Improving Self-Esteem in Kids



Raising children with high self-esteem is an important part of raising children, and parents have the greatest influence on how their kids come to view themselves in the world around them.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is how one feels about oneself; how much a person likes, accepts, and respects him or herself overall as a person. What one thinks about oneself determines how he feels. Behaviors and actions reflect those feelings, whether positive or negative. Parents are often quick to show frustration, anger and disappointment, while slow to express genuine gratitude, appreciation and praise towards their children.

The overall happiness and success of children primarily depends on parents building self-confidence in their children, as having high self-esteem will have tremendous impact on a child’s success and independence as adults.

Children With High Self-Esteem Are Able To:

Act independently
Assume responsibility
Take pride in their abilities
Deal with their emotions
Willingly accept new challenges
Handle problems efficiently

Children With Low Self-Esteem:

Feel unloved and unwanted
Blame others for their own mistakes
Avoid taking on new challenges or tasks
Put themselves down
Discredit their own abilities
Are easily influenced or manipulated by others

For children to have healthy self-esteem, they must feel that they are loved unconditionally by their parents, with consistent encouragement and praise. Children also need to know that they are seen as capable of doing things for themselves and by themselves.
Many parents do far too much for their children, so much so that their kids get the unspoken message that they are incapable of doing things for him or herself. Think back to when you were trying to help your young child get dressed, or when you were trying to help tie their shoes and your son or daughter said, “Let me do it, I can do it myself!” Children want and need to feel they can do things by themselves, without any help from parents.

Giving children age-appropriate activities, chores and responsibilities within the home, along with praise and encouragement from parents, helps build self-esteem. As soon as children have learned how to walk without help from parents, children can learn to feel good about themselves, their abilities and accomplishments.

21 Self-Esteem Activities For Children:

Help set the table with spoons, napkins, placemats
Help clear the table after meals
Wash the table after meals with a cloth or sponge
Carry in the mail or newspaper
Pick up toys, clothes and shoes
Make their bed
Help carry in groceries
Help put groceries away
Help prepare dinner, wash vegetables, stirring
Wash kitchen counters
Make their own lunch
Sweep, dust or vacuum
Clean bathrooms
Sort and fold laundry
Do their own laundry
Empty and re-load the dishwasher
Carry out the trash
Help with yard work, raking leaves, shoveling snow
Help with gardening, plant flowers or vegetables
Feed and walk family pets
Help wash and clean the family car

How Parents Can Build Self-Esteem In Children:

Parents can help build self-esteem in children and teens, avoiding problems associated with low-esteem by focusing on giving praise and encouraging comments, as well as opportunities to discover and experience success.

If children show an interest in art or drawing, promote self-esteem by providing children with art supplies. Help children discover who they are, promote and encourage their interest in gardening, dance, reading, music, animals etc, and allow children to do for themselves what they are capable of doing safely.

After-school sports or other after-school activities help build self-confidence and a spirit of teamwork, which are important character traits to be learned. Be loving and firm in giving children activities or chores, offer choices of chores to be done so they can learn how to make decisions, and learn consequences of decision-making.

by Lin Burress