Skip to content

Health & Parenting

Step 1 of 6
Action Set
Growth and Development: Helping Your Child Build Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a person's core belief about himself or herself. A person's self-esteem is reflected in his or her actions, both in how as well as what he or she does. Although self-esteem varies from time to time, the pattern usually leans toward a healthy or unhealthy view of self. With healthy self-esteem, a person is more likely to succeed in life.

Although building self-esteem is a lifelong process, the foundation of self-esteem is established in childhood. That foundation can do much to help a child deal with difficult life issues as they are encountered.

Parents have the greatest influence on a child's belief about himself or herself. Letting your child know that he or she belongs, is doing well, and is contributing can help him or her develop healthy self-esteem.

Keep these things in mind as you raise your child.

  • Children sense that they belong by the way their parents talk to them and act toward them. Show and tell your child that you love and care for him or her.
  • Children learn about how well they are doing by how their parents react to their behavior. Offer praise to children when they show positive behavior, and provide them with correction when mistakes are made.
  • Children learn how to work with others by learning how to cooperate within a family. Give your child some age-appropriate household responsibilities.

how.gif  How you can help your child develop healthy self-esteem

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of November 18, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow