6 Ways to Help Your Child Practice Self-Love

Whether your child is a toddler or a teenager, you as his parent will influence how he thinks about himself.  In order to encourage your child to build good self-esteem and self-love, Mighty Mommy has six tips to keep in mind.

Cheryl Butler,
January 29, 2017
Episode #413

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A parent has a major influence on his child’s self-esteem, so it can be truly heartbreaking when you witness your son or daughter struggling to feel good about him or herself. Self-esteem is the collection of beliefs or feelings that we all have about ourselves.  How we think about ourselves – either positively or negatively – influences our attitudes, behavior and success in life.  If your child has confidence in herself she’s also more likely to fight off peer pressure and stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Whether your child is a toddler or a teenager, you as his parent will influence how he thinks about himself.  In order to encourage your child to build good self-esteem and actually like himself, Mighty Mommy has six tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1:  Encourage Volunteering

Being kind to others as well as sharing your time to help those less fortunate can be one of the fastest paths to a healthy self-esteem. If you have a child who is really down on himself, try to shift his attention off of focusing on what he doesn’t like and instead encourage him to care for others. Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study, noted in Why Helping Others Makes Us Happy that people who volunteer tend to have higher self-esteem, psychological well-being, and happiness.

I found this to be true with several of my children, particularly my 16-year old son. He is the sixth of our eight kids and is not athletically inclined like our other children. He went through a terrible phase of putting himself down because he was not an athlete. He happens to have a great sense of humor, however, and is not only very witty he’s able to build anything, without directions, and loves to demonstrate this to others. Last year I asked him to help me by being my assistant in my Sunday school class. He reluctantly agreed but after the first class, he was hooked.  The younger kids really look up to him and he was able to share his love of creating things with them during class time. Not only is he a huge help to me, he has been a real source of comfort to some of the special needs kids in the class. His self-esteem has blossomed over the past year due to his volunteering. Help your child look for ways to share his time and talent and you will likely see a big shift in his sense of self. See Also: 5 Fun Ways to Encourge Kids to Volunteer

Tip #2:  Create a Self-esteem File

When I was in high school I was fortunate to have a very creative yet compassionate English teacher who taught me not only how to appreciate beautiful poetry and how to craft a well-written story she also taught me about self-worth.  At the beginning of my senior year she had the entire class create a very important file which was named “My self-esteem File”.  We all decorated a manila folder with bright, beautiful colors and stickers and throughout the school year we collected any papers, projects, memos or notes of praise that were given to us by our teachers and our classmates.  In addition we had to come up with a list of 10 things we liked about ourselves physically, academically, and character-wise.  We also had to have at least three classmates name ten attributes they admired about us.  We perused these self-esteem files on a regular basis, and it never failed to pump us up and make us feel like extremely valuable human beings.  To this day I have a similar file that I keep positive notes "fan mail" from readers and listeners, friends and family and of course, my editors and co-workers.  In a time where I’m not feeling so good about myself, I read through some of this file and it’s an instant pick-me-up.  Help your children to create their own “Self-esteem Files” so that they can collect words of praise throughout their childhood.  Together you can read all the complimentary things said about them and celebrate what makes them special.


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