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Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem

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Self-esteem is a person's core belief about themself. A person's self-esteem is reflected in their actions, both in how as well as what they do. 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 themself. Letting your child know that they belong, are doing well, and are contributing can help them develop healthy self-esteem.

Keep these things in mind as you raise your child.

Keeping a journal can help as you work to build your child's self-esteem. Each day for at least 3 weeks, write in your journal the specific ways you helped your child develop a sense of belonging, learning, and contributing. After 3 weeks, review your notes to see your child's progress and to find new ways to help your child.

How to help your child develop healthy self-esteem

Through belonging

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 they belong within your family.

Through learning

Learning can help children develop healthy self-esteem. Although learning really takes place all the time, plan to create a learning opportunity for your child at least once a week.

Through contributing

Contributing enhances our feelings of belonging, giving the basis for more learning and stronger self-esteem. Every day, use the following suggestions to help your child feel that they are contributing.

Credits for Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem

Current as of: February 28, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
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