Answer: To foster confidence in anyone is good works. To best accomplish this with a child, would you do well to supply a sense of security and love. For if the child knows that no matter what they try, that they will always be safe and loved, then will they feel confident. That this is easily accomplished, is both true and false. For the easiest way to ensure this sense of confidence is twofold. First must you speak with the child every day. That the talks be meaningful and pointed or focused is not necessary. More is it to build a sense of comfort and commission between the two. For if the child is comfortable speaking with the parent, knowing that no matter what is said that the parent will not be overly critical or judgmental, then will the child feel secure and confident.
The second part is harder, for it requires the parent to listen—truly listen, and not just to those words being spoken, but also to the movements of the body and the nuances of the voice. For these will reveal much as too how the child feels in relation to those thoughts being offered.
Also does the parent need to withhold opinion/judgement. For often will the parent speak abruptly out of fear. And not always is the fear for the child. For many times is the fear based on the parent’s internal alarms. That these alarms are valid or not is what the parent must determine before speaking. That is why we suggest not rushing in to speak until all aspects of your own reaction(s) are evaluated. That this is easy to do, is not true, and we understand and appreciate that. However, the questioner did ask for our recommendation.
If the parent feels that the course of action is dangerous or harmful to the child, then should they say so. However, if the child espouses thoughts that the parent dislikes, finds distasteful, or abhorrent, then should they admonish the child but also should they explain why. For to merely say that the thought is “bad” or “evil” or “not nice” is to make the child accept your limitations and your fears. Better is it to allow them to grow in all ways, but with understanding. If they are made aware of others and that others may find certain thoughts and actions fearful (for whatever reason), then can they better decide when to speak or act and when not to.