5 Ways to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Every parent wants their child to grow up to be confident and feel good about themselves. Children with high self-esteem are more likely to try new things, feel proud of themselves, make friends easily, and cope better when making mistakes. Here are some things you can do at home to help build your child’s self-esteem. 


Teach your child how to do new things

Children will feel more confident to try something new if you show them how to do it first. You can use an “I do, we do, you do” strategy. First, show the child how to do the task, then you do it together, then you let the child do it independently. The more new things a child tries and accomplishes, the more confidence in their abilities will grow. The more their confidence grows, the more they want to try new things. 


Praise your child’s effort

It is good to praise a child for their accomplishments (like getting a good grade) and their innate abilities (like being smart or talented), but it is more important to praise them for their efforts. Say things like “I love to see how much you are studying,”  “I’m proud of you for how hard you were trying on your homework even though it was hard,” or “Great job trying again until you got it right.” This will give them the confidence to persevere through things they don’t get right the first time. 


Avoid harsh criticism

If your child messes something up, avoid saying things that criticize their character. Saying things like “you’re so lazy” or “you don’t even care” does nothing to motivate them to do better and only damages their self-esteem. Instead, gently remind them what the expectations are, encourage them to try again, and show them a better way to handle the task. 


Encouraging them to help others

When a child can see that what they do matters and helps others, it will increase their self-esteem.


Encourage them to use their strengths to help others. If they are good at cooking, let them help you with dinner. If they are good at a subject in school, encourage them to help siblings or other students with their homework. 


Model confidence in yourself

One of the most important ways to build your child’s self-esteem is by modeling confidence in yourself. Children learn how to act by watching their parents and caregivers. If they see you giving yourself grace, speaking kindly about yourself, and presenting yourself confidently, they will be more likely to do the same.


Start Helping Your Child Today

We all want our children to grow up with confidence, especially if we struggled with it when we were young. We want our children to be able to stand up for themselves and not be afraid to speak up about things they believe, no matter what others say. Teaching them to do new things, giving praise, and avoiding harsh criticism are critical to giving your child confidence. Be sure to model confidence in yourself and encourage them to help others any chance they get. These are all things that should help your child to have the utmost confidence.