child with high self esteem raising hand in class

Tips for Protecting Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Although parents see how amazing their children are, other factors can hurt a child’s self-esteem. Between social media, traditional media, and school, children and teens get plenty of messages about who they “should” be. When that doesn’t match who they are, this can lead to issues with social media.

That’s why it’s important for parents to be purposeful about nurturing their children’s’ self-esteem. When children have healthy self-esteem, they find it easier to:

  • Accomplish their goals
  • Maintain healthy friendships
  • Understand they are worthy of love, respect, and kindness
  • Persist past obstacles and tough times
  • Come up with solutions to problems

It’s not always easy to help your children see how incredible they are, but the following tips can help.

Have Positive Self-Esteem

Children look to the trusted adults in their lives to find behaviors to model. If you speak negatively about yourself, your children will notice. Even if it’s not as low self-esteem is not obvious, eagle-eyed kids will take note.

For example, obsessing over your weight can teach children that their worth is directly tied to the shape of their bodies. Saying things like, “I was so bad. I ate a piece of cake at the party,” may make your children think they are bad for enjoying sweets.

The good news is that children also model positive behaviors. If your children see you saying kind things about yourself and loving the skin you’re in, they may learn to think the same way about themselves.

Create Opportunities for Your Child to Help Others

For adults and children alike, few things inspire more self-confidence and self-worth than being helpful to others. By giving your child ample opportunities to serve others, you may find that your children jump at the chance. Even if they don’t, you will most likely see them shine when they see how much their actions make an impact on their home, neighborhood, or broader community.

You don’t have to take your children on big volunteering trips to reap this benefit, although you may. Depending on their ages and abilities, kids may help their homes and communities by:

  • Collecting unused items to donate to charity
  • Helping care for younger siblings
  • Playing with the lonely kid on the playground
  • Helping an elderly neighbor with their yard
  • Doing someone else’s chores in the house

When children (and adults, truth be told) contribute to the world around them, they get a sense of belonging, being needed, and purpose — and all of that builds self-esteem.

Let Your Child Try New Things Often

As a parent, it can be scary to see your child try something new. Whether it’s playing a new sport, trying a new instrument, or entering a competition, the idea of failure crushing their hearts it enough to make many parents nervous. However, it’s important to encourage children to take on new challenges often.

If your child doesn’t win the competition or do well at the new sport, you can still use the occasion to gro their self-esteem. You can praise the considerable effort they put into it or the bravery it took to try something. This can help your child learn to value not only the results of what they do, but the work itself as well. Of course, when kids succeed at something, this can help their self-esteem as well.

If you’re worried about your self-esteem or your child’s, don’t hesitate to contact FLBH. You do not have to have a mental illness or crisis to benefit from counseling. Our professionals can help you and your family develop healthy habits that serve your children for a lifetime.