How to boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence

What to do instead of overusing “I’m proud of you”

How do I boost my child’s self-esteem and confidence? Is it enough to give them gushing praise and tell them “I’m proud of you”?  While this can often be our go-to as parents, praise isn’t the only thing that we can use. Let’s look at some other helpful ways we can boost their confidence and self-esteem in the long hall.  

 Self-esteem is what we think or feel about ourselves, it is our opinion of how much we value ourselves. Confidence relates to our skills and abilities and how capable we consider ourselves to be. Both are important to develop in children as higher levels of self-esteem and confidence are often related to better outcomes in many areas of their life such as relationships, school, and even physical and mental health. So, how do we do it? 

  1. Give them the opportunity to build their skills.
    Self-esteem and confidence can increase when we have achieved something ourselves. Think of opportunities for your child to participate in household activities, such as peeling vegetables or washing the dishes. Not only will this give them confidence in their ability to master new skills, but they will also have a sense of accomplishment that they can contribute to the running of the household.
  2. Give them space to learn on their own.
    Perhaps you gave your child an opportunity to peel the potatoes and they gave up because it was too hard. Here is a chance to remind them that they can’t do it YET. But with practice and patience, they will learn. Ask your child how they would like to practice. What ideas would they suggest to solve the problem? Show them you believe in them to come up with a solution.
  3. Help them self-evaluate their achievements.
    As parents, we love to praise our kids and often we tell them ‘I’m proud of you’ when we see that they have succeeded in something. Have you ever thought to ask your child how they feel about their achievement first? By asking kids to self-evaluate first, we are teaching them not to rely on our assessment of whether they are doing a good job but to consider what they think about their own achievements. If they decide they are feeling thrilled/happy/satisfied/pleased with themselves, we can certainly reaffirm that we feel this way too!
  4. Show that you are there for them.
    Saying ‘I love you’ is such a powerful way to show that we value our child. By giving a listening ear and saying positive affirmations such as ‘I’m here for you” we show our support for our child, which ultimately, helps them to feel secure as someone who matters and is cared for.  

We encourage you to be mindful of all the different ways you can boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence because it can be so valuable in the long run!