Developing resilience & confidence in children

The development of resilience and confidence in children is linked to so many aspects of their lives. Socially, emotionally, academically and physically, children's past experiences, and information from those around them, all contribute to their sense of self, and consequently affect their self-esteem and confidence.

Children often lack the confidence to try new things, or the resilience to cope in new and unfamiliar situations. Many children also lack the confidence to approach others and join in, or to engage enthusiastically in social situations. Often this lack of confidence has grown because of previous negative experiences. In some cases, however, children simply lack the resilience to cope on their own or to handle challenging situations. Both confidence and resilience can be developed, however, and there is much we can do to help.


At 9 years of age, Patrick was a good looking boy and a strong sportsman, with a passion for math and music, and a great sense of humor. At school, at home and on the weekends, however, he was lonely and isolated. He lacked the confidence to speak up, to join in activities, to approach others, and to attempt new tasks on his own. With a very capable older sister, he too wanted to do things well, but was avoiding anything unknown, for fear of failure. Through gradual exposure, rehearsal of scripts, and anticipation of worst case scenarios, Patrick began to develop the skills and confidence to complete tasks on his own, to interact positively with his peers, and to contribute to conversations at home and at school.


  • Build resilience
  • Encourage independence
  • Teach / rehearse positive social skills
  • Identify negative past experiences and help develop skills to ensure these won't happen again
  • Help build a healthy self-concept / self-esteem
  • Encourage realistic expectations of self and others

FREE TIP SHEET - Confidence