Building Self-Esteem

Nurture the three elements of self-esteem in your child.

High self-esteem helps children cope with challenges in school and beyond.

You can’t bestow self-esteem on your child, but you can nurture its three key elements:

  1. Acceptance. Tell your child you love her all the time—not just when she’s good or successful. Compliment her more; criticize her less. Help her develop friendships and social skills.
  2. Confidence. Emphasize your child’s strengths. Accept, don’t dwell on, weaknesses. Point out progress. Help her see that her actions do make a difference.
  3. A sense of purpose. Help your child set attainable goals. Be positive about her abilities to succeed. Help her see that she can overcome difficulties. Provide incentives and rewards.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2005 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2005 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: “Building Self-Esteem and Dealing with Disappointments at School,” Bridges to Reading Kit, Schwab Foundation for Learning,