Building self-esteem in your child

Building self-esteem in your child

All the parents want their children to have a healthy self esteem.They want them to live with pride about their own selves. All the stakeholders in child development beat the family members, teachers, coaches, their friends and other important people in life, help build the child’s self worth.



Children’s Self Esteem

A simple meaning for self esteem could be something that makes us feel good about ourselves.Self esteem also includes self worth.Child with immense sense of self esteem feels worthy of all the good things in life.Such a child doesn’t hypothesize bad things happening for himself or herself.The child feels that he deserves.Children with a healthy sense of self esteem have adults around them who:

  • Care for the child
  • Accept and praise the child.
  • Are not too critical about the child.
  • make the child feel secure in their presence and absence.


A child’s self esteem is altered if they think that others judge them or continuously evaluate them.The self esteem gets wounded if the child feels that the evaluation will lead them to get abandoned.For example, if being athletic is valued, children good in sports are likely to have strong self-esteem. On the other hand, those who are less athletic or clumsy could suffer from low self-esteem.

Different cultural groups and families hold different levels of self esteem.Many times there are trends that run across groups and cultures.This even holds true for some religions and countries as well.There are few factors that lead to low self esteem which include:

  • Stereotyping
  • Prejudice
  • Discrimination


How to ensure healthy self esteem?

The built of self esteem starts the moment the child takes birth.How they are treated, taken care of and respected, all determines what kind of self esteem will the child grow up with.When the parents duly respond to their child’s needs, the child feel secure, safe and hence feels worthy of receiving all the love and affection.

Children feel valued when they are loved and adored by those whom they look up to.As small children, their simple equation is, trust those who take care of you.

Being in a group also strengthens a child’s self esteem.When a child is a part of a group, they feel belonged and acknowledged of their existence.

As the children grow, their pure relationships become important.However, the role of the adults does not diminish in the process.

  • As their friendships will become important, children will see themselves in new ways.They’ll be sharing boundaries, their toys etc.
  • Children gaining their self esteem is a process, not a one time goal or outcome.They interpret their social relationships differently in different contexts.In this, our role is to help them understand and take perspectives of their social lives.
  • A child’s sense of self worth depends when we support their interests and efforts.
  • When an adult trusts the child and involves them in the daily routine tasks and chores, they get a sense of accomplishment and feel worthy.


The equation might appear to be tricky, as on one hand we have to trust the child to take care of himself or herself, and on the other hand we have to help them feel belonged.Both these aspects add to a child’s self esteem.One thing that will resolve the complexity of this situation is, loving them all the way.When we love our child unconditionally, even if we are little away from the child or are unable to devote as much time and space to the child as that child deserves, the child will understand us as well. Children’s intelligence levels are immense when it comes to relationships. Make sure you let them know that you appreciate and value their presence in your life.This needs to be done in both word and

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