in the future. And it can also make day-to-day life easier.

Here are 4 positive ways to help look after your family’s wellbeing and mental health.

1. Give them choices

We all feel happier when we have control. But sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) what we want our kids to do and what they want to do are very different. But letting our kids have some control over their own lives (within reason!) can be good for them. It begins to teach them responsibility, the impact of their own decisions, and can make them feel trusted. This can all help make for happier, more confident kids.

Tips for giving toddlers choices

Tips for giving young children choices

Tips for giving pre-teens and teens choices

Older children will want to make their own choices about everything – but you can help them make good choices by talking through the options with them and encouraging them to see what the consequences of their choices could be. Giving them the money for new clothes or shoes and letting them buy them themselves is a way to help them manage decisions and build their confidence. Our pages on helping your child grow up to be a confident individual and helping teens build resilience have more tips.

2. Work together

Working together can be a fun way to get things done and avoid any arguments over chores. It also helps your children learn how to work with others, which is a great skill to have early in life. Knowing wee ones, you’ll probably do most of the work for them. But they will still feel good about themselves for helping.

This doesn’t just apply to little kids though - whatever age your children are, working together will benefit everyone. This could be you getting stuck into helping to build a den or everyone taking their plates to the dishwasher. You might also want to find one time a week where you all come together for family time - breakfast pancakes on a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon game of football together.

Tips for teaming up with toddlers

Tips for teaming up with young children

Tips for teaming up with pre-teens and teens

3. Build trust and confidence

All kids are different: they all have their own unique qualities, skills and talents and are good at doing different things. Encouraging them to develop the things they’re good at and practise the things they’re less keen on will help them build up their confidence.

Letting your kids take control of certain things is a great way to build trust between you. It will also boost their confidence when they achieve tasks successfully.

Here are five quick steps to encourage your children to take charge and believe in their abilities. 

  1. Involve them in making family decisions when possible.
  2. Talk about their responsibilities and agree what is fair together.
  3. Try to show a good example with the way you carry out your own responsibilities.
  4. Support and guide them along the way without taking over.
  5. Celebrate all their wins, big and small.

Taking the time to do this can help boost your kid’s self-esteem, and give them the confidence to try new things. It also makes it easier for them to manage their emotions and behaviour when you’re not around. And by developing their self-respect, they learn to respect and value others too - including us as parents.

Tips for building trust and confidence in toddlers

Tips for building trust and confidence in young children

Tips for building trust and confidence in pre-teens and teens

4. Make them feel safe

Families look out for each other. We feel safer when we are with each other. And if one of us is worried about something it can affect all of us. Here are some tips you can try to reduce worry and help your children feel safe.

Tips for helping your child feel safe

Tips for helping pre-teens and teens feel safe

Teens may sometimes act as if they’re all grown up and don’t need you, but they still need to feel that they’re safe and that they belong. You can find some simple things you can do to support your teen to feel secure and part of the family here.

In this short video, parents share their top tips for making daily life go more smoothly.