How Self-Esteem Develops

Self-esteem can start as early as babyhood. It develops slowly over time. It can start just because a child feels safe, loved, and accepted. It can start when a baby gets positive attention and loving care.

As babies become toddlers and young children, they are able to do some things all by themselves. They feel good about themselves when they can use their new skills. Their self-esteem grows when parents pay attention, let a child try, give smiles, and show they’re proud.

As kids grow, self-esteem can grow too. Any time kids try things, do things, and learn things can be a chance for self-esteem to grow.

How Parents Can Build Self-Esteem

Every child is different. Self-esteem may come easier to some kids than others. And some kids face things that can lower their self-esteem. But even if a child’s self-esteem is low, it can be raised.

Help your child learn to do things. At every age, there are new things for kids to learn. Even during babyhood, learning to hold a cup or take first steps sparks a sense of mastery and delight. As your child grows, things like learning to dress, read, or ride a bike are chances for self-esteem to grow.

When teaching kids how to do things, show and help them at first. Then let them do what they can, even if they make mistakes. Be sure your child gets a chance to learn, try, and feel proud. Don’t make new challenges too easy — or too hard.

Praise your child, but do it wisely. Of course, it’s good to praise kids. Your praise is a way to show that you’re proud. But some ways of praising kids can actually backfire.

*Source: KidsHealth Nemours

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