Ways To Increase Self-Esteem In Children

Parents worry about a lot of things.  They want to make sure that their children get the best medical care, nutrition and education.  But one important life skill that is often overlooked, is building up a child's self-esteem.

Self-esteem does not mean putting yourself up on a pedestal and putting down others, but rather it is a healthy liking of oneself and the desire to try new things with the belief that goals can be achieved.  In addition, it means understanding your place in the world and having confidence in your future.

Self-esteem is not something you are born with.  It is learned through interactions with family and important figures.  It develops differently in each stage of life.  The following are some ways to help foster self-esteem in different age groups.


Babies need lots of love and attention.  They need to know that when they cry someone will comfort and take care of their needs.  They also need lots of smiles and reassurances that they are important in this world.


Toddlers need opportunities to explore things for themselves.  They are still learning that they are a separate being and are working to make connections with the world around them.  Much of their self-esteem is based on their perception of how their parents see them.  If they are constantly told they are a nuisance, they will begin to think that they are of no worth.  On the other hand, if they are told they are important and loved, they will develop a healthy self-esteem.


Usually by this age children realize that their minds and bodies are their own.  If they have developed self-esteem in earlier years they will be ready to spend time away from parents because they have an inner sense of who they are.  At this age, their self-esteem is more physical--who can run fastest or is the tallest.

Primary School Years

During the early school years, children are making lots of adjustments.  Their sense of self-worth will start to be determined by how they do at school or in a sport and will also be largely impacted by friends.  Children who are bullied or feel they have no friends will have lower self-esteem.


Friends also play an important role in this stage of life.  That is why teenagers love to be attached to their phone so that they can know exactly what their friends are doing.  Youth who have a goal and support from family tend to have higher self-esteem.

There are many things that parents and caregivers can do to help foster self-esteem at any age.  When children are young, they need lots of love and smiles.  As they get older, they need to feel respected.  It is important for parents to encourage friendships and help their children to achieve their goals. Contact local places that cater to the interest of children needing boosts in self-esteem, such as Aikido Northshore, for further assistance.