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Growth and Development: Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem

Table of Contents


Self-esteem is a person's core belief about himself or herself. A person's self-esteem is reflected in his or her actions, both in how as well as what he or she does. Although self-esteem varies from time to time, the pattern usually leans toward a healthy or unhealthy view of self. With healthy self-esteem, a person is more likely to succeed in life.

Although building self-esteem is a lifelong process, the foundation of self-esteem is established in childhood. That foundation can do much to help a child deal with difficult life issues as they are encountered.

Parents have the greatest influence on a child's belief about himself or herself. Letting your child know that he or she belongs, is doing well, and is contributing can help him or her develop healthy self-esteem.

Keep these things in mind as you raise your child.

How you can help your child develop healthy self-esteem

Developing a sense of belonging, learning, and contributing can help your child develop healthy self-esteem. The following are ways you can help promote this development in your child.


Through contact with others, we know that we are loved and respected and that we belong. Use the following suggestions to help your child feel he or she belongs within your family.


Although learning really takes place all the time, plan to create a learning opportunity for your child at least once a week.


Contributing enhances our feelings of belonging, providing the basis for continued learning and strengthening of self-esteem. Every day, use the following suggestions to help your child feel that he or she is contributing.

You may want to keep a journal when you are starting to use this method. Each day for at least 3 weeks, write in your journal specifically how you helped your child develop a sense of belonging, learning, and contributing. Keeping a journal for an extended period of time will help encourage positive behavior. After 3 weeks, review your notes to see your child's progress and to identify new ways to help your child.

Credits for Growth and Development: Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem

Current as of: March 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

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