Ways to nurture your child’s self-esteem

Children benefit in many ways when they feel good about themselves

A grandmother and her granddaughter dance in a living room

Self-esteem is an important characteristic for your child’s happiness and well-being. The development of self-esteem begins in early infancy and continues throughout childhood into adulthood. When your child has a positive self-esteem, he or she will be more likely to be successful in school and life.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is having the confidence in one’s ability to do things. It is about liking who you are as a person and believing in yourself. Developing self-esteem in early childhood is important because it sets the foundation for your child to be successful and have a healthy relationship with him or herself.

Benefits of a high self-esteem

When your child feels good about himself or herself, he or she will have the confidence to try new things. Your child will feel proud of what he or she can do and cope with any mistakes he or she makes. Children with positive self-esteem tend to:

  • Feel liked and accepted
  • Believe in themselves
  • Be more responsible
  • Be self-motivated
  • Feel confident
  • Be better decision makers
  • Be willing to “try again” to succeed at a task

How to nurture your child’s self-esteem

Your child’s self-esteem can begin with feeling loved, safe and accepted. Every child is different, and self-esteem may come easier to some more than others. Here are some ideas to help your child develop a positive self-esteem.

  • Praise your child for a job well done. Notice when they put in effort and hard work regardless of the outcome.
  • Allow failure to happen. Failure is an opportunity to learn. Encourage your child to try again.
  • Let your child be a helper. Self-esteem grows when your child can see what they do matters to others.
  • Avoid criticism. The messages children hear about themselves can be translated into how they view themselves. Be supportive, offer advice and be positive in the messages you give.
  • Be a role model. You set an example when you put effort into your daily tasks (folding the laundry, setting the table) as a parent. Having a positive attitude will make a difference, and your child will learn to do the same.
  • Put quality time with your child as a priority. Doing things together will strengthen a sense of belonging which will improve your child’s self-esteem.

It is normal for your child to struggle with his or her self-esteem. As a parent, support your child through his or her struggles and work toward building positive self-esteem. The most important factor is to provide love, safety and a nurturing relationship.

Posted In Behavioral Health, Parenting