If your child is struggling in school and has lost confidence, this is the video for you.

In this video I’m going to give you five simple tools to build confidence in a struggling student. Plus I’ll reveal our special Small Steps Big Wins confidence building strategy

And as a special bonus for watching all the way to the end, I’ll give you a sneaky trick that makes the Small Steps Big Wins strategy even more powerful. This simple technique is going to make your life so much easier. Promise!

Hi I’m Samantha from Learning Success and we made this video to help parents build confidence in their children. There are many powerful neuroscience-based techniques that build confidence. And we want you to have them.

All parents should have these tools because children should be able to grow up confident and live up to their full potential. 

Let’s get into those strategies. You might want to grab a notebook because these strategies can change your child's life. They are worth writing down and practicing every day. Let’s start.

We call this first strategy “What I’m Good at”

This is a two-step process

Start by  getting out a sheet of paper. Sit down with your child. Ask your child to start naming off all the things that they are good at and then write them down. These things could be anything at all. Like “I’m good at minecraft” or “I’m good at making people laugh” or “I’m good at baking cookies”.

Make sure they are written in the format “I’m good at…”

Each day you and your child can work together to add to the list.. Keep the list handy and keep building it.

Be prepared! This process might be a little surprising for you. What your child comes up with can really open your eyes. Both to problems and to gifts. We’d love to hear about your experience with this so after you do this come back and tell us about it in the comments.

The second step is to have that list handy when you need it. You’ll need it when you know your child is going to need a little extra confidence.

When it's time for our child to do something that they are not good at, just before doing that activity, bring out the “I’m good at” List. Have your child read it and then proceed with the activity.

So, for example, if it’s time for math and they are not good at math YET. Then have them read the list just before doing math. You might even spend a few minutes talking about and visualizing the things they are good at. Then do the math.

This works because visualizing the things they are good at puts them in a more confident state. A little bit of that confident feeling will rub off on the thing that they are not confident in. The confidence neurotransmitters hang around for a bit and get applied to the thing that they are not confident in. Over time, and as skills build, they will become confident in the new thing. Then you can add that thing to the list.

You help your child bring up a confident feeling.  That confidence will begin to get attached to the new thing. It’s a useful quirk of the brain. Try it out and let us know how it goes.




The next trick is even easier. Just add the word YET.

When your child says they are not good at something, or they can’t do something, just correct by saying “You’re not good at that YET. Or “You can’t do that YET.”

This is just a simple reminder that they can figure it out if they try. It lets them know that they are capable rather than thinking something is wrong with them.  This technique is a useful part of building a growth mindset. We cover a growth mindset technique in the next part of this video.


Praise Effort

Okay, so keep this next technique to yourself. Don’t tell your child you are doing it. Just do it and watch the results. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Start by keeping a notebook handy throughout the day. Each time you praise your child, write down what you said. Write down the exact wording you used.

Then, at the end of the day go over your notes. For each statement ask yourself if the statement is praising an attribute, an outcome, or effort.

So, for example, praising an attribute would be like “You got that spelling word right. You’re so smart”

Praising an outcome would be like. “Congratulations on getting an A on your test”

We don’t want to give attribute or outcome praises. It’s better to give effort praises.

At the end of the day rewrite all of the attribute or outcome praises to be effort praises.

So it could be “You got that spelling word right, you’ve worked so hard to build your skills”


“Congratulations on getting an A on your test. I know how hard you worked to get that”.

Now train yourself to use the new praises. In no time it will become very natural to you. You and your child will then be focused on effort. A focus on effort removes the “I’m stupid” thoughts and replaces them with “If I try I can do this”

Effort is something that is in your child’s control. You can help them become harder working and more in control of their future simply by praising effort. Over time this will lead to the confidence that they can do anything if they put their minds to it. And that is a superpower.

Congratulations on paying so much attention to this video. The hard work you are doing is going to up your parenting game and brighten your child’s future.

See what I did there?


Stand up straight and smile and your mind says “Hey, I must be in a good mood”.

Create a Plan

Another thing that will help your child feel empowered, and therefore more confident, is creating a homework plan.

Children actually like structure. Structure gives them a feeling of control over their environment. Especially if they take a role in creating that structure.

Creating a homework plan gives them the structure they need to do better. There are many benefits to working with your child to create a homework plan and because of that we have created an entire video that will help you create the perfect plan. You can watch it after you finish this video. We’ll put a link at the end.



Ever seen a teenager that looks like they have “the weight of the world on their shoulders”. When they get like that, every little thing is Juuuuust sssoooooo mmmuuuuuuch effort. Right?

They display every bit of “down in the dumps’ in their body.

When we are in a bad mood our body shows it. When we’re in a good mood our body shows it. It’s not a huge revelation to say that our mood affects our posture and expression.

But did you know our posture and expression also affect our mood? Yep, it actually works in reverse. Yep. Our body affects our mood. And we can use that to our advantage.

The mind is always checking in on the body. It checks for breathing rate, posture, facial expressions and more. It’s a feedback loop. One part of the brain controls these autonomic processes and another part checks their status. If the body tells the brain that we are sad then the brain thinks we are sad. If the body tells the brain we are happy then the brain thinks we are happy.

If your shoulders are slumped and you frown your going to feel a little down. If your shoulders are back and you smile your going to feel happier and more confident.

Since you can also consciously control your body you can actually use the body to change your mood. Stand up straight and smile and your mind says “Hey, I must be in a good mood”. So it pours a little serotonin into the blood stream and you feel a little better.

You can teach your child to use their body to feel more confident.

And if you want to supercharge this technique do it just after you do the “What I’m good at” technique. They work really well together.

It’s amazing how powerful it is once you learn how to do this. There are many postures you can use. So powerful we did a whole video on it. Watch that video later. We’ll put a link in the description for you.



Key Takeaways:

When a chid is confident learning is easier
Confidence can be built using simple strategies
Use neuroscience backed strategies
We don’t want to give attribute or outcome praises. It’s better to give effort praises.

Small Steps Big Wins

Okay, now for the Small Steps Big Wins strategy. The strategy that is going to improve your child’s confidence for life. The strategy that is going to teach them even more than confidence. By using this technique you will help your child develop a love of learning. And that is the most important skill for lifelong success.

It will also teach them grit. Grit is the ability to push through hard things. Grit is another critically important skill for ensuring success in life. By helping your child develop you grit you will ensure that they will have a bright future.

Ready to learn how to do that?

Okay, let's go.

For the first part of this strategy what you need to do is to very carefully record your child’s progress. And you need to do this in minute detail.

So, for example, if you are trying to improve spelling. You will record all of the words that they spell correctly and those that they don’t. But not only that, record how they actually misspelled words.  The more detail the better.

If you are trying to improve handwriting, keep all the handwriting samples logged in chronological order.

If you are trying to improve reading, then measure the amount of time it takes them to read a given paragraph. You can also measure accuracy. How many words they got right. So you would record, for example, that they got 30 out of 35 words correct. Not 5 out of 35 wrong.

For math, you can record the number of questions they get right in a given time period.

Now, as your child does each day's homework, look for improvement. You might have to look very very closely. It might have to be the tiniest things. Sometimes you have to start with something so tiny it’s a bit ridiculous. Do whatever you have to do to find an improvement.

Then celebrate that improvement with your child.

You can high five, or congratulate them, dance a jig. Whatever you want, just celebrate that improvement somehow.

If you can’t find any improvements at all then break the task down even smaller and start again.

You might have to go with something like one line in one letter of their handwriting being a little straighter. Or a spelling word being a little closer. Or a half second faster reading time.  Or a math problem simply being lined up a little neater. Whatever it takes, be on the lookout for that improvement. Whatever it is.  No matter how small. Then celebrate.

Keep doing this. Every day. Every time your child does homework.

Heck, do it everywhere. Things like “Hey, I see you got your dirty clothes A LITTLE CLOSER to the hamper. Your getting there. Good job”

Make sure to use your happy voice. Leave sarcastic voice out of it. Despite how ridiculous this may seem.

Yes, I said be ridiculous if you have too. You need to start somewhere. You just need one small thing to get the ball rolling. Later these wins will grow into big wins. You just have to nurture them a bit.

This does two things. It gets your child focussed on improvement. And they will get more of what they focus on. And it gets you focussed on the positive as well. And, of course, you’ll get more of what you focus on.

Do that for a few weeks, or a month, or whatever it takes until you see that your child is a little more improvement focussed. It may take awhile but it will happen. And it’ll make your life so much easier.

I also promised you a sneaky trick to make this even more powerful.

Are you ready for that?

Great. Let’s learn it. But don’t tell anyone you are doing it. This is just for you.

What I want you to do is to create some little ritual that you do just before you celebrate the little success. So after you notice the improvement but before the celebration. Something like clapping your hands together and yelling “Yeah”. Or snapping your fingers and saying “Good for you”. Or “Good on you” if you are Australian.

It doesn’t matter what this ritual is. Make it your own. It just matters that it is consistent. Get creative with it. Go overboard with it if you want. And for fun, tell us in the comments what your ritual is going to be.

Over time, this habit is going to start training your child’s mind to react to the ritual, rather than the celebration. That’s because our brain reacts to the expectation of reward. Not the reward itself. Our brain releases dopamine when it expects to be rewarded. Not when it gets the reward. Use that tidbit of neuroscience to your advantage.

Once you have this practiced in for awhile you can extend out the time for the reward. This is useful if you want to go do a bigger better celebration. Such as ice cream. This work’s because the ritual is now a stand in for the reward. So you can repeat the ritual as many times as needed and then pay it off with a bigger reward later. The older the child the longer you can wait for the actual reward. Small children need them fairly soon. Older children can wait a little longer. Just trigger the expectation of reward as much as possible. In the brain its just as good as the reward itself.

That’s it. It’ll take you some time to get this trained in, but everything will get so much easier as you do.

And if your child is struggling in school, do what thousands of other parents have done and get them started on the Learning Success System.

Do You Need help with a Learning Difficulty?

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Understanding how to help someone with a learning difficulty starts with understanding which micro-skills are affected. When you learn which of the micro-skills is the problem, you will then be on your way to solving it.

You'll also learn how to:

  • Build confidence
  • Enhance Learning ability
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  • Build grit

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