By: Kindergarten Teachers
“Parents need to fill child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.” – Alvin Price
We often hear a lot about the importance of developing self-esteem for our children. But as parents, it’s always a challenge for us to nurture our child’s self-esteem. Before we move deeper, we need to understand what ‘self-esteem’ is.
We can simply see that people with high self-esteem like themselves and believe that they are capable and worthy. As a result, they make better choices, become more resilient, and push harder to reach their goals. They are more likely to be happy, successful, and emotionally healthy.
Many parents are unsure on how to boost their child’s self-esteem. Do we have to compliment our kids for everything they do? Or shield them from failure so they will feel good about themselves?
Some of those approaches above seem reasonable but can be detrimental to their self-esteem for further development. Children build lasting self-esteem when they feel competent, accepted, and loved.
Here are some ways on how to build your child’s self-esteem, based on research:
- Give choices and responsibilities
Offer choices (e.g., what color of socks to wear). Give age-appropriate responsibilities (e.g., cleaning up the toys, setting up the dining table, feeding the pets, making the bed).
- Praise sincerely
Be sincere and specific with your praise. Instead of, “Good job!” say something like “You are getting so good at coloring inside the lines!” or, “You really have nice and tidy handwriting!”.
- Use failure as an opportunity
It is okay to make mistakes and occasionally fail. Let your kids challenge themselves. Encourage them to try again and make it clear that you still love them just the same no matter what.
- Avoid harsh criticism and sarcasm
Never giving criticism while angry or in front of others. You may criticize but do it thoughtfully and gently. Explain clearly to your children that although you dislike their actions, you never dislike them.
- Create opportunities for success
Teach your children to successfully do things for themselves from a young age. Notice what they enjoy and do well. Focus on their strength and give them opportunities to nurture these abilities.
Working to build your child’s self-esteem is one of the best ways you can spend your time as a parent. And although it may take a little extra effort sometimes, you will be setting your kids up for success now and in the future. As long as you’re consistently trying to share love and positivity, you will be building confidence in them.
Cullins, Ashley. (2017, July 20). Want Your Kids To Have High Self-Esteem? Science Says Do This. Retrieved from