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Ways to Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem

Highlights from this Blog:

-Self-esteem develops from a very young age. It tends to decrease as children get older but can change over time.

-Children may have unrealistic views of their self-worth.

-Small, everyday actions and the home environment may have a significant impact on your child’s self-esteem.

-Children may experience higher or lower self-worth in the different areas of their life.

Self-esteem is also known as self-worth. Essentially, self-esteem is how one feels about themselves as a person. It is an individual’s own evaluation of their capabilities and how they perceive their value as a person. These perceptions may or may not be accurate. Many times, people who demonstrate low self-esteem misinterpret or distort reality. For children, self-esteem can be impacted across several different areas which include family, peer interactions, academic ability, and physical attributes. Feelings of low self-esteem can begin very early in childhood. Self-esteem tends to decrease as students progress through school. This is due to students becoming more self- aware of their performance and how it compares to others. Self-esteem is important because higher self-esteem is correlated with achievement, good relationships, and better life satisfaction. Lower self-esteem can lead to depression, not achieving one’s potential, and unhealthy relationships. Below are some tips for parents to help bolster your child’s self-esteem.

  1. Provide a home environment in which your child feels valued, supported, and able to take risks. Let your child know mistakes happen and try to avoid messages of disapproval and harsh criticism.

  2. Give your child praise that is specific and genuine.

  3. Be mindful of your comments. Even small actions or offhand comments can have a significant impact.

  4. Teach your child to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

  5. Focus on praising effort compared to praising performance. Point out to your child specific evidence of their progress.

  6. Help your student learn a realistic understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Also, provide your child with realistic expectations. If your child is only focusing on their weaknesses, highlight their strengths and express encouragement that with practice and hard work, they will improve their weaknesses.

  7. Share that everyone has specific strengths and weaknesses. Highlight some of your own and discuss ways you improved them over time.

  8. Teach your child that failure is a part of life and teach them how to cope with it. Offer help and problem-solving strategies.

  9. Create special opportunities for your child to feel valued or special.

  10. If these concerns continue to persist, consider seeking outside professional help.

Self-esteem develops from a very young age. However, it can change over time and fluctuate. It is important to communicate how loved and valued your child is and then allow your actions to reinforce these sentiments. Making some small changes to the home environment or how you communicate to your child may make more of an impact than you might expect.

If after trying these recommendations your child is still struggling with their self-esteem, please reach out to us at We have licensed therapists that can help your child improve their self-esteem.

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