Raise Your Child’s Self-Esteem

As parents, we only want the best for our children. We want them to be confident and self-loving people. There’s a few ways to raise your child’s self-esteem. Our children model after our actions, not just our words. 

In the words of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

1. You must model self-respect. Just as you must provide an example of a person with positive self-image, you must also show your child through behavior, that you respect yourself and are entitled therefore to be treated respectfully. A child must believe down to his soul that you genuinely think of yourself as a respected human being. The importance of this principle can be summed up in these words: If you want your child to respect himself, give him an example of a person who does the same, and never, ever waiver from that position. When children see a shining example, it is easier for them to incorporate high self-esteem behaviors into their own lives.


2. Treat each child as a unique individual. Each of your children is a special person not like his brothers or sisters, or any other person with whom you might compare him. Respecting a child’s uniqueness means more than simply avoiding comparisons. It means respecting him or her as total and complete now and always being conscious of his unique attributes. A child who is treated as unique in all the world begins to see himself the same way. A child who is allowed to be different, to dance to his own special music, to be unlike everyone else without being criticized, to be in fact anything he chooses as long as he does not interfere with anyone else’s right to uniqueness will have a great deal of self-confidence and high levels of self-esteem.


3. A child is not his actions. He is a person who acts. To promote high self-esteem you must be aware of the difference between these two conflicting notions. A child who fails is not a failure; he has simply acted in a way which has given him an opportunity to grow. A child who does poorly on a mathematics quiz is not a dunce; he is simply performing in mathematics at a given level at this particular time in his life. You can teach your child to grow from mistakes and to never fear failure as long as he understands that his worth does not come from how well he performs a given task on a particular day. You are worthy because you say it is so, because you exist. No more, no less. Self-worth cannot be validated on the basis of performance; it must be a given and something you convey every day.


4. Provide praise rather than criticism. Children who are criticized learn to do the same thing to themselves, and ultimately become persons with low self-regard. Praise is a wonderful tool in the entire process of child rearing. Remember, nobody (including yourself) enjoys being told what to do or being criticized. Parents often believe that they are providing help to their children when they constantly correct and criticize them, assuming that they will grow from these remarks. But ask yourself: Do you like being corrected? Do you grow when you are constantly criticized? In truth, we tend to stay the same when we are criticized; we want to defend what we have done, and our innate stubbornness refuses to permit us to accept the criticism we are receiving. Create an environment in which your children know that you are with them in their efforts, rather than looking to criticize them, and you will have taken a step in building a positive self-image.

30 thoughts on “Raise Your Child’s Self-Esteem

  1. Between 10-12 months old, infants start to actively communicate their feelings. The way the parents respond to them at this very young age will constitute the development of their experiences in life. Infants start building self-esteem when they are born.

    Factors in a child’s environments, like their homes and child care centres, can impact the evolution of a wholesome self-esteem, because by age two or three, toddlers have started to realize they’re separate individuals.

    So it is very important to be a good model to our children and be very careful what we do when they are present. Children are like sponges they soak up everything they experience, and the best influence in their lives at that very young age is their immediate family. And that’s the NURTURE part of developing self-esteem. The first part is NATURE.

  2. This is 2 thumbs up! I’m happy to say that my daughter is very well-rounded and obedient. We do have a very good relationship. We may have some misunderstandings at times, but because we have an open communication, we always talk about it at once. We don’t sleep without ironing things out. Love this post!

  3. Absolutely true – I sometimes wish I’d known more when my own boys were young and now I have a ‘second chance’ at getting it better with my two adorable granddaughters.. xx

  4. Children’s self-esteem grows the same way an adult’s does: from the inside out, not the outside in. Work hard enough at something to become competent, and live up to your responsibilities. Yes, a parent can help by teaching, encouraging, and setting a good example. Praise is pleasant, but not at all essential.

  5. These all are soot on. We parents have influence our children instead of trying to control them.
    The best way is to lead by example.
    There is enough pressure from the world on our children that they should have to worry about being different at home.
    Unconditional acceptance comes before unconditional love.
    Great article!

  6. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22

  7. Excellent post !
    Wayne Dyer is one of my favourite self development authors. I was sorry to hear of his passing.

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