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Raising a child with healthy self-esteem

Published on November 01, 2016

Raising a child with healthy self-esteem

Lorrie Spanier, BS, LADC, Coordinator of Adolescent Services
CentraCare/Recovery Plus Adolescent/Clara’s House

How can you help boost your child's self-esteem?Think of self-esteem as armor protecting your child against the challenges of the world. Children with good self-esteem handle conflict and peer pressure better. Children with poor self-esteem may become anxious and frustrated when faced with challenges.

How can you help boost your child’s self-esteem?

  • Hug your child. Spontaneous affection and love will boost your child’s self-esteem.
  • Be honest. You don’t want your child to have an inflated sense of worth — so don’t overdo it.
  • Give positive feedback. Even in bad situations, acknowledge your child’s feelings and encourage your child to make a better choice next time.
  • Think before you speak. Words do hurt. Praise your child for effort — not just success.
  • Help them overcome disappointments. Use stories of your past failures and humor to help your child understand that everyone isn’t good at everything.
  • Be a positive role model. If you are overly critical of yourself, your child will mirror your attitude.
  • Identify false self-perceptions. Help your child have a realistic view of him/herself.
  • Encourage your child to talk to you. Having an open dialogue will help identify problems in school, trouble with peers or other issues that may affect your child’s self-esteem.
  • Create constructive experiences. Being involved with activities that encourage cooperation are great esteem builders, such as volunteering in the community.

If you are concerned about your child’s self-esteem, consider getting professional help. Therapy can help a child learn to view him/herself and the world more realistically and help with problem solving. Developing the confidence to understand when you can deal with a problem and when to ask for help is vital to positive self-esteem.

Health information accessed through www.centracare.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

Lorrie Spanier, BS, LADC
Coordinator of Adolescent Services
CentraCare Health | Clara's House/Recovery Plus - Adolescent

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