Ask the Doctor
Joseph Mahoney, MD, Pediatrician, Monticello Clinic
Encouraging Positive Self-Esteem
Question: I am looking for ways to encourage my children to be positive people. Do you have any advice?
Answer: Every day, kids are exposed to negative and positive things around them. Helping them to see the good often starts with building positive self-esteem.
Children with positive self-esteem tend to feel okay with who they are, join in with others in games, encourage others, respect others’ differences, accept mistakes and learn from them, have energy and feel hopeful, believe in themselves and look forward to their future.
Between 10 and 15 percent of teenagers have some symptoms of depression at any time. Instilling a positive self-esteem in your child can help them cope with situations that can lead to depression.
Important ways to encourage a positive self-esteem include:
- Limit social media for your child
- Have your child participate in activities with others
- Teach that it is important to accept responsibility for actions
- Encourage your child to believe that they deserve to be happy and relaxed
- Support your child in being who they are
- Teach your child to try something new and expose them to unique and interesting things
- Explain the importance of thinking for yourself
Building a positive self-esteem is beneficial in helping your child deal with stress and emotional situations in a healthy way. Instilling confidence and a positive attitude will encourage your child to have a better outlook on life and help support a successful and happy future.
If you feel your child is experiencing depression or emotional difficulty, contact your child’s provider for assistance.