This is How You Can Boost Your Child’s Self Esteem and Confidence!

Child self-esteem and confidence in the 21st century is contrasted to that of the last century because of the influence of technology and globalization.

Your child’s selfesteem and confidence are vital components in her emotional health. They are foundations for self-belief and the grit to approach life positively.  

The two will prepare her to fight off negative self-assessment and trust in her abilities to manage life challenges without fear.

A child with the above combination of values

  • believes in herself
  • thinks positively
  • feels good about herself
  • feels loved
  • relates with people easily
  • is healthy and productive in life

On the other hand, a child with low self-esteem and confidence

  • has self-doubt
  • is self critical
  • does not feel loved
  • has poor social life

Generally, what all parents want is a child with positive self-esteem and the right version of self-confidence.

Self esteem versus self confidence

Self-esteem and confidence are commonly used interchangeably to mean the same thing. However, they refer to two different states of self-appraisal and assessment.

Self-esteem

Your child’s self-esteem describes her sense of worth and value, and how positive she feels about herself. She is self-aware and respectful about life in relation to others.

She is positive about the real her and does not fear failure or rejection – much as she may feel disappointed in these circumstances. Even in the face of failure, she is quick at getting back to her feet and moving on because of her self-belief.

A child with developed self-esteem does not have to rely on worldly prizes such as money and status, or other extremes to feel good about herself.

Self-confidence

On the other hand, self-confidence describes your child’s trust in her abilities to accomplish tasks successfully. She will trust in herself and have the necessary grit to beat the odds in her path.

Your confident child will want to succeed, seize opportunities and make ground where others are struggling. Overall, her confidence will get better with experience coupled with investment in courage.

Also true, your child may develop confidence in one area and yet struggle in others. This explains why she may excel in athletics and yet struggle with tasks in mathematics! Likewise, she may be confident on the dance floor and yet poor at singing.


Your child can also be confident but lacking in self-esteem, or vice versa.

On the one hand, a child can be so popular, outgoing, and successful with peers, yet so much in pain when alone. On the other hand, a child may lack all the material benefits and fame the world has to offer and yet be so much at peace with herself.

Self-esteem and confidence in the 21st century

The state of child self-esteem and confidence in the 21st century is a little contrasted to that of the last century because of the influence of technology and globalization.

Social media for one is such a big influence on children’s mental health today because it defines how they feel about themselves and how others judge them.

These platforms are designed in a manner that children compete against each other by sharing better selfies to create a colossal sense of importance.

Those that outshine their peers tend to feel confident about themselves, but run the risk of developing a sense of self-entitlement, selfishness, and bullish tendencies. They are also open to low self-esteem because deep inside they know they are not as perfect as the public perceives.

On the other hand, those with fewer engagements on social media are subject to low self-esteem and confidence because they feel outdone and not valued as important by peers.

Oftentimes, the quest to boost a child’s self-esteem can be hindered when parents, teachers, and caregivers judge her performance issues on misguided approaches in learning.

Instead of classifying a child as lacking in intelligence, they should focus on exploring where the child’s abilities lie.

What you can do to help your child

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1. Give constructive criticism and feedback

Criticism and correction are feedback channels through which you and your child sort out bad behavior and life choices. The two describe your response techniques when your child does something wrong and fails to follow instructions.

If handled badly criticism has a tendency to lower your child’s self-esteem, because it makes her feel inadequate. In addition, it creates room for stress, anger issues, and resentment.

Constructive criticism should aim to correct bad habits, bad behavior, and indecision. It is communication that should be positive and not used to judge the child.

Reach out and listen to your child in order to understand her point of view in relation to what she has done wrong. By doing this, the communication channel allows your child to give feedback to correct your bias.

Oftentimes parents scream at the top of their voices and this makes children believe they are wrong. Even if a child is wrong, she is only a child and going through a learning curve just like we all did when still young.

Calmly make your child know what she did wrong and what she should have done right. Most importantly, she should avoid repeating the mistake, but again, it is not criminal if she does.

Make a point to explain the consequences of wrong decisions and choices and the importance of doing the right thing.

By engaging in constructive criticism and feedback your child learns from them and knows there is always a way out of her troubles.

Constructive criticism will also make your child grasp the virtues and roles of other people in her life.

2. Refrain from helicopter parenting!

It is pointless to overprotect your child by hovering over her and providing all that she wants just because you want her to be safe. Allow her to see the world in her own eyes and take decisions for herself.

Also called helicopter parenting, hovering and pampering will give your child a false sense of importance and entitlement. This can lead to a battered sense of self-esteem and confidence when real life comes kicking in!

Allow her to experience both positive and negative emotions and life challenges in order to make informed decisions based on what she has experienced.

Your child should be allowed to plan her own activities, navigate social life with other kids, and get battered emotionally here and there. While at it she will get a chance to think about these problems while learning how to solve them.

On your part, learn to sit back and let her stumble, fall and stand up again. In the meantime, be her guardian angel by giving her tips and support structures to let her get the job done. Let her know you are available when something goes, or she is suspicious about those she interacts with.

Through these processes, she may just learn how to beat the challenges associated with her self-esteem and confidence.

3. Teach self-evaluation ahead of praise

Praising your child is an excellent way to make her know how happy and proud you are over her achievements. But make sure to do it properly.

Do not overpraise or ignore your child’s achievements. For example, do not make too much of an achievement where you know she underperformed. Oftentimes, your child too knows the truth and is disturbed by your false praises.

Instead, let her know there is room for improvement where she faltered.

Even when your child has excelled, you may want to first find out if she feels great about what she has achieved. Allow her to self-evaluate her performance and see if there is room for improvement. Even better, she may want to find out if she is better at something else other than what she is doing currently.

By focusing on where her strength lies, she will explore opportunities that will make her better and compete more favorably.

This type of discussion allows your child to first assess her worth and abilities in context.

4. Focus on your child’s strengths

Oftentimes, the quest to boost a child’s self-esteem can be hindered when parents, teachers, and caregivers judge her performance issues on misguided approaches in learning.

Also true, parents tend to notice the bad in a child before attention goes back to the good.

This may seem the right thing to do because you want your child to perform well in all areas. Unfortunately, this is a problem and may actually derail her effort to discover herself.

Instead of classifying a child as lacking in intelligence, they should focus on exploring where the child’s abilities lie.

Every child has marked areas in life where they will excel and others where they will flounder. This is only normal because no one can master all skills.

Pay attention to your child and learn what she loves to do. Focus on these other than her weaknesses and you will certainly make her feel good about herself.

Focusing on your child’s strengths will prepare her to be resilient, optimistic, and productive. This ultimately gives her the self-confidence to do what she likes because she does not feel misplaced.

5. Do not label your child

It is quite common to hear parents describe their children with negative labels such as lazy, shy, picky eater, stupid, etc, without realizing how powerful these words can be. 

Yes, we say these words with the best intentions but that is not how kids see them.

They take your words the way they are presented and see themselves in that light. They do not think in terms of converting lazy to hardworking, or stupid to intelligent.

Your child’s self-esteem is impacted because she begins to associate herself with these labels and ultimately their meanings.

In any case, children are bound to change for the better as they grow, and labeling them will only slow down the progress. They will spend a lot of time trying to figure out why they are ‘not nice’ or ‘difficult’ instead of placing their energy where it is needed.

6. Teach empathy and gratitude

A child’s self-esteem and confidence go hand in hand with how she feels about others and how others perceive her. She will feel at ease when others feel for her during challenging moments.

Likewise, she too must learn to put herself in others’ shoes during trying moments such as bullying. By getting to think about the feeling of her peers and siblings, your child will become better at emotional intelligence and of course self-esteem.

For example, if you are financially okay, let your child know there are those that are less fortunate in life but that does not make them less important. Instead, your child can learn to empathize with them to understand what they go through, and maybe extend some form of gratitude.

Elsewhere, your child can participate in voluntary activities, scouting, and contribute to those that are less fortunate in life.

7. Talk with your child about social media

Social media is part of your child’s life and there is almost nothing you can do to keep her away from it completely. Yes, social media comes with a lot of positives, and yet it is capable of hijacking your child’s emotional health.

Much as it promotes communication and is a popular source of information, there are emotional challenges that come with extended indulgence.

According to JAMA Psychiatry

Adolescents who spend more than 3 hours per day on social media may be at heightened risk for mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems.

And according to a study published in 2017,

Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time

Also true, extended use increases the likelihood they will encounter ills such as bullying, stalking and fake information. They may also fall into the trap of perpetuating lies about themselves through edited selfies.

All these can affect your child’s self-esteem and confidence and must be checked.

It is important therefore that you help your child know why it is unhealthy to binge on it for hours.

Help her understand how to stay away from toxic chats and groups while valuing people more than only pictures.

She should also be aware of the pitfalls of Likes, emojis, and other addictive practices with peers online. She must also learn to balance between social media and responsible activities at home in order to avoid addictive habits.

8. Be a role model

You have probably heard the following phrases said again and again in reference to the parent-child relationship:

  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • A chip off the old block
  • Like father, like son
  • Like two peas in a pod
  • She is definitely her mother’s daughter

For one, if you have a good sense of self-esteem and confidence it is more than likely your child too will have the same, and will look up to you as a fitting role model.

Modeling the right kind of self-esteem and confidence goes a long way in fostering the right mental health in children.

When you endeavor to excel in whatever you do as a parent you are definitely wiring your child’s brain to do the same. At the end of the day, what you are is what your child will become.

In conclusion

There are many things you can do to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence. Discover them and use them to help your child perfect her worth and self-belief.

Besides what has been listed above, you can also

  • allow your child to express herself in public
  • allow her her to play with you and peers
  • let her play with her peers
  • let her write and read wide
  • allow her to learn and experiment with many skills in life
  • teach her to value herself above negative opinions

Also of note, it is crucial that parents, caregivers, and teachers pay particular attention to children with slow processing abilities, dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning challenges. These should be given fitting opportunities to help them build their self-esteem and confidence.

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