Building Children’s Self-Esteem

As parents, our job is to help our children cultivate self-esteem. In order to do that, they need to know and become connected to the self.

If children are not connected to who they are, they will not develop self-esteem. We live in a world that is quick to teach us that it is the outside world that decides your worthiness and not the inner world.

How do we help kids to connect to their inner world?

Helping them to identify themselves and others as a unique and one-of-a-kind spirit. They are a free spirit here to learn.

Give them a metaphor or picture for their inner wisdom. I used the word inner compass – what is your inner compass telling you?

Our conscience is the inner guidance system. Ask them the question – does that feel like it is the right thing to do? When you do that, how does it make you feel inside? What is your body telling you?

Dr Shefali identifies 3 factors to the development of self-esteem.

  1. Self-awareness – your body awareness, your heart awareness, your feelings awareness, awareness of your thoughts and the stories you tell yourself.
  2. Self-knowledge – what you are drawn to, interested in, good at, take longer to learn about, not as good at but can learn to be.
  3. Self-celebration – acknowledge the wins, internally – not for the reward of the outside world.

Self-esteem gets built when;

    • We do things for others
    • We learn a new skill
    • We overcome our fears
    • We do things even when we are scared
    • Acceptance of ourselves, even when we don’t measure up
    • The cultivating of positive self talk – making friends with the inner critic.

Reflection exercise – To help our children have self-esteem, we need to examine our own.

How would you rate your personal self-esteem?

What conditions rob you of self-esteem?

What might be the belief attached to these conditions?

How might you overcome the beliefs that rob you of self-esteem?

What part of you do you accept?

Which parts of you do you have trouble accepting?

What are the negative statements you have caught yourself saying to yourself?

Do you know of anyone close to you, who you have heard say these words?

What could you say instead?

Spend some time reflecting on your own self-esteem struggles and if you have identified beliefs and behaviours you would like to overcome, then get some support. It is well worth the effort. I realised very early on in my parenting journey that I either work on my demons – or they will work on me!

Once again, growing as a parent seems to always come down to growing ourselves up at the same time. We are a living, walking, breathing example of a human to our children, and they are taking it all in through their brains and subconscious – downloading their world. Don’t let this knowledge scare you, but rather continue to inspire you to be the best human you can be. That is the gift of children – and I know you are already doing this – because you are reading this.

Sending you love as always,


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