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Building Self-Esteem and Confidence in Children

How can you help your child to grow in confidence and higher self-esteem? Here are some suggestions:

  • help your child set realistic goals and then support them in achieving those goals.
  • give your child responsibility and chores at their level at home, and don't forget to thank them and to compliment them on a job well done.
  • let you child know when you are proud of them and say so.
  • let your child be the "family expert" on subjects that interest them.
  • as much as possible, provide a range of different enriching experiences for your child. These don't have to be expensive – a simple nature walk can be a great experience.
  • tell friends and relatives about your child's achievements and positive qualities, and let your child overhear.
  • make time for your child in your busy day and give them the gift of your undivided attention, if even just for a few minutes per day.
  • set clear boundaries and expectations for your child. This provides a sense of security and lets them know that you care enough to be consistent and clear.
  • leave encouraging notes or letters for your child.

Try not to:

  • put your child down verbally. Discourage the problem, not the child.
  • let your child put themselves down verbally; instead, encourage and model positive self-talk.
  • compare your child to their friends or siblings.
  • over-protect.
  • be negative yourself or convey helplessness to your child.

By being aware of your child's self-esteem and confidence level, you, as a parent, can act as a coach for your child. All of us do better when there is someone actively coaching us to be the best that we can be.


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