• Michelle

Your child's self-esteem


Helping your child build a healthy self-esteem can be an immensely tricky thing. Parents, guardians and carers may think this is something that happens naturally, but there is plenty we can do to support the development of our child’s self-esteem.

Self-esteem is made up of the judgements we make about ourselves, our feelings of our own value and worth, and whether or not we like ourselves and who we are.


Poor self-esteem can impact development in all aspects of life. When kids feel doubt and fear, they are less likely to try new things and more likely to feel like a failure if they are not instantly successful. This, in turn, can cause delays in reaching developmental milestones.


A strong self-esteem creates resilience, building a capacity to view failure as a setback and to not be discouraged by setbacks, rather to see themselves as capable enough to try again.

Parents, guardians and carers can help their children build self-esteem by assisting them to:

  • develop confidence, independence, optimism and resilience

  • build greater levels of self-awareness

  • make connections between their feelings and their body reactions

  • self-monitor and reflect on their thinking and actions

  • understand body language

  • make connections between thoughts and feelings

  • discover a range of physical activities and work out what things they like doing

  • express their thoughts and feelings

Keep it simple:

  • Find ways to tell and show your child they are loved

  • Let your child know all they ways in which they are valued by their family, friends, school and community

  • Encourage them to try new things

  • Express an interest in the things they are good at

  • Praise their curiosity, efforts and interests

How do you do this?

  • Through conversation – talk to them about this stuff

  • Through loving action – encouragement, hugs, shared time together

  • Through shared engagement in activities

  • By engaging in building your own self-esteem and role-modelling the kinds of skills you hope to pass on to your child


Contact a counsellor for support for you or your child/ren.

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