Self-esteem is feelings of self-worth stemming from the individual’s positive or negative beliefs about being valuable and capable. A good indicator of a person’s self-esteem is how they behave and their attitudes. A child’s self-esteem will dictate how he or she interacts with her peers, family and others.

Children and Self-Esteem

A child develops self-esteem very early in life. It is important that children are made to feel that they are lovable and capable at a young age. Parents should be mindful of what they say and how they interact with their children because parents are the mirrors in which children see themselves.

What Can I Do to Develop a Good Self-Esteem in My Child?

  • Praise your child as often as possible.
    • Focus on all the positive things that your child does, no matter how simple.
  • Tell your child you love them.
    • This should come across as genuine and not as a habit.
  • Give your child affection.
  • Demonstrate respect for your child like you would toward a perfect stranger–and use your manners.
    • Many times parents talk to their children in ugly manners and tones which can foster negative self-esteem in children.
  • Try to be predictable.
    • Children need to know their barriers and they need consistency. Children who do not have predictability and consistency may feel they do not matter to their parents.
  • Accept your children the way they are and never put demands upon them they cannot achieve.
  • If your child makes a mistake, don’t keep expounding upon the error that he or she has made.
    • Instead, use it as a learning time of what they can do next time. Everyone makes mistakes, especially children who are just learning their places in the world.
  • Let your child see that you care about yourself.
    • If a child sees that his or her role model has bad habits, he or she may pick them up.
  • When talking to children, maintain eye contact.
    • Let them know you have heard what is being said. This shows children that their opinions are valuable and that how they think and feel is important.
  • If you tell your child you are going to do something, follow through and do it.
    • Broken promises can lead to low self-esteem.