9 Tips on How to Build Self-Esteem in Children

Self-esteem contributes to the happiness of individuals. Children with a healthy self-esteem have greater potential to thrive in their lives and build meaningful relationships. It empowers people to take on new challenges and discover the world on their own terms, fostering creativity, imagination, and the ability to find productive solutions to problems.

Moreover, self-esteem creates strong social bonds and a sense of community. It also builds mental and physical strength, promoting healthier living.

The development of children’s self-esteem begins at an early age. Kids need to build confidence to reach their full potential as adults. Although this can be challenging, parents can guide them through small but valuable daily steps.

Here are ABA’s top parenting tips to help your children develop confidence and self-esteem:

1. Take a Step Back:

While parents naturally want to protect their children, it’s essential to take a step back and allow them to try things on their own without constant assistance. Success and failure will be theirs, fostering a sense of ownership and achievement.

Give them space to try things independently. Allow them to make mistakes without interference, even when you anticipate the outcome. Taking a step back is crucial for your child’s independent learning.

2. Let Them Take Healthy Risks:

Depending on the age of your child, let them take risks. Allow your child to climb on a chair as long as there are cushions for the eventual fall. Let them pour milk on their own even if most of it will end up on the table. These healthy risks will show them they can achieve things even if not successfully. 

What’s more, your child will develop ways to cope with the risks they took. A child can try to clean up the milk off the table, for example. It’s ok if they make a mistake. Just stay positive and let them try figuring out the solution. This is an excellent opportunity for learning and for making the connection between cause and consequence. Your child will be proud to have found the solution alone, and this feeling will help build up their self-esteem. 

3. Let Them Make Age-Appropriate Choices:

While a child going to school in mismatched clothes may be visually striking, allowing them to make age-appropriate choices is essential. Guide them when necessary, such as reminding them about the weather, but let them choose their clothes.

Allow your children to choose their friends, toys, and books. This promotes a sense of responsibility, control, and self-confidence as they make choices for themselves.

4. Foster Good and Meaningful Friendships:

Help your children cultivate valuable friendships, as friends provide a sense of belonging. True friends lift and support each other, aiding in the development of social skills and personal communication tools. This fosters immense self-esteem, allowing them to contribute positively to their community.

5. Encourage Household Contributions:

Involve children in age-appropriate chores around the house to instill a sense of control. From setting the table and emptying the laundry to more complex tasks like cleaning and mowing the lawn, such activities provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. Acknowledge and praise your child for their contributions to show that you value their efforts, fostering self-confidence.

6. Encourage Exploration of New Activities:

Teach your children to embrace new experiences, from music and books to sports and cooking. Trying new activities instills confidence, as they successfully navigate unfamiliar territories. This skill becomes invaluable as they face new challenges in adulthood, such as new jobs, colleagues, and living situations.

7. Support Pursuit of Interests:

Allow your child to pursue their interests, fostering passion and enhancing focus. Encourage them without being overwhelming. When they achieve goals related to their interests, it boosts their self-esteem and teaches them the value of setting and achieving personal objectives.

8. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity:

Acknowledge that failure is a part of learning and growth. Allowing your child to experience failure helps build resilience, determination, and the ability to learn from mistakes. Support them in analyzing what went wrong and how they can improve, without dwelling excessively on their shortcomings.

9. Express Unconditional Love:

Reassure your child of your unwavering love, regardless of their successes or failures. Knowing they have your support provides the confidence needed to overcome challenges and bounce back from setbacks.

Self-Esteem Is Built When We Are Young

Highlight the importance of building self-esteem from a young age through a combination of successes and failures. Encourage parents to trust their children, allowing them the space to develop their confidence. If parents need assistance in fostering their children’s self-esteem, we are available to help with dedicated ABA therapy services in Florida and Texas, licensed by commercial insurance and Medicaid.

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