How to Raise Confident Self-Reliant Kids

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As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to help your children succeed. But what if success means something different for each kid? How do you raise confident self-reliant kids who can figure things out on their own? Raising children to be confident and self-reliant is key to giving them survival skills they will need to be great adults.

Raise Confident Self-Reliant Kids

The key is to allow them to take some reasonable risks and learn valuable lessons as they make mistakes. Let them try new things and learn from their experiences. Encourage them to be independent and think for themselves. Here are some tips on how to raise confident self-reliant kids:

Build Trust with Your Kids

Trust is the core of any healthy relationship, but it’s even more important in parent/child situations. When there isn’t trust between a child and their parents children may lack the confidence to become independent adults because they don’t know how capable or responsible those around them are regarding certain tasks.

To make sure children grow into well-rounded individuals with strong self-esteem, you need to provide basic amenities like safe surroundings which are necessary for growth, while at the same time showing love and concern. Be there for them when they need you, but also give them some space to grow. Show them that you trust them and they will learn to trust you back.

Encourage Them to Take Reasonable Risks

Don’t be overprotective of your children. We’ve all heard about “helicopter moms” who tend to hover over their kids, no matter what the situation. Allow them to explore and take risks that won’t likely result in significant physical or emotional harm. This is how they learn and grow, much like when they were little and needed to learn to walk and run. Of course, the risks you allow, or even encourage, need to be “age-appropriate” so they don’t immediately get in over their head. If your child wants to bake a cake all by themselves, and you feel they have the basic understanding of working in the kitchen, encourage them to give it a shot, while you’re cautiously close so the house doesn’t burn down. If they want to start a lawn mowing business, even if they haven’t had a whole lot of experience mowing your own lawn, you can give them some guidance about fingers and toes safety, fueling the mower, staying clear of flower beds, etc., and have them give it a try.

How to Raise Confident Self-Reliant Kids

Let Them Make Mistakes

Kids need to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Encourage them to try new things and enjoy adventures that will enhance their life experiences. They will learn more from their mistakes than from anything you tell them. Sometimes, life consequences are the best consequences a child can get. We all make mistakes, but the key to raising confident self-reliant children is for them to learn from those mistakes and hopefully store lessons learned in their memory banks.

Encourage Them to Be Independent

Encourage your children to be independent and think for themselves. Have them involved in activities that will broaden their experiences, and hopefully meet and be mentored by quality people you respect and trust. Those activities may include a wide variety of things like team and individual sports, music, dance, computer camps, reading clubs, debate, drama, and more.

Help them develop their own opinions and ideas based on contact with people outside their circle of friends. Not only can you encourage them to think for themselves, but you can give them assignments around the house that will teach them what it takes to run a household, but will further foster that independence, a stronger work ethic, and the ability to think about others.

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Chores like gardening, cooking, cleaning, doing their laundry, and picking up after themselves are all great ways for them to learn to be independent and prepare them for similar tasks when visiting extended family, going away to college, or just keeping track of things when you as parents are gone.

Teach Kids Survival Skills

Teach your children survival skills like how to start a fire with matches and twigs or with a Ferro Rod, how to use a tarp and some stakes to build a survival shelter, how to purify water with the equipment you have, how to grow your own food in a garden, how to find food in the wild like berries, and how to defend themselves. These are all important skills that will help them be confident and self-reliant, and may even save their lives.

Involve Them In Emergency Preparedness

Another way to help them be self-reliant is to involve them in your family’s emergency preparedness plans. Teach them what to do in case of various emergency situations. Show them how to use a fire extinguisher, how to get out of a house in case of a fire, and how to call 911. The more they know, the more confident they’ll feel in an emergency and the more comfortable you can feel when you leave them at home.

Teach Pioneer Skills To Your Kids

Pioneer skills are those that our ancestors used to survive. Things like gardening, canning, sewing, and homesteading skills are all important for kids to learn. These skills will help them be self-reliant and confident in their ability to provide for themselves and to help others. My girls took home economics classes in school years ago. I’m not sure all high schools teach those classes today.

We had neighborhood boys who took woodworking and auto repair classes. Now I wish I’d had my girls learn some of those skills. Having the skills to do more “technical” things around the house will certainly come in handy down the road.

The pioneers also had to perform all sorts of first aid steps to fix cuts, scrapes, burns, and so much more. Have your child put together their own first aid kit and teach time how each included item is used.

Encourage Them to Be Resourceful

Teach your children to be resourceful. Show them how to use what they have on hand to solve problems. For example, if they need a hammer and you don’t have one, show them how to use a rock or a piece of wood. If they need a screwdriver and you don’t have one, show them how to use a knife. The more resourceful they are, the more confident and self-reliant they will be.

Having this mentality can also prompt them to think about what is a need vs a necessity. That maturity can save them money as they set aside funds for school, clothes, tools, transportation, and other things that may not be as exciting as a new iPhone, but can bring lasting joy in the long run.

Teach Your Kids Financial Literacy

One of the most important things kids need to know is how to handle money. Teach them about budgeting, saving, and investing. Show them how to use a credit card wisely and how to stay out of debt whenever possible. The earlier they learn these things, the better off they will be financially as adults.

The cost of everything seems to be going up. I look at the price of food items in the store now and wonder how my married kids are getting by. Thank goodness they have homes, but who knows what the future has in store when it comes to rent and house payments.

They need to learn the importance of an education, whether at a vocational school or college. Those who have had the discipline to hang in there and walk away with a degree or certification really have an advantage. Of course, hard work doesn’t hurt either.

Focus On Your Child’s Strengths

It’s important to focus on your child’s strengths and not their weaknesses. This will help them build confidence in themselves.  Help them find things they are good at and encourage them to do those things. Sometimes as parents we want them to excel in things we find fun, challenging, or educational. Letting them explore those is fine, but they should find their own areas of interest that motivate them and inspire them to do their best, no matter what the activity may be.

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Positive reinforcement is key when it comes to raising confident self-reliant kids. Let them know that you are proud of them and that you believe in them. As a parent, it’s important to remember that success means something different for each child.

Encourage Them To Be Self-Starters

One of the best things you can do for your children is to encourage them to be self-starters. Help them develop a can-do attitude and teach them how to set and achieve goals. Teach them how to be proactive instead of reactive. I recently read an article that stated having a child (or even an adult) make their bed each morning as the day starts is a great way to set the stage for the whole day in a positive way.

The key to success is not found in waiting for your next instructions, but rather figuring out how best to utilize the resources at hand. Young adults who have grown up with parents managing their schedules and hovering over every task, tend to struggle more in the workforce. The more self-starters you have in this world, the better off we will all be.

Time Management Skills

One of the most important things kids need to learn is how to manage their time wisely. Time management skills are crucial for success in school, work, and life. Teach them how to prioritize tasks, how to set deadlines, and how to stick to a schedule. The better they are at managing their time, the more confident and self-reliant they will be.

All the new electronic gadgets we have make this task so much easier to do. With calendars and alarm clocks built into phones, tablets, laptops, etc., there is no excuse to miss an assignment or appointment. They can also be used to motivate us to get off our duffs and get some exercise!

Encourage Them to Be Creative

Creativity is a great way for kids to express themselves and be confident. Encourage them to be creative in everything they do. Whether it’s painting, drawing, singing, or writing, creativity should be encouraged. We have a number of extended family members who have developed amazing creative skills, anywhere from ceramics, quilting, oil painting, computer programming, and more. What a blessing in their lives.

Have Realistic Expectations

It’s important to have realistic expectations for your children. They are not going to be perfect and that’s okay. Don’t put too much pressure on them to succeed. Just let them be kids and enjoy their childhood. We spend a lot of years as adults, let them enjoy their youth, while learning to become great additions to their community and country.

Final Word

Raising confident self-reliant kids is not an easy task, but it is definitely worth it. These are the kinds of kids that grow up to be successful adults. They are the ones that make a difference in the world.

So, if you want to raise confident self-reliant kids, remember to encourage them to try new things, be independent, and think for themselves. Teach them survival skills and pioneer skills. Most importantly, focus on their strengths and have realistic expectations. With time and patience, you can raise confident self-reliant kids!

Parenting is a never-ending journey of learning. What works today may not work tomorrow, and each child is different as they experience life’s journey. The key to success is to stay positive, be patient, and never give up. Raising confident self-reliant kids takes time, but will bring so much happiness and satisfaction to parent and child. Stay safe. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Father and daughter hands Depositphotos_6915655_S

10 thoughts on “How to Raise Confident Self-Reliant Kids

  • March 18, 2022 at 7:10 am

    Managed that. Now working on the grandkids.

    • March 18, 2022 at 8:50 am

      Hi Matt, I’m sure you did. I feel the same way. Life is good! Linda

  • March 18, 2022 at 7:38 am

    I love all these ideas Linda. We home schooled all our children. Our kids were constantly exposed to many different kinds of people of all ages and developed really good social skills. One thing we see lacking in the culture now are kids of all ages not being able to carry on polite conversations. This generation has their faces in screens so much they don’t even bother with eye contact or manners when speaking. I taught etiquette/manners for each of my kids’ age group as they moved through the years and I feel like it is such an important skill. A funny story; When our oldest got to college he was one of the few guys who knew how to do laundry and gave laundry lessons. My son and some friends also took summer classes and rented a home together. When they accompanied him to do grocery shopping and meal planning, the other guys were astonished that he compared prices and knew his way through Walmart. It baffled him that grown men hadn’t a clue how to clothe or feed themselves. They didn’t know how to clean their shared bathroom, so he taught them that too… Where had these kids been all their life? By doing everything for them, their parents leave them without basic life skills. Our goal needs to be to work ourselves out of a job. We will always be their parents and eventually, hopefully their friends, but coddling and controlling them clips their wings permanently. We need to teach them how to fly!

    • March 18, 2022 at 8:55 am

      Hi Steff, oh how I love your comment. It’s funny I have always believed in tough love, not mean love. But, we do need them to teach them how to fly. If we give them a check ($$$) every time they have a mishap, it’s like telling them they can’t do it without mom and dad. Yes, I have helped my kids, but not time and time again. You get it, I know. Linda

    • March 18, 2022 at 10:22 am

      I use to work for the University of Missouri and the incoming freshman were terrible. we asked
      them if they wanted to sign up to have their books pulled and packaged up for them. Some of them had
      their mom fill out the paperwork. All we needed was their name, ,home address, student number and if they
      wanted new or used books. I looked at my coworkers and said (after the kids were gone) is mom coming
      to take their tests for them too. I’m sorry but kids are way to soft today.

      • March 18, 2022 at 10:31 am

        Hi June, I like that term kids are too soft today. You nailed it. Linda

  • March 18, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Forgive me…..This is my one chance to brag… husband and I raised 4 kids on a blue collar salary. We purposely bought a small home under our budget but in the best school district we could find. All four graduated from college with little student loan debt and a total of 7 degrees. Each one is married, and own their own homes, two I know with no mortgage, the other two on the way……. AND……all were married at least one year BEFORE making us grandparents. Nine grandchildren, three in college now, three being homeschooling. Not bad for two high school graduates.

    • March 18, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Chris, oh my gosh, I LOVE hearing family stories!! Congratulations, job well done. I can tell you taught them to be frugal and self-reliant. They need to be coached and loved and you are so blessed. Great comment! Linda

  • March 18, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    We raised two self sufficient boys. Taught them how to take care of themselves, cooking cleaning sewing taking care of children. Being respectful of their spouses, children and their elders. We’ve just lost our eldest but I sincerely hope his children learned enough from their dad to be self sufficient as well. His brother is raising (along with our DIL ) two very great children.

    • March 19, 2022 at 7:40 am

      Hi Kathy, oh I’m so sorry to hear you lost your eldest son. My heart aches for you and your family. I love hearing stories about raising self-sufficient boys!! Good job, my friend! I actually got the chills reading “being respectful of their spouses, children, and their elders”. I wish everyone raised their children with this motto. Your son’s children will look up to you and follow in their dad’s shoes to be self-sufficient. Job well done, MOM! Linda


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