By Wesley Sharpe

Ways to Develop Self Esteem for Children

  |  Health Advice & Tips  

Children face numerous problems daily, and often the way they handle these problems depends on how they feel about themselves. This chapter will help you recognize some of the problems children face and remedies for them.


   Parents have an enormous effect on their child’s self-esteem. A child’s self-esteem and body image indicate how he values himself. It includes self-pride, feelings of worth, and how the child accepts his or her own appearance. You rarely if ever will hear comments like “I’m too skinny” or “I wish my hair was pretty like hers” from a child with a healthy self-image.

   You may love, accept, and approve of your child, but unless those feelings filter through to your youngster, he will not believe he measures up to your standards. A healthy self-esteem is a major key to school success, and it is the child’s armor against the daily challenges kids face. Children with high self-esteem have a better chance of being successful than those who feel worthless and unloved.

7 Reasons a Positive Self-Esteem Leads to Success

1. Children with high self-esteem act independently and responsibly.

2. High self-esteem children take pride in their accomplishments.

3. They feel loved by their family.

4. They control their positive and negative emotions.

5. They’re not reluctant to help others.

6. They have pride in their accomplishments.

7. If they fail at a task, they keep trying until they succeed.

Children With Low Self-Esteem

   Children with low self-esteem may appear to be well adjusted, but their attitude oozes defeat. Here are some signs of low self-esteem:

1. When challenged they become frustrated and anxious and immediately respond, “I can’t.”

2. They can’t believe they are good, smart, handsome, pretty, or worthy of praise.

3. They often put down their own abilities.

4. Because they are insecure, they avoid trying new ideas or activities.

5. Their low self-esteem causes them to feel unloved and unwanted.

6. Rather than take the consequences when things go wrong, they blame other children and make excuses for their own actions.

7. They are easily influenced by other children.

7 Ways to Develop Self-Esteem

1. Take the stigma out of failure. No one is perfect. Remember to praise your child for a job well done or for a good effort on a hard task. Don’t exaggerate, but be supportive. Say, “You almost made the team, and the coach said to be sure to try again next season.”

2. Communicate your love. Your love is a genuine boost to your child’s self-esteem. Hugs tell children their parents think they are terrific. Children who know their parents love them and are proud of them can tackle problems head on.

3. Learn when to let go and laugh and when to be firm. Have a reasonable discipline policy that allows you to ease up or set limits. Before acting, decide if disciplinary action is really necessary.

4. Accept the positive and negative feelings your child expresses. For instance, don’t expect hugs from an angry child.

5. Be a good example of how to cope with frustration and disappointment. If you throw temper tantrums, expect to see the same behavior from your child.

6. Set reasonable expectations and be an active, sympathetic listener. Teach your child to know and accept her limitations and be tolerant of her mistakes.

7. Provide time for your kid to pursue his talents and interests without interference.

Excerpt from The ABCs of School Success, by Wesley Sharpe, Ed.D.  Used by permission of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright 2008. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.  

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