Maybe your child isn't a star soccer player or spelling bee champion. Maybe he or she struggles with math or falls down in ballet class. But whether or not your child stands out in a crowd, he or she is a winner. That's because your child is made in God's image, with great intrinsic worth and potential. If you work to build your child's confidence, you'll help him or her discover the winner inside.

Here are some ways you can help your child win in life:

  • Understand what makes someone a winner. It's not scoring points or placing first in a competition, like winning a ball game or earning a high salary. A winner is someone who learns or teaches lessons in life. If your child is learning something new or teaching someone else a lesson, your child is a winner.

  • Strive to cultivate three key areas in your child's life: your child's salvation, character, and self-esteem.

  • Teach your child how to read and memorize Scripture, which contains the wisdom and he or she will need to win in life.

  • Prepare your children to confront temptation by helping them decide and commit to do the right thing long before they find themselves in tricky situations. For example, encourage your child to think and pray about not getting drunk, then commit not to do so before he or she is old enough to be invited to parties, where the temptation will arise.

  • Make your child a high priority in your life. Be willing to make personal sacrifices to help him or her pursue dreams.

  • Incorporate healthy habits into your daily life so your child can learn them through repetition.

  • Assure your child that it's okay to be himself or herself rather than trying to emulate other people. Help your child see how he or she is unique, and encourage your child to appreciate that uniqueness.

  • Teach your children to expect hard times in life and to face with them courage rather than trying to escape them. Encourage them to turn to God for strength when hard times come, and to discover how they can grow from their trials.

  • Give your child plenty of free time to play. Too many activities can create too much stress.

  • When you give your child more privileges, also give him or her more responsibilities.

  • Encourage your child to seek God's will for different situations he or she encounters in life.

  • Teach your child to respect authority, and allow your child to experience immediate consequences of wrong decisions.

  • Take the time to truly listen to your child.

  • Teach your child to live by faith rather than fear.

  • Graciously accept the gifts your child gives you.

  • Make sure your child exercises regularly and eats a healthy diet.

  • Look for opportunities for your child to earn your trust, then praise him or her when your child demonstrates trustworthiness.

  • Encourage your child to remain sexually pure.

  • Pick up your child from school every day if at all possible, and use the time to talk with him or her about the day.

  • Pray regularly for Christ to work through you to grow your child into the person God wants him or her to be.

Adapted from Every Child is a Winner: Developing Confidence that Lasts a Lifetime, copyright 2002 by Caz McCaslin and Bobb Biehl. Published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tenn., www.lifewaystores.com, 1-800-448-8032.

Caz McCaslin is founder of Upward Basketball and Bobb Biehl is president of Masterplanning Group.

How are you trying to build your child's confidence? Why is it important to you to do so? How have you seen your child discover more about his or her worth and potential in life? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic: