Building Children’s Self-Esteem

Children with low self-esteem tend to lack confidence and often feel excluded, self-critical, insecure and doubt their ability to do well. Lack of self-esteem can restrict children from participating or trying new experiences; it is therefore important to identify the problem early.

Take steps to help build their self-image and keep them on track. Start by giving your child enough time to work things out for themselves. For example, while it may be quicker for you to tie your child’s shoes, allowing them to do it for themselves provides them with a new skill and a sense of achievement upon completion.

Assign some age-appropriate household chores that they are responsible for. This should boost their skillset and feelings of competency. Try not to draw comparisons between your child and their siblings or friends. Highlight your child’s strengths and allow them to build upon them. If there is a task or subject they struggle with, spend extra time together to help them master it.

When praising your child, be sure to offer it sincerely. Use specific comments so that your child understands what they have done well, for example, if they are drawing, you might say: “I like the detail of the trees in your drawing”.