Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


5 Ways to Create a Cool Kid

Photograph by Getty Images

We all want our children to have healthy social lives filled with laughter, fun and friends. Two of the biggest obstacles holding most children back from being social are a lack of confidence in themselves and feeling judged by their peers. We can help them with just a little bit of coaching and listening to the things that matter most to them. Encourage your kids to do the following five things, and he or she will come a little closer to being - or at least feeling - pretty cool.

RELATED: Classroom Confidence

Encourage your child to:

1. Choose Headphones, Shoes and a Book Bag

Children marvel over new toys like video games and dolls, but once they reach middle school, the most coveted "toys" are gadgets and clothing. The simplest way to allow your child to feel good about himself, which will help him to be more confident around his peers, is to allow him to choose his own school shoes, a cool book bag and a pair of headphones to wear with his phone.

2. Play a Sport

Physical prowess is admired throughout all ages. The confidence and team building skills learned while playing a sport will help your child feel as though she has a valuable place in this world. When your child feels as though she has value and is a part of a team, she will create lasting friendships with very little effort.

Cool kids can do things that most other kids can’t.

3. Practice Being Funny

Children joke around, and it’s not a crime against nature. When children joke, they are exercising their creative ability and wit. Oftentimes the most popular form of joking around among children is roasting, or telling insulting jokes. It is important that you prepare your children for this type of humorous exchange by reminding them that their opinion of themselves matters more than anyone else’s and if anyone insults or teases them, they should laugh at it as though it is a joke and learn how to return the favor without being distasteful.

I am sure this tip seems a bit edgy, but if you can teach your child to laugh at himself—to accept and own his flaws or insecurities—then he will have a better handle on life in the long run. There will be bullies at every age who prey on sensitive children who have been told that life is all roses and compliments. It’s not.

4. Learn a Social Skill Like Cards or A Magic Trick

When children get together, they joke around and play games. Why not help your child stand out in the crowd by teaching her a skill that she can use for the rest of her life in social situations, like playing cards or performing magic tricks? Not only will skills like these earn her a treasured spot at any social gathering, it will also boost her confidence level infinitely when she's good at a skill that makes her unique.

RELATED: My Kid Doesn't Have a Plan B

5. Explore his or her Artistic Side

Cool kids can do things that most other kids can’t. Some can play ball, others are excellent leaders and some are creative souls bursting with ideas that can be expressed through art. Nurture your child’s inner artist by encouraging him to create art in different ways. Buy a sketchbook, paints and a few canvasses. Order a book on knitting and show him how to get started. When a child can create something he is proud of, your child will be known for his skill and will be proud of himself and his creations.

Do you have a cool kid?

More from kids