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How to Help Your Children Develop Good Self-Esteem

Updated on March 24, 2018
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Sadie Holloway has been a proud stepmother for over 25 years. She writes about blended family issues and modern family dynamics.

Beyond providing food, clothing, shelter and a good education, how do parents raise children who are happy, healthy, and well adjusted? This article features tips on how to model healthy habits that will help your kids to develop good self-esteem.

Above all else, most parents want their children to grow up feeling good about themselves. They want their children to go on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.

This article features strategies to help your children develop positive self-esteem by making healthy choices, staying active and being aware of the negative stereotypes that can harm their self-images.

Be a positive role model. Your job as a parent and positive role model is to create a healthy set of norms for your children to grow up around. If you practice good self-care habits, you'll be teaching your children to take care of and appreciate the body they were born with. Good self-care habits include:.

  • Practicing healthy hygiene habits
  • Being physically active each day
  • Eating nutritious snacks instead of junk food
  • Drinking plenty of water every day
  • Maintaining good sleep habits
  • Eating a nutritious breakfast every morning

Cooking healthy meals together is a great way to build children's self-esteem and self-worth!
Cooking healthy meals together is a great way to build children's self-esteem and self-worth!

Prepare healthy meals and snacks together. Keep nutritious, unprocessed snacks available for your children. Guide them in the selection and preparation of these snacks so that as they get older, they can take responsibility for the snacking choices they make between meals, at home and on the go. Another way to positively influence your children’s eating habits is to plan and prepare at least one family meal together each week. Talk about the ingredients and their nutritional value. Share any memories or generational stories you have about the meal you are preparing. Make it a fun opportunity to strengthen family bonds.

Avoid outward negative self-talk. How you talk about yourself and your body in front of your children can influence how they perceive themselves. Try to talk about the things that you like most about yourself: “I love my red curly hair! It makes me stand out in a crowd!”

Talk about your inner strengths, talents and capabilities. “Wow, I stood up in front of 300 people today and gave an amazing presentation. And I learned how good I am at public speaking!” By talking about yourself in positive ways, you’ll be teaching your children that it’s normal to talk proudly about their own positive traits, skills and abilities.

Head to the great outdoors together. Going outside and having fun together playing games will teach your children about the value of spending their free time being physically active. It will also show them the positive benefits that outdoor activity can have on their moods by reducing stress and increasing their levels of the happy hormone, serotonin.

Confident children tend to be those who have been given the opportunity for balance of freedom and boundaries, a challenge for any parent. Striking the right balance takes time, experience, and patience.

— Dr. Jenn Berman, author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Children

What is your favorite esteem-building activity to do with your kids?

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© 2013 Sadie Holloway


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  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    Thanks for sharing your points. Well written hub