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7 ways to help build your child's self-esteem

30 July 2019

Team Girls is dedicated to fostering and promoting girls’ participation in sport. It’s about girls supporting girls, building up their confidence, and knowing they’re stronger when they stand together – on and off the court.

As parents, there are times we all feel a bit flat, short on confidence and in need of a boost. It's part of leading a busy lifestyle with lots of competing priorities. The same feelings are often present for our children and taking some time to give your child self-esteem a boost can be a great way to show support.

Try choosing one method below that appeals to you and focus on it during the week ahead. Then, if it feels good, add some of the other tips in over the next few weeks. Remember that it can help to take it slowly, one step at a time.

How to boost your child's self-esteem

Here are 7 simple ways (in no particular order) to build up your child's self-esteem and confidence.

1. Celebrate the small stuff

Focus on the little things that go well each day – think glass half-full, rather than half-empty.

For example: Got up on time this morning. Tick! Put your hand up to ask a question. Winning! Scored a goal at netball!


2. Remember that perfection isn't a thing

It's great to do things well, but keep in mind that perfection isn't really possible, for anyone If we strive for everything to be perfect, then unfortunately, we'll always be disappointed.

The recipe for success is normally: do our best, celebrate the wins, and think about what can improve next time.

3. Focus on what you're good at

We all have unique strengths. Maybe you're amazing at telling stories? Or have an unrivalled knowledge of the human anatomy? Or maybe you're a super-fast runner?

Whether your strength is big or small, recognising what you're good at is a great way to build up self-confidence.

When we go through tough times, it can be harder not be as easy to identify our strengths. If you find you're struggling to think of yours, maybe ask a family member or a friend what they think yours are, and listen to the answers. Work with that feedback.

4. Don't compare yourself to others

Unfortunately, it's far too common to measure our own worth against other people, but it's never very helpful. Every one of us has things we're good and not so good at. The thing is, we don't have any control or influence over anyone else, so for most us, we'll get a lot further in life by focusing on our own journeys and our own strengths.

5. Don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake

We all make mistakes every now and then. It's part of being human. And it's how we learn. So, when we mess up, we don't need to stress; try to just learn from the experience and move on. Use each opportunity as a chance to learn how to do something better.

6. Do something you love

Think about what makes you happy and relaxed. Is it cooking? Gaming? Having an early night with a book? Going for a walk? Or just hanging out with your pets? Whatever it is, when we identify and focus on doing the things we we're more likely to be think positively.

Every day, try to do at least one thing that you enjoy and that makes you feel happy and relaxed.

7. Share the love

This could be as simple as helping someone do something they need a hand with. When we understand that what we do can make a big difference to someone else, it builds our confidence, makes us feel good, and leaves us with a positive perception of yourself.


There's some great tips and insights here to help you boost your child's self-esteem. Pick the right mix of tips for your family and develop them for your child's needs. The first step is just having a go!

Reach out logo

ReachOut is Australia's leading online health website for young people and their parents. Working with registered counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals ReachOut provides online self-help tools that are used by over 1.5 million Australians each year. A valuable resource for many parents, teens and young adults.

If your child, or anyone you know is having issues with self-esteem, confidence or mental or physical health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

This content includes the views and opinions of a third-party, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Suncorp. Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, personal situation or needs.

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