Developing Self-Confidence Among Students – A Case Study

Go back to  'Parenting'

INTRODUCTION


There is a subtle difference between ‘confidence’ and ‘self-confidence’. Confidence is associated with the final action, while ‘self confidence’ is the attribute of a person. For example: “Ritesh had developed high self-confidence with his regular studies and discipline. He wrote his exams with confidence.”

Development of self-confidence in children depends a lot on their surroundings, family members and teachers. Parents play a pivotal role in this development. Hence their behavior with the child has to be well informed yet friendly. Sometimes the behavior may give wrong vibes to the children unintentionally.

STUDY


Like in Anvi’s (name changed) case – Anvi is ten years old and is studying in the fourth standard. After completing her third standard with flying colors, she had joined the summer camp 2018 at my Cuemath centre. I had observed that she was diligent but was impatient. Sometimes she would make silly mistakes. Her parents came to meet me in October 2018 on account of her average performance in two unit tests. They rebuked her for not having an interest in studies. They praised her elder sister for being very sincere and intelligent. Anvi was filled with low self-esteem and remorse. It was difficult for her to understand why her parents who were all praise for her till last summer were so upset with her. She sat there quietly winding a thread around her finger just waiting for the session to be over. I could sense the tension in the dialogue between Anvi and her parents. I decided to talk to Anvi later.

My interaction with Anvi revealed the reason for this situation. 4th standard Math becomes a little formal and disciplined. The casual approach taken by Anvi fetched her fewer marks in Math. This alarmed her parents and made them think that Anvi was lagging. Their changed behavior deteriorated Anvi’s self-esteem, and she felt let down.

Other case is that of Richa ( name changed) – Richa is nine years old and is studying in the third standard. Her father was overwhelmed by Richa’s academic performance. Her mother wanted to flaunt her Math brilliance by asking her to answer some quick questions like (13 x 7) etc. Richa answered them with an air of confidence. I am worried that Richa would be in the same state as Anvi after a few months. It is difficult for me to handle this by directly talking to the parents as we do not know each other personally. The Informal Way (mentioned later in the article) will help in breaking the ice.

The third case is that of Saket. It is different from the others. Saket is 11 years old and is studying in the sixth standard. Saket’s mother runs a play school and is a dedicated teacher. Saket is on the verge of discovering his interests and his mother wants to show him different avenues. Math is one of them. This approach of his mother has made Saket, ‘self confident’.

OUTCOMES


It is a treat to talk to them and discuss various aspects of learning.

Saket’s mother is a group admin along with me for the kidzeduclub group (The Informal Way mentioned later in the article).

Many parents make the mistake of inappropriate praise or rebuke for their children. Many a times this happens to depend on the marks fetched in the school exams. Some of the parents feel dejected when their child does not perform upto their expectations even after joining the child to expensive coaching classes.

This forms a vicious cycle – rebuke the child for poor performance – the child’s self-confidence dwindles resulting in resistance to make efforts for improving the performance. Then comes a phase when parents stop expecting academic achievements from their child. The child gets tagged as “average” and stagnates there.

Parents want their children to have the best of everything. As adults, they have a different perspective of what is best for their children. They tend to overlook the fact that their children are in the learning process – exploring about themselves, the people around them, and the happenings of the world. It is of utmost importance to bridge this gap to prevent further damage. For this, being with the child emotionally and mentally during their learning process is necessary. “A stitch in time saves nine “ is apt for this scenario. That is, if the parents understand the learning process of their child, they will understand what their child enjoys or has difficulty in getting through. However, even before this, it is essential that the children feel free to talk to the parents and share their concerns. For this, a friendly dialogue is necessary. After knowing the child’s learning and thought process, the parent can discuss with the tuition teacher so that the corrective action can be taken on time.

At Cuemath, the CTP (Cuemath Teacher Partner), the student and the parents are in a closed loop as parents’ involvement in CR (Creative Reasoning) cards given to the student has to be solved at home. Student’s progress is sent by mail. Besides, parents-teacher meetings are conducted regularly.

However, some more informal platforms for creating awareness for the parents’ involvement in their child’s learning process will serve better. This will also help the parents who are not yet familiar with Cuemath learning system. It will help them to decide the options available for private tutoring. Needless to say that Cuemath has a ready solution for them.

AN APPEAL TO THE PARENTS


Parents play a pivotal role in building and retaining self-confidence in their children. Knowing the child’s thinking ability so that nothing takes the parents by surprise is the best way of building self-confidence in the child. They do so much to see that their children get nutritious food, keep good health and that they are happy. Parents are just one step away from making them confident in life. Know your child’s mindset and remain updated about their progress. The children should be confident that their parents have their back. The parents should initiate healthy, friendly and, casual dialogues frequently.


All children want to be loved, cared for and appreciated by their parents at all times. Parents should instill the confidence in children that they are with them in times of success as well as failure. Parents should not create an awkward atmosphere at the dinner table or hold back their affection if their children score a few marks lesser.

There should not be communication gaps between the children and their parents. Children should not feel that they are abandoned or not loved because of their academic performance. They want to be understood at times of adversity and offered moral support. They want their parents to know what they enjoy or have difficulty in getting through.

THE INFORMAL PLATFORM


I have tried to figure out a fun-filled yet effective solution to bridge the gap between parents and children during their learning process. If parents try to put themselves in their children’s shoes during this tenure, then they will better understand the difficulties of their children.

Recently I formed a WhatsApp group of parents of children of age 7 to 9.

I post Math puzzles and tell the parents, especially the mothers to try solving them with their kids. With this, they can observe the thinking process of their child, the logic they use, their sharpness and their interest in solving puzzles. They can inculcate the habit of solving puzzles which will fuel their intellectual growth.


Sometimes when the puzzles are a little tricky, the mothers understand that it requires more significant effort and sometimes external help to solve them. So, if their kids are not able to solve them, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

I have planned to create another Whatsapp group of parents and children of age 10 to 12. It will have interesting information about Math and Mathematical operations. Once a week, problems related to various topics will be posted. Parents don’t have to solve the problems, but they only have to make a note of what their child is comfortable with or has difficulty in understanding. This will help them in identifying the type of coaching their child needs. Eventually, I will also be posting applications of specific topics of Math in the day to day life – like ratio and proportion in recipes, fractions in sharing, LCM and HCF in purchasing, Geometry for tailoring etc. This will be interesting for the mothers too.

I have a good response from the junior group. I get solutions to the puzzles which clearly indicates that the mothers are actively participating in the group. Geographic location is not a constraint here. So, anybody can be a member of this group.


Group name – kidzeduclub
Group members – Children between age 7 and 9 and their parents

  
Learn from the best math teachers and top your exams

  • Live one on one classroom and doubt clearing
  • Practice worksheets in and after class for conceptual clarity
  • Personalized curriculum to keep up with school

0