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Confidence: a free parenting guide

Parenting a child can be tough at the best of times, but bringing up a child during a pandemic? Now that is really, really tough! There is no parenting manual on how to help your child when schools are shut, GCSEs are cancelled and they can’t see their friends. But don’t worry – we’ve got your back.

We asked two experts for their parenting tips and advice. They shared practical tips to boost your child’s self-esteem, and support their maths learning at home – no matter what’s happening at school.

Supporting teenagers

“These are difficult times for teenagers. If your teen is feeling angry or disappointed or worried, those are all very natural responses,” said Anita Cleare, a parenting coach and Director of the Positive Parenting Project.

“Children learn to feel confident when they believe they are good at things (not everything but at least some things) so remember to praise them when they get things right. Big up their successes – even if that is just managing to cheer up a friend.

“Confidence also comes from believing that what you do makes a difference, so acknowledge when they put in effort and help them see the connections between effort and results. And make sure your teenager knows that they are loved and valued just the way they are, no matter what.”

Instilling maths confidence

When it comes to practising maths, Lucy Davis, CEO of the family maths charity Maths on Toast, believes that focusing on what your child is good at can help to boost their confidence in other areas of maths.

“To be confident in maths, one must first feel comfortable with maths and the easiest way to kickstart the process is through enjoyment! A pressured or stressed child cannot learn,” said Lucy.

“Don’t get fixated on one type of maths or time-pressured maths – understanding a concept is far better than being able to recite maths facts or do tasks super quick. Find maths that your child likes and feels happy and able to do, and then encourage them to explore that maths. This will aid deeper understanding.”

More advice and support: get your free parenting guide

Get Lucy and Anita’s expert advice on ways to help your child feel more confident in our free guide for parents and carers.