How to Raise Your Child’s Confidence and Self-Esteem (and Your Own!) + Bonus Activities for Kids

Happy Mom and Child Dressed as Superheroes

How To Raise Your Family’s Confidence

Are you wanting to learn more ways to raise confidence and self-esteem in yourself and your family? In this post, I am going to go over the benefits of becoming more confident as well as some common misconceptions. I will also equip you with strategies as well as 6 self-esteem activities to share with your children.

Get your family on track to becoming more confident, higher in self-esteem, as well as more resilient and self-assured!

Happy mom and daughter dressed as superheroes giving a fist bump.

What is the Definition of Confidence and Self-Esteem?

What is confidence? Dictionary.com defines confidence as the belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.  The definition of self-esteem is very similar as it is having confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.

What are the Benefits of Confidence?

Why would we want to raise confidence and self-esteem in our family in the first place? To some, the answer to this question may be obvious. However, I have heard many parents afraid to take part in helping raise their child’s confidence and self-esteem in fear that their child would develop a ‘big head’ or have narcissistic traits.

I have experienced enough negative traits from having low self-esteem and lack of confidence. It has inhibited me from challenging myself to grow, gain new friendships, be more assertive, feel comfortable with being myself, etc. I don’t want my kids to be held back by low self-esteem.

In Psychology Today’s article, ‘Why Self-Confidence is more important than you think’, Barbara Markway Ph.D. lays out how confidence can:

  • reduces fear and anxiety
  • increase motivation
  • increase resilience
  • lead to better relationships
  • help you progress to your authentic self

Confidence is not Fixed

“There is actually no such thing as a totally confident person; we are always changing and growing.”

Weekend Confidence Coach – Lynda Field (Author)

Did you hear that?! Low self-esteem happens to EVERYONE.

Confidence is not something that some people while others don’t. It will also never be constant. Sharing with your child will help them be okay when they aren’t at their best.

However, there are many things they can do to boost their confidence when they are feeling low. I will be sharing some great confidence and self-esteem boosters in this post, so please stay with me.

Here are a couple of activities to recall times in our own lives when we felt high in confidence and self-esteem.

Beautiful landscape of riverbank with red flowers. Circular graphic overlay with quote.

Self-Esteem Activity 1: Discuss How Confidence Feels

Have a conversation with your child to bring this idea home. Ask your child when they felt high in confidence and self-esteem. Perhaps they got student of the month, or made a goal for the team? What was it like? How did they feel?

Self-Esteem Activity 2: Share Your Own Experience

Share your own story about a time you felt low or high in confidence and self-esteem.

Positive Affirmations

Giving positive affirmations to our children is great ways to build your child’s confidence and help them to believe in themselves. What is an affirmation? Dictionary.com defines an affirmation as the act of confirming something that is true.

For example, you can affirm your child that they are hardworking, kind, loved, etc. Catching them when they are being virtuous is a great time to show them you recognize their efforts.

Be your child’s coach and support them. Think back in your own life. Have you ever had a time where you didn’t believe in yourself? Did someone ever come along whether it be a parent, teacher, or friend and their belief in you was just what you needed to push yourself and succeed? Be that for your child.

Some examples of affirmations you can use for your child would be:

  • You did a great job!
  • You are so brave
  • I like how your mind works!
  • You look great!
  • I’m so proud of you.
  • You did this? I’m impressed!
  • You make me laugh.
  • You are a fast learner.
  • You make me proud.
  • It’s ok, we all make mistakes.
  • You are helpful.
  • I love you always!

Soon, they will be able to use positive affirmations for themselves wherever they go, supporting their own efforts as they adapt and become more resilient.

Self-Esteem Activity 3: Write Love Letter To Your Child

Write a love letter to your child, filled with wonderful positive affirmations you recognize in them.

Practice Recognizing Confidence and Self-Esteem in Others and Yourself

Would you be able to point out someone confident in public? Ok, it’s rude to point. Don’t point. But I bet you could! Take a moment and picture it now in your head:

How are they holding themselves?

Are they standing up straight?

How are their shoulders?

Is their head upright or hanging down?

Interestingly, we all can recognize the physical traits of a confident person.

Self-Esteem Activity 4: People Watch Confidence

Do a harmless act of people watching by watching characters on a show. Point out characters that appear low in self-esteem. How are they holding themselves? What are their facial expressions? How are they holding their head? How is the tone of their voice?

Wonder woman, superman, and batman toys lined up in confident power poses.
Practice power poses for a quick boost of confidence and self-esteem.

Self-Esteem Activity 5:  Power Pose

Power pose: Take what you observed and practice with each other. How do you position your body, facial expressions, and tone of voice when you are projecting each feeling?

Encourage Your Children to Take Action

How often do you do something for your child, because you could do it faster, or better?

When we do this, we are robbing our child the opportunity to grow in independence which in turn, would help build their confidence and self-esteem. If it is something your child is capable of doing, let them do it.

Coach your child through the process if it is tough for them. Let them know you believe in them. Be sure to congratulate them on their successes no matter how small. Let go of perfection and aim for progress This will help you relax a bit as well as your child and they will learn to manage bigger tasks with time.

Sometimes even as adults, we can get overwhelmed by what we consider BIG tasks. We might even say it’s not worth it and quit before we get started. How can we expect our children to challenge themselves when it feels tough and overwhelming for them?

Help your child break down what they feel is too overwhelming into smaller steps. Each step they complete will help them progress to their goal. And once they achieve it, celebrate!  

Handle Your Mistakes With Optimism

Barbara Coloroso states in her book ‘Kids are worth it!’: “How our children learn to deal with life has a lot to do with how we as parents view life and handle our own mistakes and problems. Our attitude as well as our actions are important. If we are optimistic, we seek solutions to our problems: if we are pessimistic, we seek someone to blame.”

Child getting up with resilience after falling on his bike.
We all make mistakes. When we can learn to appreciate mistakes as learning opportunities we can respond to them with patience and optimism.

Many of us fear making mistakes. Making mistakes can do a number to our self-esteem, hurt our pride, and sometimes even trigger us as it links to painful memories of past mistakes and failures. Allowing our mistakes and failures to set us back prevents us from progressing towards our best selves. It also does a number on our confidence and self-esteem.

Maybe we forgot milk at our last shopping trip, missed an appointment, or forgot to put your child down for their nap. Whatever the case may be, remember to be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes.

Next, take a moment to think of a step you can take to help you in the future. Maybe that means you can add the toilet paper to the shopping list, call to reschedule your appointment or set a reminder on your phone for naptime. Don’t allow yourself to be punished by negative self-talk.

Children will be more inclined to take on challenges when they feel they can fail without being criticized, yelled at, ridiculed, or shamed.

“I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young… Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it, I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid.” -Walt Disney

Interesting Facts:

Can you imagine someone rejecting your work not once, twice but 8 times! J.k. Rowling, author of Harry Potter books was rejected by publishers 8 times before being picked up by Bloomsbury and becoming one of the fastest-selling books in history.

black and white photo of Albert Einstein closeup.

At age 16 Albert Einstein dropped out of school. Because of this, he was limited to which universities he could attend. He took entrance examinations to enter a Polytech school in which he failed French, Chemistry, and Biology. 

Self-Esteem Activity 6: Research Successful Peoples Mistakes

Share with your child, that the people who achieved great success, often have a long list of failures. What did they do differently than most? They embraced their failures and used them as learning opportunities to boost them towards their success.

If you are a homeschool family, or ok with your child having some extra homework, consider having the older children do a short research project to uncover the failures of their favorite successful people. Would they have gotten as far as they did without these mistakes?

Model Confidence for Your Children

We can talk to our children about being confident until we are blue in the face, but if we are not working on our confidence how can we expect our kids to? Model confidence and self-esteem for your children.

I encourage you to continue to study more ways on how to instill confidence and self-esteem in yourself and your family. Continue to practice positive parenting strategies, mood boosters, positive self-talk, communication strategies, self-awareness, etc. There is so much out there in the realm of self-improvement that can help you become more self-confident.

If you would like to hear more about these topics, please join the Best Self Mom mailing list. I am on a mission to help raise self-confidence in other moms much like myself. The motto of Best Self Mom is “Practice it, model it, achieve it!” I believe that we as moms want the best for our children, however, we are often held back by our own limiting beliefs, bad habits, or essentially just not knowing ‘HOW TO’ improve.

When we start to improve our weaknesses, whether our children share the same ones or not, you will be modeling to your children to identify and improve their shortcomings and make their journeys towards their best selves!

Roundup: What We Can Do To Instill Confidence And Self Esteem

I hope you enjoyed 5 ways we can instill confidence and self-esteem in our children. We all want our children to be confident, to have goals, and to have the determination to achieve them on their own.

You can help our children do that by understanding more about confidence. Help them to recognize confidence in themselves and others. Affirm your child when you recognize their efforts, strengths, and skills.

Remember to take a step back when you feel the desire to do something for them. Embrace mistakes with a loving heart. Lastly, learn more about building confidence and model it for your children.

Practice it, Model it, Achieve it!

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11 Responses

  1. These are great ideas. I especially like the quotes and the thought that everyone has low self-esteem sometimes. Thanks for such a thorough post packed with ideas!

    1. Thank you Lisa! I love sharing quotes. I learn a lot from them as well as get some creative energy out with creating the graphics. I need to do a quote compilation post again soon.

  2. Fear of failure is real. But it is so true that we learn from our mistakes! I struggle with stepping outside of my comfort zone. These things pertain to all of us I feel, kids and adults!

    1. Yes, I agree. I think there is a learning curve to being ok with mistakes and try new things. If we can share with our children that it is uncomfortable even for us adults and share our experiences I think it encourages them and let’s them no they are not alone in it. Thank you for sharing Julie!

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