Foster a Sense of Self-Worth


Few factors will be more important in deciding your children’s future than their sense of self-worth. How they feel about themselves will affect their choice of friends, how they get along with others, and how they develop their potential. In other words, self-esteem influences all aspects of their lives. It is basic to good health.

• Stop all negative criticism.
• When things go wrong, focus on the “behavior” that was unacceptable.
• Use compliments freely, as well as smiles and hugs.
• Use words that describe what the child has done: “You hung your coat on the rack”.
• Avoid conditional compliments, like, “You did this well but…” or “Fine; now if you would only …”.
• Do not put people down behind their backs. Children may assume you say the same things about them. They might even believe that everyone is saying unkind things about them behind their back. This could undo all your efforts to build a solid self-esteem.
• Use praise that lets children know they have been helpful.
• Enjoy the uniqueness of your children. Accept them just the way they are, not as you wish they were.
• Allow your children to build their own feelings of self-worth through accomplishment. Doing things for them that they can do for themselves robs them of this opportunity.
• Spend time with your children. Today’s crowded schedules make this difficult, but even small amounts of special time each week work wonders for a child’s healthy development.
• Avoid talking about your children within their hearing. The story you are telling may seem cute to you, but it’s embarrassing to your child.

A child’s self-esteem is a precious thing, and should be handled with great care. Not only is this crucial for healthy development and future well-being, but it also has a great deal to do with how your child behaves now and later.

South Shore Counseling & Mediation Center is a full service mental health agency, offering CBT counseling, EFT modalities – (tapping), therapeutic counseling, a variety of behavioral and psycho-educational programs and divorce mediation. To speak with one of our therapists please call (631)286-8282, e-mail us at SSCounseling1@optonline.net or visit our website, Southshorecounselingcenter.net.

Filed in: Ask Michelle

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