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Developing Self-Esteem

Is your child suffering from lack of self-esteem? Is there anything you can do to build their confidence? The answer is YES!

Here are some techniques that can make a world of difference:


1. Make a list of everything good about your child. What are his or her strengths? See what you can come up with on your own. At first, this may be difficult. You may be in the habit of focusing on their problems and weaknesses. So this is good practice to turn your attention to the positive!

After you’ve written down a few, take a look at the list below and see if you can add anything from our list. There’s no limit to how long the list can be…

A natural leader          Courageous                Imaginative            Persistent
Adventurous               Creative                  Independent            Practical
Affectionate              Dependable                Inventive              Pretty
Athletic                  Energetic                 Kind                   Problem-solver
Beautiful                 Fun Loving                Loving                 Resourceful
Cheerful                  Funny                     Musical                Sensitive
Clever                    Good listener             Optimistic             Smart
Confident                 Great sense of humor      Original               Sweet
Considerate               Hardworking               Passionate             Talented
Cooperative               Helpful                   Patient                Understanding

2. Add the heading _(child’s name)__’s STRENGTHS”

3. Go over them with your child.

4. Tack this list on the wall somewhere where you and your child will see it often.



The best way to really listen to your child is to repeat back to them what you think they said. For example: “So, you’re saying you had a bad day at school today because Kevin accidentally tripped you on the playground.”

Then add: “That must have made you feel embarrassed and hurt your feelings as well.” If it’s not how they were feeling, they will correct you. Either way, it helps to put their actual feelings into words, without judgement

For more on this subject, see the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk .



First: Spend a little time with each child at bedtime if you can. We used to call this “snuggle time”. We would lie down in bed together for 5 minutes and sometimes things would come up about their day that they wouldn’t normally think to tell you. It’s a great way to connect with your child in a loving way at the end of a hectic or stressful day. With young children, this can happen after a routine time reading a book together. But, this also works well with preteens and teenagers.

Second: At bedtime, remind your child to think happy thoughts. This teaches them (and reminds us) to focus on the positive. What happened today that was fun? What gave you a good-feeling? What are you looking forward to about tomorrow? What would you like to dream about? Get in the habit of thinking happy thoughts and watch your life, and your child’s life, transform into a happy one!

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