Simple Ways to Encourage a Healthy Self-Esteem in Kids

Self-esteem is something that many people need to work on. Some individuals naturally have a healthy self-esteem, but there are many others who struggle with self-image – especially children. Kids may have problems with the way that they see themselves, with their overall confidence in their abilities and with who they are for a number of reasons. Kids are still learning about themselves and their capabilities, and things like bullying may not help. It is important for parents to help their children navigate difficult issues such as these without letting them get too spoiled or over-entitled. So what is a parent to do?

Give them choices.
Showing confidence in your children is a great way to help them build self-esteem, but it also helps to impart them with even simple responsibilities. Allowing your children choices can help them to develop their own unique opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Something simple enough as offering your child a choice of different breakfast dishes to choose from can help them feel empowered and in control of their decisions.

Don’t do everything for them.
It can be difficult for parents to not step in when their child is having difficulties. Whether they are struggling with a puzzle or trying to figure something out, it’s important to exercise patience and allow them to develop a solution on their own. This is important for many reasons. Not only will your children begin to rely on themselves for their own resourcefulness, but they will also develop a strong sense of self. Having things handed to them all the time can be dangerous – it can lead to spoiled attitudes as well as difficulties facing any kind of failure in the future.

Remind them that people are human.
No one is perfect, and people make mistakes. Children may fret over these kinds of trip-ups but mistakes are great opportunities for learning. Things happen, and it is important that children understand that there is always room to improve and to get better. This can help your children when they make mistakes of their own but it can also help them become a better judge of others, as well.

Spend time with your children.
Whether you have one child or many, it is important that you spend one-on-one time with them. Parents are arguably the most important people in a child’s life, and knowing that they are worthy of your undivided attention when appropriate can help them to understand their importance as people. For parents with only one child, it’s important to remember to give your child space and allow them to spend time on their own as well. For parents with multiple kids, it’s important that you spend time with each child individually and that you are careful not to compare your children to one another, either. It’s important that you appreciate each one’s individuality. 

Incorporate positive words. Positive words/phrases can help boost kids self-esteem and self-image.  You should be telling your kids these positive phrases more often…

– good thinking
– keep it up
-you can do it
-nice going
-very proud
-much better
-thank you
-great choice
-well done
-keep trying
-great job
-I believe in you
-way to go
-you make me happy
-give me five
-how kind

 Be sure to check out our parenting resources and personalized storybooks to boost self-esteem while promoting literacy.