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Boosting Your Child’s Self-Esteem

October 9th, 2012 - Category: Behavior Advice

Self-esteem is how you value yourself.  It can change from day to day, or year to year.

It is an evaluation of your own self worth.  It is tied to your beliefs and your emotions.  It is not based on fact, rather what you believe and how you feel about yourself.  Having a positive self-esteem is important because it can influence the outcome of relevant situations.

Positive Self-Esteem

Having a positive self-esteem comes from two ideas, feeling capable and feeling loved.  Feeling good about yourself can be like wearing armor.  When a difficult situation arises or negative pressures present themselves, that armor can protect you and make it easier to handle the conflicts.  When you feel good about yourself you tend to smile more and enjoy life.  You tend to be more realistic and optimistic.  You are more likely to take responsibility for yourself and your actions.  If you have more self-worth, you have firm beliefs in certain values and principles and you are secure in supporting them.  You look to the future, learn from the past, and live in the present.  You trust yourself and are able to resist manipulation.  We all want our children to have a positive self-esteem.

Negative Self-Esteem

The opposite would be negative self-esteem.  If you don’t feel good about yourself you tend to face challenges with anxiety and frustration you don’t have good self-worth.  You are passive and withdrawn and depressed.  You tend to speak negative about yourself and give up easily.  Your attitude is overly critical and pessimistic and you are generally disappointed in yourself.  If your child displays negative self-esteem as any of these qualities, don’t give up, you can help.

How Parents Can Help

Is there anything parents can do to help their children have a more positive self-esteem?

Be Careful What You Say – Reward their effort and completion, not just the outcome.  Encourage them by showing support.

Be a Positive Role Model – They will mirror what they see, so if you are constantly saying “I can’t” so will they.

Be Affectionate – Provide a safe and loving home environment where they can try new things, possibly fail, and not be criticized for it.

Encourage them to Better Themselves – By dressing nicely, having good hygiene, practicing good posture, working out regularly, and even walking faster, a persons personal outlook can improve.

Help Them Stand Out – When you compliment others, sit in the front row, or speak up, others notice you in positive ways and that will increase self-esteem.

Give Them Opportunities to Help Others -Encourage them to become a mentor, to volunteer and contribute to your community or your family in some way.  This will help them be more sensitive to others and make good choices, not just choices that everyone else would make.

Our online job chart at is one of the ways you can give them an opportunity to help out with the family.  By giving them responsibility and having them help with chores they can feel a sense of accomplishment and worth.

If you have examples of how you have encouraged your child to have a more positive self-esteem of themselves we’d love to hear about it.  Please be sure to leave a comment.

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