Nurturing Confidence: Tips for Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem in Early Childhood

One of the most precious gifts parents can give their children is a strong belief in themselves. Each child holds a special blessing, and there are many ways we can help them realize and cherish their unique pieces. Early childhood lays the foundation for their emotional well-being, and it is during these formative years we can play a pivotal role in positively shaping their self-perception. 

Join our Children’s Discovery Center staff as we explore ways parents and caregivers can help build young explorers’ self-esteem.

Provide unconditional love and acceptance.

Unconditional love and acceptance lie at the center of good self-esteem. Show your child they are cherished and valued just as they are. Embrace their uniqueness, celebrate their successes and become a constant source of love and support.

Foster their independence.

Allow your child to take on age-appropriate responsibilities and tasks. Encouraging independence, even in small tasks like dressing themselves, choosing activities or tidying up, can boost self-confidence and self-reliance.

Encourage their efforts and reward resilience.

Mistakes are an important and healthy part of our learning experience! Parents of young children can help encourage resilience and curiosity by emphasizing their child’s efforts over setbacks and reframing each as an opportunity to learn and try again.

Promote their use of problem-solving.

Allow your child to navigate challenges and conflicts independently when appropriate. Guide them in problem-solving, and praise their search for solutions. This instills confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles.

Offer positive reinforcement and praise.

Doesn’t it feel nice when our achievements are celebrated? Our children feel the same way! Positive reinforcement, like praising your child accomplishments or positive behavior, will leave a lasting effect. Use encouraging words to celebrate their achievements and efforts, reinforcing confidence in their abilities.

Listen actively and empathetically.

One way to exhibit your love is to give your undivided attention. Show genuine interest in your child’s thoughts and feelings and listen actively and empathetically when they share concerns to foster open communication and a sense of being valued. This, in turn, enhances self-esteem.

Provide opportunities for exploration.

Our Reggio Emilia teaching philosophy fosters your child’s natural curiosity, and you can join us in the process! When at home, offer a wide range of activities and experiences that cater to their interests and talents, allowing your child to discover their passions.

Help set realistic expectations.

Just as we each have different strengths, we all develop at different rates…and that is ok! Set realistic and achievable expectations for your child based on their age and abilities. Avoid comparing them to others, as each child’s journey is unique. Emphasize that they are loved for who they are, regardless of achievements.

Model positive self-talk.

Our children look up to us! Be mindful of how you talk about yourself and others. Children pick up on the language used around them, so model positive self-talk and embrace a growth mindset. This will encourage them to develop the same healthy inner dialogue.

Experience the CDC Difference Within Your Family

For more than 40 years, Children’s Discovery Center has helped guide and expand the minds of Toledo’s youngest explorers. Our dedicated staff nurtures children into lifelong learners by providing an innovative environment promoting self-led discovery. Contact us today to learn more about our Reggio Emilia approach to learning, register your child and tour our facilities.