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Kids who feel good about themselves are more likely to be happy, make friends easily and do well at school.

Children aren’t born with self-esteem. It has to be developed. That’s why, as parents, we need to help our children build confidence in themselves and their abilities.

How can I help my child develop healthy self-esteem?

  • Treat your child with respect. She’ll learn to respect herself and other people. When she talks to you, listen to her and take her seriously.
  • Teach her that everyone makes mistakes. When you make a mistake, admit it. When she makes a mistake, avoid humiliating her. That way, you’ll preserve her self-esteem and the confidence she needs to thrive.
  • Adapt your expectations to your child’s age. If your expectations are too high, she may feel inadequate and doubt herself. If your expectations are too low, you’ll send the message that she’s not good enough to succeed.

As a parent, it’s appropriate to ask a 12 year-old child to make her own lunch. But you can’t expect the same from a 5 year-old.

  • Encourage and praise your child. Not just when he succeeds at something, but also when he makes an effort.
  • Encourage him to take up new challenges while making sure he’s capable of doing so. Avoid putting him in situations where he’s doomed to fail. Be available to help him as needed.
  • Most importantly, tell your child that you love him. Spend time with him. He’ll understand that he matters to you and that you care about him.

Easy to say but not always easy to do? A little help could be useful?
Find out about the Triple P activities that are offered near you.


MSSS. (2009). Les services intégrés en périnatalité et petite enfance. Favoriser le développement des enfants âgés de 1 à 5 ans. Guide d’intervention pour soutenir les pratiques parentales.

Naître et grandir.
Self-esteem in children