When looking into the most recent figures for top private school and college/university admissions, the amount of applications is staggering. Harvard University, for example, received nearly 43,000 applications this past admissions season, the most in its history as one of the top Ivy League schools. Every year, the fight to gain acceptance into the most prestigious schools becomes more competitive, so parents and students must begin to focus on what makes them stand out from the thousands of other applicants.
Many students put all their time and energy into getting perfect grades and test scores, assuming this will get them into their dream school. While these factors are extremely important to most of the top schools in the country, with so many other students also achieving high grades and test scores, schools are beginning to look at other factors to help them make admissions decisions, including leadership capabilities, civic responsibility, extracurricular involvement, writing ability, and more. So how can you ensure your child secures a fair shot at getting into the school of their choice? First and foremost, build their confidence!
Building your child’s confidence from a young age is a key component to helping them gain the skills many of the top schools are looking for in leadership, civic responsibility, and more. Not only will this help them enhance their skills outside the classroom, but it will also boost their academic and test score performance. A confident learner knows how to seek opportunities and resources that will push them to advance, and they also know when to ask for help; so, finding ways to encourage this trait will lead to many future successes.
At home, you can foster confidence in your child in many ways. First, consider coaching versus controlling. When you coach, you provide the necessary skills for your child to succeed, but they are the ones driving their success. When you control, you are attempting to drive their success, which can diminish their confidence and result in task performance anxiety.
Next, encourage learning from mistakes. Research supports that children who treat failure and mistakes as learning opportunities possess more of a growth mindset, which is crucial to building their confidence in and outside the classroom. When perfection is the goal, children often treat mistakes as failure and do not persist. Reinforce that mistakes, both big and small, are valuable components of learning and building confidence.
Lastly, it is important to provide your child with autonomy from the earliest age. Research suggests that infants as young as 4 months old need to gain confidence in their own ability to control their body to make connections and learn how to support themselves. The message is the same as your child grows into adolescence and adulthood: Young people learn best if they can take control over their own decisions, especially regarding educational activities. Serve as a model for your child to seek out opportunities that will push them to succeed, but ensure they are taking ownership over the decision to push ahead.
Building your child’s confidence will ensure they grow to their potential in whatever field they decide to pursue. At A+, we are here to support you and your child in their educational journey, in whatever way we can help. Our academic year sessions emphasize building confidence through essential skills such as public speaking. Learn more about our after school classes and sign up today!