Improving self-esteem - top tips for parents

Parenting NI

Promoting self-esteem in your child is incredibly important. Staying positive and being generous with encouragement and praise are two of the most important steps any adult can take to help promote a child’s self-esteem.

Lead by example

Remember you are a role model; children take their lead from how those around them act. Parents’ actions give children their strongest guide for their own behaviour. Bearing that in mind, try to avoid criticising yourself in front of your children and encourage them to express themselves by talking to you about feelings.

Praise effort rather than outcomes 

It’s important that children build resilience to deal positively with disappointment. If children are to feel good about what they are doing they need to be able to recognise that the effort they put in is equally as valuable as the outcome.

Give children individual attention

Show your children affection and be interested in them as individuals. When children feel that their parents notice them it helps them develop positive self-belief that they are important individually.

It’s OK to make mistakes

Treat mistakes as learning opportunities. Reassure your child that it is ok to make mistakes and let them experience the consequences of their choices. Learning from mistakes enables us all to recognise what to do differently the next time.

Acknowledge success

Sometimes it’s hard for children to acknowledge the things they are good at and instead they may focus on the things they can’t do. Praise your child’s achievements and tell them you are proud of them. Don’t spend time focusing on areas where they haven’t done so well and encourage them to keep doing what they can do well.

Discover and develop social skills and talents

Help your children develop their social skills and talents through attending clubs, groups and activities. Encourage them to use creativity to express themselves. It’s important that you encourage your child to engage with others and take part in activities to develop new interests and stretch their ability.

Useful resources

This document explains entitlement to parental leave. To view the document, click the...
This document explains how statutory annual leave entitlement is to apply when a teacher...
This scheme applies to all eligible teachers to provide leave to care for their child or...
This scheme applies to teachers who adopt a child from within the UK or overseas (subject...
This scheme applies to all teachers to provide leave to care for their child or support...
Parenting NI can deliver a range of 12 needs-led Employee Wellbeing Seminars to parent...
The Dads Project supports dads in Northern Ireland who are separating, separated or...
The Engage service provides a family therapy programme available to professionals working...
The Parenting Children’s Challenging Behaviour programme will: Help parents understand...
Steps to Cope has been developed specifically for young people who have experienced...
The Parenting Apart Programme is aimed at parents who have separated, are separating,...
Speakeasy is a Public Health Agency funded, community based teaching programme for...
Fun, fast food for less. This is a practical six-week nutrition programme aimed at...
Looking after a crying baby is hard but for some families it can lead to stress,...
Families Together is a partnership project between Parenting NI and New Life Counselling...
Anger is a normal emotion, which most parents experience on a regular basis. It is often...
The Engage service provides a family therapy programme available to professionals working...
The teenage years can be notoriously challenging but this programme can help you navigate...
Just Ask is a unique Relationships and Sexuality Education programme working specifically...
We’ve gathered useful advice, information and help for young people aged 8-25 and those...
Seeking Solutions offers children and young people help and support to deal with problems...
Our free Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You’ll...
Nutrition scanner
Music timer for brushing teeth
Parenting support at your fingertips! The Parenting NI app offers tips on topics such as...
First aid advice
Support hub for mothers
Pregnancy and guidance for after birth
Baby and child first aid

Helplines & Web Chats

NSPCC - Helpline
Call our Support Line Free
Family Lives - Forum
ParentLine NI
ParentLine NI
Family Lives Forum