Self-esteem is feeling good about yourself. Good self-esteem helps children try new things, take healthy risks and solve problems. It gives them a solid foundation for their learning and development.

Self-esteem helps kids cope with mistakes. It helps kids try again, even if they fail at first. As a result, self-esteem helps kids do better at school, at home, and in social environments. Kids with low self-esteem feel unsure of themselves.

Self-esteem is important because it heavily influences people’s choices and decisions. Self-esteem serves a motivational function by making it more or less likely that people will take care of themselves and explore their full potential.

Here are a few things you can do to help the kids in your life:

  • Listen to and acknowledge your child’s thoughts and feelings.
  • Create situations that help your child experience success, not failure. Set clear and appropriate expectations, offer reasonable amounts of help, provide adequate incentives and remove obstacles.
  • Give your child a feeling of reasonable control over their life… age-appropriate.
  • Reinforce that your child is loved, and you believe in them.  Your child should know that they are loved and supported by others also, grandparents, aunts, uncles, extended family and friends. The more positive feelings they get the better they will feel about themselves.
  • Show your child that you have a positive view of yourself. Children mimic the adults in their life.  Children are like little sponges. They soak up things from their surroundings. This may be actions, words (especially the words we don’t want them to) and feelings.
  • Help your child learn to do things. At every age, there are new things for kids to learn.
  • When teaching kids how to do things, show and help them at first. …
  • Praise your child
  • Be a good role model. …
  • Ban harsh criticism. …
  • Focus on strengths. …
  • Spend quality time with your child you let your child know they are important to you. Yes…this means PUT DOWN THE PHONE. Doing things together as a family can help strengthen a sense of belonging and togetherness in your family, which is also good for your child’s self-esteem.
  • Develop family rituals. These could include a story at bedtime, a special goodbye kiss or other ways of doing things that are special to your family.
  • Let your child help you with something so that she/he feels useful. For example, help you set the table for dinner.
  • Plan some regular one-on-one time with your child, doing something that she enjoys, whether it’s drawing, doing puzzles, singing, dancing and playing dress-up.

Your child should also know that they are not going to “come in first place” every time but that’s ok and they are winners if they try. You can still praise their effort and determination and remind them that these will help them succeed next time.

There are lots of ways to help your child cope well with failure:

  • When your child has a problem, encourage them to think calmly, listen to other people’s points of view and come up with possible solutions to try. This builds important life skills.
  • Help your child learn new things and achieve goals. This might mean praising and encouraging them when they learn something new, like reading or writing a new word or riding a bike.
  • Celebrate big and small achievements and successes. And remember to praise your child’s effort, not just their results.
  • Keep special reminders of your child’s successes and progress. You can go through them with your child and ask them how it made them feel. This will also help them learn to express themselves with their words.
  • Teach your child that failing is a part of learning. For example, if they keep missing the ball when they’re learning to catch, say “You’re getting closer each time.”
  • Teach your child to be kind to themself when they do fail. You could be a role model here. For example, “I tried a new recipe, and the cake looks a bit funny. But that’s OK. It smells delicious.”

Nothing is more important or meaningful than bringing up emotionally healthy and happy children. Children are the most precious gifts we can receive. As adults, we owe it to them to provide them with the tools they need for positive self-esteem and every chance to succeed.