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Six (6) Strategies to Build a Child’s Confidence and Self-Esteem

Six (6) Strategies to Build a Child’s Confidence and Self-Esteem
Posted on April 25, 2024 by CHS

Having confidence means seeing the good things about yourself, feeling proud of what you can do, believing in yourself, and knowing you belong. What is self-esteem, and how is it connected to someone’s confidence? Self-esteem is how you perceive yourself. For example, feeling self-assured and deserving to ask for help with a problem in class or feeling great in your new outfit. Self-esteem includes confidence to ask for help and having a positive view of your abilities and worth.

Common causes of low confidence or self-esteem can include reoccurring trauma or abuse, childhood neglect, being bullied, limited school success that may be connected to learning disabilities, feeling pressure to meet high expectations (perfectionism), or media influence.

Building confidence and self-esteem is important for helping a child thrive. Children need to trust in their own capabilities and understand how to rebound from disappointment; this supports them in becoming more resilient. When children feel confident, they are more likely to experience academic and personal success, act independently, effectively problem-solve, and resist peer pressure.

Six (6) strategies to help nurture your child’s confidence and self-esteem are:

  1. Encourage and compliment your child’s character and abilities often. By praising your child, you model how they can think and talk positively about themselves. Explore their own interests and help develop them.
  2. Help set realistic goals and celebrate them when they are reached. Identify goals, talk about how to break them into a series of small goals, provide a time period or deadlines for completing goals, and discuss a plan for achieving them.
  3. Model how to deal with failure in a healthy way. Listen to their needs, and provide the supportive language that is needed. For example, “I can tell that this is disappointing to you and I understand that. I am proud of how much effort you put into it.”
  4. Support your child in trying new things. Validate their feelings and guide them in remembering when they were successful trying something new. “I can tell that you feel nervous about starting a new class. Remember when you first started summer camp and were feeling anxious? What helped you to feel more comfortable then?”
  5. Make sure they have plenty of opportunities to succeed. Challenges are good for children, but they should also have more opportunities to succeed. You can facilitate this by providing activities that help them feel comfortable and confident enough to tackle a bigger challenge.
  6. Be a good role model for healthy self-esteem. If a mistake happens, stay positive and communicate what was learned. Help your child understand that the mistake does not mean they are not capable, it just means they have to try a different solution.


Affirmation cards are a great tool to help increase a child’s self-esteem and confidence because they contain positive statements children can focus on. These affirmations help them see themselves in a positive light and believe in their ability to succeed. You can use affirmation cards in a variety of ways. One way is to read them aloud each day as part of their daily routine. Another way is to place them where they can be seen throughout the day. You can also use them to help practice positive self-talk. Another great activity is to encourage your child to make their own personal affirmation cards.

You can find more information about improving your child’s self-esteem by exploring the resources below.


Recommended Books:

Dear Girl, A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal (HarperCollins, 2017).

What I Like About Me by Allia Zobel-Nola (Studio Fun International, 2009).


Recommended from Children’s Home Society of California’s (CHS) Distance Learning Activity Sheets:

Social and Emotional Development

Infants: Peace Like a River - Digital

Toddlers: Mirror Emotions - Digital

Preschool-Age Children: Feelings Box - Digital

School-Age Children: Feeling Story Cubes - Digital



References and Resources

Mental Health Lesson - “Tennis Ball Toss” Resiliency (

Confidence and Self-Esteem in Children - Child Mind Institute

Confidence and Self-Esteem in Children - Child Mind Institute

Children's Home Society of California - CHS Blog - Raising a Confident Child (

Your Child's Self-Esteem (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth

5 ways we can help our children succeed - Harvard Health

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