Document Type

Parenting, Children and Teens

Publication Date



A child's self-esteem is his overall judgment of himself. It determines whether or not he likes, accepts and respects himself. One of the greatest and most important challenges you face is to help your child feel good about himself.

Children begin very early to form either positive or negative pictures of themselves. You can help your child feel good about himself by telling him that you like who he is and you like the way he does things. Let him know when you think he does a good job of putting blocks in a bucket — or dumping them out of the bucket. Thank him for putting napkins on the table or hanging his towel up. Shower him with smiles as well as words.

Tell your child what to do rather than what not to do. Instead of saying, “Don’t carry the cat that way” say, “Carry your cat like this.” That way, he’ll feel like a success rather than a failure. Listen to what he says and respond to his questions. Take time to understand his feelings, his joys and his fears. You are showing him that his ideas and feelings are important. All this will help him to feel important and capable. You are helping him develop the self-confidence to become the responsible, successful person you want him to be.

Publication Number

SP418-T 5M 7/03(Rep) E12-5315-00-004-04

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