How Confidence Can Affect Children's Performances in School

Confidence plays a huge role in a child's successes in math, reading, and other school subjects. Read on to learn exactly how it affects student success and how you can help your children to build up their self esteem.

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Low self-esteem and lack of confidence can result in a negative educational experience as well as decreased personal satisfaction outside of school. If your child has declining self-esteem, or has developed very confidence levels, you should look into the causes and long term effects of the situation. Parents can help their children to increase levels of confidence and self-esteem through a variety of therapies and activities.

Academic Success

Experts continuously debate whether students are successful because they are confident, or if they are confident because they are successful. Either way, it has long been agreed that confidence and academic success are linked.

Teachers are firsthand witnesses to this in the classroom. Confident students are the ones who are willing to answer questions or perform demonstrations on the blackboard. Likewise, these students are the ones with the higher grades, which will reinforce and increase their self-esteem.

Students who answer questions wrong, fail homework assignments or tests, and struggle when asked to complete a math problem for the class, start to develop a poor self-esteem because they know they are behind in their skills.

Skill Gaps

A skill gap is when an individual fails to master a single skill within a subject. For example, common mathematical skill gaps include multiplication, division, fractions, or graphing.

When a child develops a skill gap and it goes undetected, it will likely lead to numerous other skill gaps. This is because these fundamental math or English skills are needed to build new skills in later grade levels and more advanced classes. If you notice your child has low self-confidence, or they are struggling with some individual skills, then your child probably has one or more skill gaps. Since skill gaps can create a domino effect, it is important to help your child immediately.

Make sure the lines of communication are completely open with your child. Be able to talk with your child about school and the joys or concerns that academics can bring. This can make it easier for students to tell parents or teachers that they don't understand a topic.

Study Schedules

Set a regular study schedule so your child knows when they are expected to study. When they are working on school problems, make sure you're in the room along with them. You'll be able to tell which skills they're struggling with and answer their questions.

Positive Feedback

Even if your child hasn't mastered a certain skill, make sure to somehow compliment them. For example, if they worked hard with their math assignment, make sure to say, 'Way to stick in there! I'm proud of your determination!' If children fail to receive positive feedback when they are struggling through their work, their self-esteem is likely to drop more.

Parents can use small rewards to show their children they are proud of their hard work or mastery of a skill. Rewards could be a trip to a park, a special dessert, extra television or video game time, or any other treat that your child would enjoy.


If your child continues to struggle after you have established extra study time, they probably need some outside educational help. One of the best ways to help a child with skill gaps and low confidence is to enroll them in a tutoring program. Professional tutors are trained to provide children with the one-on-one attention and instruction they need.

When looking into a tutoring program, it is important to make sure the tutor is state-certified. This means they have completed the needed training to become a teacher in your state. State-certified teachers are up-to-date on your state's educational standards and on teaching techniques.

Don't forget to also look into online tutoring programs. Online centers have the same aims as conventional centers have, and they tend to be more convenient for families. They are more convenient because children can access their lessons from any computer that is connected to the Internet.

Many parents worry an online tutoring program will be impersonal. However, some Internet tutoring centers use live lessons where the child can communicate with their tutor. The tutor will be able to give your kid positive feedback and help your child if they are struggling with the lesson. Some centers also reward students with tokens to redeem at an online store.

Online lesson plans can also be individualized for the child. Some online centers administer an assessment test before structuring your kid's lessons. The results of the tests show which skills your student is missing, and then lessons are structured to help your child eliminate their skill gaps.

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