As a parent, you want your children to be happy, healthy, and safe.

You want to give them everything they need in order to be successful in their lives. That being said, you don’t want to actually give them everything.

You understand that a child has to do things on their own in order to learn and grow into their own, unique person. As a parent, you can help guide them, but you can’t make all of the decisions for them or they won’t be able to fend for themselves.

You want your child to have a healthy balance of confidence. You don’t want them to be cocky, but you don’t want them to have low self-esteem either.

Here are some simple ways to boost your child’s self-esteem.

Praise Them (Mindfully)

Praise is a great and easy way to give your child a confidence boost. But praise is actually a two-way street. You have to be very mindful when giving praise because it could end up backfiring on you if you do it the wrong way. Be mindful of the praise you’re giving and how you’re giving it. Make sure your praise is honest and genuine. If your child scored a bad grade on a test, you wouldn’t want to say that you’re proud of them. Consider changing the verbiage and praising their effort instead by saying something like, “I know you worked really hard to learn the material, and we’ll make sure you study and feel confident going into the next test.”

teenage girl sitting on the floor listening to headphones and looking at phone

Choose Your Words Carefully

While praise is something that should be considered, the words that you speak to your children, your partner, and yourself should also be factored in. Make sure you’re being mindful of the things you’re saying to others and yourself. Your children will watch, observe, and pick up on things that you and the members of your family are doing and saying. Try not to talk down or poorly to others, including yourself. Negative messaging can have a big, negative impact on a child’s self-esteem.

Let Them Make Choices for Themselves

Let your child or children make age-appropriate choices for themselves. This is one of the best ways for them to not only feel more confident in themself but to learn about how the decisions they make can impact themselves and others. Let your child pick out their outfit for the day. If they choose mismatched shoes or wear a Halloween costume to school, let them! They may look a little silly, but they’ll learn that having two different shoes may not be the comfiest of choices for their day.

Let Them Help You at Home

Have your child help you around the home. You can give them tasks or to-dos to make them feel like they’re helping you and are an asset to the home and the family. Their tasks could include making their own bed, putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, and setting the table. You can even have them help you cook, clean, or do some yard work. They’ll help you knock some items off of your list, while they’re learning and increasing their self-esteem. Talk about a triple whammy!

Next Steps

One of the best things you can do as a parent is work with your child to help them develop their self-esteem. It’s one of the best ways for your child to develop the necessary skills that they can carry with them from their time at home and even when they have their own home someday. If you’re looking for a little extra help or ideas on how to boost your child’s self-esteem, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for child counseling.

About the author(s)

Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.

About Cohesive Therapy NYC

At Cohesive Therapy NYC, we believe that you have an immense amount of inner strength and resilience, even if it is yet to be discovered. Cohesive Therapy NYC is a private group psychotherapy practice in New York City that focuses on treating adults who struggle with Anxiety, Trauma, Chronic Illness, and the adult impact of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). Cohesive Therapy NYC therapists see clients all throughout New York State (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, and statewide) using online therapy and are also available for in-person visits in their NYC offices, located at 59 East 54th Street, New York, NY 10022. We specialize in helping people who are dealing with anxiety, relationship issues, chronic illness, and digestive and adult trauma related to childhood family dynamics. We all deserve a chance to be well and have support.