Building Self Esteem in Children

If you are actively building self esteem in children, you will be assisting them with a critical part of living happy, successful lives. The foundation begins in childhood.

Children can be taught in simple, easily understood ways what all people need.

Two Small Girls 2

We all need:

1. Love and friendship from at least one caring person.

2. The knowledge that we can control our own happiness from within.

3. Fun – laughter and the joy of learning.

4. The freedom to make choices.

With these basics, children will not grow up searching for self esteem – it will already be part of their nature.

    A few simple ways to begin incorporating these basic concepts in their daily lives:

    Have the child make four short lists:

  • The People I Love

  • Things I Do Well

  • Things I Do for Fun

  • Choices I make

    An adult can help the child expand these lists, using specifics in each child’s life, something like this:

  • What I did to be kind to someone today

  • What I did right in school today

  • What we will do for fun next Saturday

  • The activities I get to choose tomorrow

Use some basic ideas like these for building self esteem in children as stepping stones, then as they mature they can learn how to elaborate on each principle and to balance these four needs.

They will have self esteem, seeing themselves as successful, lovable people. They will gain the ability to decide what they want in life and how to get it without harming what other people want.


Sullo, Robert, Teach them to be happy.

Sullo, Laurie and Robert, I’m learning to be happy.

Both published by New View Publications, Chapel Hill,

All ideas are based on the teachings of Dr. William Glasser

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