Developing confidence in your child: how a tutor can help

Developing Confidence in Your Child: How a Tutor Can Help

When a child learns, they are using several skills. Reading, logical thinking, and possibly the most important of all; confidence. It might not seem like confidence is a skill, but in reality, it is. A skill is something that requires development from external support such as education but also through someone having internal mechanisms to develop the skill, such as discipline and attitude.

But what is confidence really?

“Confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly. Being confident requires a realistic sense of one’s capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge.” Psychology Today. 

Confidence is the skill of turning external tools of development into internal ones. If a child has the tools to learn, to know where to go for help, feel safe in a learning environment, where to go or how to motivate themselves, they will be able to develop confidence. Conviction comes from being motivated by someone such as a parent, coach, teacher or tutor. Ability comes from school and life lessons. Willingness to act and a realistic sense of capabilities come from being exposed to new challenges that are just right for your child to tackle, just challenging enough but also just comfortable enough.

When your child is struggling in the classroom or with other activities, it can be really hard to know how to help them, especially when it comes to homework. Maybe they are withdrawn or frustrated or shy or avoiding the task. Sometimes, seeking additional help from a tutor is the best way to go. A tutor is someone experienced in educating children, are familiar with the material and any challenges they may be facing in school. A tutor is often more personable and can create more of a relationship with your child that can help to bring them out of their shell somewhat.

Here is how a tutor can help your child develop confidence:

  1. Seek a programme and tutor that can give your child confidence straight away rather than tackling the materials they are doing at school that the child feels are too hard. By doing this, your child is started at a point where they can succeed, a point where they have a realistic sense of their capabilities and feels secure in that knowledge. Start off your relationship with a tutor from a place of strength
  2. By working together a tutor and student can find their own level of communication that creates a good rapport between the two. Your child may appreciate this as they may not have a chance to develop a rapport with a teacher in a larger classroom setting. This development means that the tutor can be flexible and maintain your child’s motivation but also know when to push them outside their comfort zone.
  3. In a large classroom, children may shy away from answering questions publicly for fear of getting the answer wrong. This is often learnt behaviour because they have been made to feel embarrassed. As part of understanding their capabilities, your child needs to learn from their mistakes, because they are inevitable. A tutor and student working together on these mistakes allow the child to experience trial and error, develop perseverance and learn that they can solve any problem in front of them.
  4. A tutor can also help your child settle into the right routine and develop really good study habits that could last a lifetime.

We all know that taking on a tutor and additional learning programme is an extra expense and addition to an already busy schedule, so how do you know it is worth it? Aside from seeing a rise in your child’s school marks and report cards? Look for these tell-tale signs:

  1. They have changed their tune about a particular subject. They’ve gone from disliking maths to being willing to attempt the homework, or even liking it!
  2. Pride and excitement in their school marks or a recent assignment that they feel they gave their best, not just got a better mark
  3. Willing to try something new that previously they weren’t interested in or hesitant to try. A new hobby or sport perhaps
  4. Picking up additional tasks around the house, such as chores because they feel more settled and like they can do it
  5. An overall happier child.

Let’s rethink tutoring. From being an additional task to improve your child’s school grades, think of it as an investment into the development of life skills necessary to be a happy adult. Good grades will come if your child enjoys learning when they are confident.

Here are some additional tips for preparing for the new school year!