15 Ways To Build Self-Esteem In Children

Self-esteem is the foundation to build confidence in children. It is the driving force behind the behaviour of the child. Without it, children will not be happy.

I had read a quote in one of the resources I used during my teaching days in school.

“Children need to realize what others appreciate about them in order to feel self-worth”.


During the teacher training sessions and workshops that I attended, it was emphasized that as educators we need to empower children by making them confident about themselves.

 Parents and teachers need to focus on a child’s emotional and social needs to nurture self-esteem.

While schools nowadays focus a lot in building interpersonal, intra-personal, social and emotional skills in children through various activities, devising a holistic academic curriculum and introducing sports in the daily school routine.

This is what we can do as parents:

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  1. Praise children. Reward them, recognise their efforts.
  2. Emphasize their strengths and not on their weakness.
  3. Define rules clearly. Make them a part of the decision making. Let them make their own rules.
  4. Focus on self-discipline, rather than forced discipline.
  5. Always show care, empathise and do not sympathize.
  6. Be available to them. Be a good listener. Give support whenever they need it.
  7. Talk with them about their interests, likes and dislikes. Talk about the activities they would like to do. Be their partner.
  8. Have reasonable expectations from children. Help them set achievable goals so they can achieve success.
  9. Give children responsibility. Involve them in household chores. Help them understand the importance of responsibility and accountability.
  10. Help them develop tolerance. Share stories which depict tolerance.
  11. Refrain from blaming them. Children will not look for solutions if they are blamed for their mistakes.
  12. Make efforts to understand their emotions. Take their feelings seriously, do not belittle them.
  13. Use positive reinforcement techniques. Use positive phrases to motivate them.
  14. Avoid phrases that hurt their self-esteem: “You never understand”, “This dress is not looking good on you”, “You need to lose weight”, “You are so skinny”, “You don’t look good with spectacles”, “How many times should I remind you?”
  15.  Be a good role model. Let them know that you also make mistakes and try and learn from them. Let them know that you feel good about yourself.

Please share your views and do mention in comments if you would like to add any more points to focus on to build self-esteem in children.

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112 thoughts on “15 Ways To Build Self-Esteem In Children”

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  4. I just want to add to your great advice to parents and teachers : when you need to correct a child do it without shaming him or her. Shame is toxic to developing self-esteem. We do not have to make believe children are perfect all the time. They need to be able to understand that none of us if perfect all the time and that ‘s just fine. Human is better than perfect.

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  8. It’s really very important and useful post for both moms and teachers. Both plays a vital role in the bringing up of a child. And its our duty to always try to built or develop self esteem in them. This way they feel more confident and encouring. These points are very useful for developing self esteem. Thanks for sharing. #minreads #myfriendalexa.

  9. Lovely tips and while we might be following some of these already, reading them all together just helps reinforce it within our minds and we can consciously help raising more confident children

  10. Thanks for the useful tips! This is how my family raised us & I intend to follow the same steps. Kids these days want to be treated as individuals and we should not ignore this fact.

  11. This is must have reminder for all the parents. We follow these things but tend to forget few points when we are stressed.

    I would like to add not comparing them with other kids , not even their siblings.

    1. Yes Alpana . We need this reminders even if we know. I agree that we should avoid comparing them which we do many times though unintentionally but it affects a child’s self esteem

  12. Excellent tips on raising a child’s self esteem. A lot of parents know how important it is to praise but do not know how to actually do so beyond saying ‘good job’. This is a very useful post in this regard.

    1. Thanks Charu. Parents do know what is best for the child , we just need to keep reminding ourselves that we do not affect the child’s sense of self due to our parenting style.

  13. Great post.. I find it very useful and know the importance of cultivating self esteem in kids as I am in the process of raising a toddler and an infant 🙂
    Thanks for great tips

  14. I would say that you bring up a really good point here as it’s important to motivate children from the time they are very young. It’s important to let them know that they you respect their decisions and will always back them even despite failures. They need to be empowered to take their decisions without the fear of failure.

  15. Hi Aesha. nice post. The points we reinforce as parents and educators, the values we try to imbibe, that reflect in our behaviour, what children mirror in theirs is all that parenting stands for.

  16. Diya@februaryreve

    Hey Aesha!
    Molding little ones into confident and good human beings is such an important tasks for all parents. You’ve thoughtfully jotted down a lot of valuable key points.

  17. I love all your posts dear. Its a delight to read your blogs as they are so thought out and informative. I will try to incorporate these tips ..

    Neha (Sharing our experiences)

  18. A great post on how to raise self confident kids. A great reminder to parents that yelling, screaming and negative outpouring can damage their child’s self esteem.

  19. A very relevant post in these competitive times. I feel that being too much perfection focused may also damage a kid’s self esteem. Also my mantra – “NEVER COMPARE YOUR CHILD TO ANYONE ELSE”
    Thanks for sharing these very useful tips

  20. A wonderful wonderful post. This blog should be mantra for all parents. It makes me sad when I see someone not giving the respect to kids they deserve just because they are kids. These are the formative years of kids & what they become today will stay with them forever.

  21. Hi Aesha! Thank you so much for this gem of a post. A timeless reminder for all parents…I´m going to bookmark this for reference at all time. Each and every point is so true. Keep writing! Love and Hugs!

  22. Really nice tips Aesha! It’s important to allow kids to ‘decide’ too as they need to start learning as early as possible.

  23. Very practical suggestions. I personally believe that we need to empower our children and allow them to make good choices. The focus has to be on making them a responsible person capable of making their own choices.

  24. This is true Aesha. Children have a soft heart. We need to be cautious while talking to them. Sometimes, I also realise that I have talked harshly to my child and regret later. Then I have to love them and make them understand that situation made me say so and I love them more every moment that passes by.

  25. There is so much pressure on the children these days that they need to have a robust self-esteem or else they’ll always doubt themselves. I hear myself saying some of the comments you’ve mentioned in your post. Thanks for this reminder.

  26. It’s a must to have a chat with our kids as soon as they come back to school. 15 ways to build self esteem in children is very exact and to the point you have blogged. Thanks

  27. Very important and handy tips! These are simple things that we can do… Try making a printable resource of this. Will be useful for many parents

  28. Great pointers to build self esteem in children. According to me, kids should not be compared with anyone. This will help to build their self esteem and self confidence. Thanks for sharing this post.

  29. Self esteem is vitally important for our children. A confident child is able to face challenges and succeed. It is our duty as parents to ready our children for adulthood, and I can think of no better way than to boost their confidence and let them know someone cares.

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback . You are right, children can be made to be successful and happy when provided with a caring & secure environment

  30. Such a well chosen topic and great tips on building self esteem. I think it’s very important that we set the right example. I want to stop saying ” do I look fat in this dress”‘I really beat myself for this as I realise the wrong example about body shaming I am setting before my child

    1. Thanks Akshata. Yes , we need to choose words well . Like Mishti is always taunted for her tanning because of swimming. But she replies that she knows swimming which is more important than skin colour. I have taught her this. Sometimes it seems rude but for me her self esteem is more important

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