By: YMCA of Long Island

There's plenty you can do to raise a self-assured child.

As parents, we want our kids to be happy, self-assured, and confident. But building their confidence is sometimes a little harder than we imagine it will be. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help your children learn to believe in themselves, and to encourage them to face the future with optimism instead of fear. Here is a compiled list of the most effective ways you can help your children increase their confidence.

1. Encourage participation in sports activities.

Being part of a team working toward the same goal can boost your child’s confidence. Participating in team sports gives kids the opportunity to show off their skills, plus learn about winning and losing and contributing toward a shared goal.

2. Enroll your child in swim lessons.

Learning how to swim is an important life lesson. This is a big obstacle for your child, but they will learn how to become resilient and overcome obstacles and therefore build their confidence. With swim lessons, your child also learns self-rescue and water safety skills.

3. Help your child express themselves through cultural arts.

From hip-hop to classic ballet and jazz to tap, performing arts, and music lessons, you child will learn to express their individuality and increase their confidence. Practicing also provides the opportunity to build upon skills and learn to become comfortable in front of an audience.

4. Inspire your child to fantasize about the future.

Whether your child dreams of becoming a chef, scientist, writer, musician or actor, honing in on their passions can build their confidence. Finding music, acting or science clubs, can help your child hone their skills and find their passion. Promoting interaction and socialization with other kids that have the same interests increases their confidence.

5. Instill independence and adventure through summer camp.

Summer camp offers a break from the school year, chock full of adventure and learning. Children participate in daily age-appropriate activities including water fun, arts and crafts, sports, music, movement, gym time, dance and playground activities.

6. Find one destination that offers a variety of offerings for your child.

As unique as each child is, so are their passions and interests. Finding a one-stop resource that can provide multiple activities for your child’s participation will ensure a successful increase in confidence. The YMCA of Long Island has 5 branches across Long Island with multiple programs including swimming, dance, sports, cultural arts, and summer day camp. Check out for more information.

Check out our NY Metro Parents article and listing.