5 ways to build a child’s self-esteem

“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passer-by leaves a mark.”
Chinese proverb

A child’s self-esteem can have a profound impact on his or her future choices and opportunities in life. Parents, teachers, other adults, and siblings can play a vital role in helping children develop the values and character that contribute to a productive future.

Let’s look at 5 ways you can build self-esteem and confidence in a child.

  1. Be empathetic. Encourage the child to share his feelings. Respond with empathy; a child’s feelings matter, even if the circumstances may seem trivial to an adult.
  2. Show genuine interest. Listen to and talk with the child about things that are important to her.
  3. Create solutions together. Brainstorm with the child, thinking about ways to handle situations or problems he faces, such as unkind remarks or stares from classmates.
  4. Remember past accomplishments. Remind the child of past successes, and talk about what he does well. Express firm belief in his ability to do well.
  5. Help the child think of likely consequences of different choices she faces. Try to avoid lecturing; in most situations a child learns more when the adult poses questions that help guide the child’s thought process.

Most importantly, let the child know you value him or her as a person. The time and energy you invest in building children’s confidence will help them grow to be healthy, principled, caring adolescents and adults. And that’s good for the entire community!