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Self-Esteem and Confidence

By: Linda Sorkin, LMFT of Soul Empowered Coaching
Having a healthy self esteem is important so that children succeed in the things they try, in school, and in their relationships. If they have a healthy self-esteem, they will feel good about themselves, and that will have a profound impact on just about every area of their life.

Build Confidence and Self-Esteem in Children

When a child has a healthy self-esteem, she will have confidence, which will help her try new things, achieve goals, and make it through life's challenges. If they do not have a healthy self esteem, they will not feel confident in their abilities and will be less likely to engage in new activities. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help your child have a healthy self- esteem, including:

  • Encouraging and believing in them. Using positive reinforcement is essential when trying to build confidence.
  • Monitor what you and the rest of the family members say when upset with the child or when they haven't been successful at accomplishing something. If a child is told she is stupid, slow, lazy, etc., all those things will impact how she feels about herself.
  • Help your child to set and achieve goals. Each time they achieve the goal, make a big deal out of it, making them feel good.
  • While most people think that, at this age, group sports will be helpful in increasing self-esteem, the research says otherwise. Your child may feel worse being on a team sport if she is not a great player, gets benched, etc. Non-competitive sports and activities are the most effective route to raising a child's self-esteem. That way they continuously improve, but they are not in competition with others.
  • If you have more than one child, use caution when comparing them. If your child feels that you think the other one is better or does things better, it will impact her self-esteem.
  • If your child continues to have low self-esteem, and you have exhausted the other options, speak with her counselor for suggestions and investigate whether something at school may be contributing to it, such as being bullied.

While we don't want to go overboard as parents to make our children feel good about themselves, we do need to make having a healthy self-esteem a priority. By being a confident role model and consistently looking for your child's strengths and focusing on the positives, they should have a healthy self-esteem in no time!