9 Ways to Encourage Self-Esteem in Children

How can we create positive self-esteem in our children?  There are some very well researched principles that consistently encourage self-esteem in children.  In fact, research tells us that positive self-esteem has a significant effect on a child’s development and sets the stage for his ability to be well-adjusted and happy as a child, teenager or adult. 

9 Principles to encourage your child’s self-esteem (overview)

9 ways to encourage a child's self-esteem
Value each child’s uniqueness and tell the child about their special qualities.

Today, I would like to list these nine principles then later discuss them in future posts. It is worth understanding each in more detail.

Principle 1 Show unconditional love, and let the child know he is valued and accepted.

Principle 2  Acknowledge the child’s successes and abilities.

Principle 3 Structure situations to help the child experience feelings of success.

Principle 4 Give the child a feeling of reasonable control over his life. 

Principle 5  Value each child’s uniqueness and tell the child about their special qualities.

Principle 6  Intervene when the child puts himself or herself down and expresses a sense of failure of hopelessness. 

Principle 7 Communicate acceptance and respect to the child even when the content of the message may be difficult.

Principle 8 Establish a realistic view of self-esteem in the child and help her cope with experiences of failure.

Principle 9 Model a sense of optimism and a positive view of yourself to the child.   

These may seem intuitive but are all too easy to disregard in the moment.

Acknowledge the child’s successes and abilities.
Acknowledge the child’s successes and abilities.

At first glance these appear intuitive and logical, but when caregivers of children are dealing with the actual behaviors and activities of a child, these principles can become quite easy to disregard. They can be lost in the busy moment when we are attempting to handle the stresses of caring for a child’s needs or are just unaware of our impact.  

In upcoming posts, we will continue this significant discussion as we raise awareness and offer some tips to implement these principles in the lives of our children in practical ways. 

More to come, so stay tuned.  Thanks so much for reading Lakeside Connect.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network 

Some research taken from Pathways to Competence,  Second Edition, Sarah Landy, p. 338.






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