Child self-esteem

From CopperWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Healthy self-esteem is a child's armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who have a healthy self esteem find it easier to handle conflicts and negative pressures. They tend to smile more and enjoy life more. They are realistic and generally optimistic. To kids with low self-esteem challenges are sources of major anxiety and frustration. They have a hard time finding solutions to problems.


Why should I be aware of this?

As kids grow up there are fluctuations in their self-esteem because of his experiences and perceptions. It undergoes frequent changes and fine tuning. So it helps to be aware of the signs of both healthy and unhealthy self-esteem. Signs of low self-esteem in kids are not wanting to try out new things, speaking negatively about themselves, exhibiting a low tolerance for frustration, giving up easily or waiting for somebody else to take over. They tend to be overly critical of themselves and perceive temporary setbacks as permanent.

All about child self-esteem

Self-esteem is probably the most vital ingredient in raising a happy, confident kid.

Self-esteem refers to your self-confidence, self-respect, pride in yourself, your independence and your self-reliance. All these feelings are wrapped up in the term "self-esteem". The same holds for your children. The more positive their self-esteem, the harder they will try, the happier they will be. They will develop greater self-respect, make friends more easily and will be more giving. Children with positive self-esteem are more secure and loving than children with negative self-esteem.

Negative self-esteem is related to low self-confidence, insecurity, underachievement, anxiety, depression, acting-out behavior, sleep problems and being a loner.

Messages that damage children's self-esteem

  • Ignoring them. Behavior indicating that you are not taking an interest in them.
  • Messages that say you do not like the child, and not just his behavior.
  • Messages that say something bad, like being “...lazy, untidy, naughty, a nuisance, a bully, shy etc.”
  • Comparing them with others, especially brothers and sisters.
  • Giving messages that life would be better without them.
  • Threatening to leave them if they do not obey you
  • Frowning and/or sighing when they want to talk to you or ask you for something.

What can I do?

Be careful with words

Praise your child not only for achievements but also for the efforts made. Encourage him adequately even if his efforts have failed.

Adopt positive mindset

Don't under-rate yourself. Don’t be pessimistic or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations as your child may eventually mirror you. You can become a role model for your child by nurturing your own self-esteem.

Help set more accurate standards

Identify kids' irrational beliefs about themselves and help set more accurate standards. Be realistic in evaluation and help them have a healthy self-concept. Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to kids.

Be spontaneous and affectionate

A child’s self-confidence gets a boost with your love. Show of affections like hugs indicate you're proud of them. Praise frequently and honestly, without overdoing it. Kids can tell whether something comes from the heart.

Create a safe, loving environment at home

A secure and happy home is very important for a kid’s self-esteem. Repeated fights and arguments between parents leave them depressed and withdrawn. Also watch for signs of child abuse, problems in school, trouble with peers, and other factors that may affect kids' self-esteem.

Encourage cooperation

Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem.

Professional help

Consider professional help if you find the problem beyond your control. Family and child counselors can help uncover underlying issues that prevent a child from feeling good about himself or herself. With the help of therapy kids learn to view themselves and the world positively.


  • Self-esteem is very important for everyone.
  • Young children learn self-esteem through what they can do and through what their parents think of them.
  • "Put down" messages really damage self-esteem.
  • "Doing" messages such as giving time, hugs and smiles are very important in building self-esteem.
  • Keep giving sincere messages that build self-esteem to your adolescents, even if they say they don't believe you. These messages matter.
  • Self-esteem is learned and can be changed.
  • Take care of your own self-esteem as well. [1]


Poor self-esteem is nothing to be blamed for, ashamed of, or embarrassed about. Some self-doubt, particularly during adolescence, is normal—even healthy-but poor self—esteem should not be ignored. In some instances, it can be a symptom of a mental health disorder or emotional disturbance. Parents can play important roles in helping their children feel better about themselves and developing greater confidence. [2]


  • Developing your child's self-esteem
  • Build your child's self esteem
  • Self-esteem


  1. Parenting and Child Health
  2. Your Child’s Mental Health