Early Education     K-12    

3 tips to boost your children's self-esteem this school year



Be your kid's cheerleader

Be your kid's cheerleader


While packing bags and backpacks for school, there’s one essential that may be overlooked: Children’s self-esteem. Although many children may feel confident and self-assured at home, they can feel differently in the classroom. When children have high self-esteem, they’re less likely to reflect negative feelings toward others.

“If children can treat themselves kindly, they’ll treat others that way,” said Carter Peters from KinderCare Learning Centers’ education team. “When children feel encouraged, supported and loved, they are able to give those feelings to others.”

Consider these three tips to boost your children’s self-esteem.

Be your children’s cheerleader. When praising or complimenting children for their achievements, be specific and include affirmation for positive character traits, such as “You were so kind to help Ms. Delmar take her recycling out” or “I’m proud of you for seeing she needed help and offering it.” Being specific with your compliments reinforces the idea that your children are kind and helpful. Eventually, they’ll offer others the same positive affirmations and be less likely to look to outside influences to define their sense of self.

“When children have high self-esteem and self-worth, they know when someone’s opinion of them is untrue,” Peters said. “Children with high self-esteem become adults capable of believing in themselves.”

READ MORE: 7 steps to improving your child’s self-esteem

Give children space to safely express their emotions. While it’s important to intentionally connect with your children one-on-one, it’s equally important to give them space to come to you for help. Let them know you notice when they don’t seem like themselves but try not to push them to share before they’re ready.

You can talk with your children about the ways they can communicate with you, aside from one-on-one conversations. If they find it easier to communicate their feelings through writing, you can go to the store together to pick out a journal. Children who are not yet proficient writers may prefer to draw pictures about their feelings. No matter the method, be sure to make time to check in with your children.

Teach emotional literacy and replacement skill behavior. You can help your children move beyond comprehension of basic emotions – happy, sad, mad – and toward an understanding of more nuanced emotions. When children can identify their feelings, they’re closer to developing healthy responses.

Commonly labeled “bad behaviors” are often young children’s way of communicating something is wrong, so they may need help identifying the emotion driving their actions. It’s important for children to understand that while their feelings are acceptable, their behavior may not be. That’s where replacement skills – acceptable ways to express emotions – come in. For example, try saying “It’s OK to be mad. It’s not OK to hit other people. When you’re mad, you can hit a pillow.”

For more tips to help boost children’s self-esteem, visit kindercare.com.

(Family Features) 



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Guilt-free, superfruit snacking

    Sweet treats made to permissibly indulge

    For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers. read more »
  • Getting healthier starts wth your feet

    Start your wellness goals from the ground up

    Good foot and ankle health is critical for good overall health, so no matter what your wellness goals are, be sure to start from the ground up. read more »
  • Dangerous heart conditions often go undetected in pregnant and postpartum women

    A torn ACL revealed an undiagnosed heart defect

    National Jewish Health experts advocate for screenings to detect heart conditions that may develop in otherwise healthy women read more »
  • Bald Eagle viewing in winter

    Watching them can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience

    Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at established observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. read more »
  • Yes, you can raise healthy, smart, kind kids in a screen-saturated world

    "The Mediatrician" helps guide parents on Safer Internet Day

    Raising children in a screen-saturated world elicits fear, hope, and questions from parents, educators, and healthcare providers. The best thing to happen this year on “Safer Internet Day,” is the launch of “The Mediatrician's Guide”, developed to deliver those critical answers. read more »
  • Looking for a new career?

    Become a financial planner

    Becoming a financial planner offers both financial rewards and the chance to help others. Whether you’re a recent graduate exploring your career path or a mid-career professional seeking change, this growing profession may be the right fit for you. read more »
  • How to prep the night before the SAT or ACT exam

    Calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence

    Taking the SAT or ACT exam is the culmination of months of test-specific preparation, and in truth, years of schooling. While knowing that can feel like a lot of pressure, there are steps you can take the night before the exam to calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence: read more »
  • 7 Valentine's Day date ideas to break from the norm

    Think outside the box this year

    If you’re feeling pressure to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day date, it may be time to veer away from tradition. While flowers, chocolates and dinner for two is a classic, thinking outside the box can make for just as romantic of an experience. read more »
  • Helping infants, toddlers and families thrive

    The child tax credit is a critical policy vehicle

    A bipartisan package that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, would expand the child tax credit (CTC). As the Senate decides whether to follow suit, advocates press that the CTC is a critical policy vehicle to help all infants, toddlers and their families thrive, and it should be implemented as soon as possible. read more »
  • What to look for when you need a law firm

    Savvy advice from Best Lawyers

    Let’s face it, no person or business gets a thrill out of hiring a law firm. Fortunately, peer-reviewed rankings have simplified the process. read more »