How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem


The most precious gift you can give your children is self-belief.  Self-belief is trust in your own ability. But where does that ability come from?

It comes from self-esteem.  It is a belief and a confidence in your own ability and value.

Children need to be given a strong, healthy self-image, because from that solid foundation, everything else in life will become easier and more straightforward.  The way you see yourself today is the result of conditioning by your parents, family, teachers, and other influential adults and peers in your life.

As a parent you have a big responsibility to support your child and develop this crucial belief themselves.

Raising confident children begins with your confidence because confidence is contagious.  But most of all your kids will respond to you in more positive ways as you exude this new confident, energetic, and assertive attitude.

Here are my top tips:-

1. Learn to be flexible

It’s true that the basics of good parenting apply to all children, but the way these are put into practice must be tailored to fit your child’s age, personality, interests, and circumstances.

Because flexibility is so important in parenting to create self-belief, it is worth remembering that if you don’t change with your child, they’re just going to move on without you.

2. What you do and how you act really matters

Keeping a sense of humor is enormously valuable. It defuses tension, lifts your mood, and widens everyone’s perspective.

When you are a confident, relaxed, chilled parent, your child watches that and learns from you.

Children actually have a strong desire to grow up to be just like their Mom and Dad.  If you are courteous, kind, friendly, generous, and spirited, your child will turn out similarly. If you are rude, judgmental, aggressive and aloof, your child will learn to be the same — this is particularly true before adolescence.

Create security and set boundaries.  Children thrive on routine, security, and rules. If your child feels insecure, they’ll be reluctant to try out new challenges.

3. Express your love and affection

All children want, need, and deserve is unconditional love.  Children and adults thrive on affection, emotional attachment, love, and devotion.  They also need to know that they belong and will always have a place in their families no matter what.

Self-esteem begins with receiving unconditional love and support and letting your child know that they are normal, but also different and unique. Remember you can rob and erode self-esteem by ridicule, humiliation, and, of course, by hitting them.

Children from affectionate families are better equipped to cope with the frustrations and disappointments of daily life.

Praising children is another way to express your love for them. It not only makes them feel good about themselves, therefore building their self-esteem, but it also helps them to learn important lessons about the value of working hard to achieve a goal or to behave in a certain way.

4. Get involved

Children with involved parents do better at school, feel better about themselves and have greater self-esteem

It doesn’t matter how old your child is, they need your involvement — and that means spending time with them.

It’s about fully engaging, really listening, sharing a passion or interest, being relaxed, and having fun.

5. Develop independence

Good parenting requires a balance between involvement and independence, and your child learns her self-confidence from learning to manage self-sufficiency.

Parents who encourage independence in their children help them to develop a sense of self-direction and to be successful in life, children need both self-control and self-direction.

To develop self-esteem, children need psychological space. If you are too emotionally wrapped up in your child’s life, they’ll feel smothered and overprotected.

6. Treat your child with respect

When a parent shows respect, it creates trust, and the whole family learns this culture as well. It sounds obvious, but speak politely to your child and respect their opinion, pay real attention when they’re speaking to you and treat them kindly. Let your child feel they are important and interesting and actively ask your child’s viewpoint and be sincere and genuine with them.

Did you know that the Reading Kingdom online reading for kids program is scientifically designed to boost children’s self-esteem and will to learn? Sign up for a 30 day free trial today.

“Using this reading program, my son’s reading skills have been raised to a level well beyond his grade.  I cannot credit the Reading Kingdom enough for raising my son’s self-esteem and guiding him on a path to achieving his full potential.” — V.W. Shiah, M.D. and parent

For more about kids and self-esteem, see our activities for kids page.