How to Build Self-Esteem in Children and Teenagers

April 24, 2023 Teddy Mbukha

As we age, we become more self-conscious, and things about us that never really bothered us, like the shape of our nose, eyes, or height, become something we can't get past. This is common in teenagers, and why we must build self-esteem in teenagers and children. For the longest time, I felt my nose was ugly. It isn't a button nose which, according to society, is the perfect nose shape, and I always tried hiding it, even in pictures. I have managed to overcome this through the help of my friends and family, and now I love my nose and don't care what others say about my nose's shape or anything else about me. In this article, we will look into the various ways to build self-esteem in teenagers and children.

Causes of Low Self-Esteem Among Teenagers and Children 

Low self-esteem among teenagers and children can stem from various factors, including bullying, abuse, neglect, traumatic events, and unrealistic expectations

When children are held to unrealistic expectations, such as high academic achievements, they may feel like they are not good enough once they fail to live up to these expectations. Some kids start to compare themselves to their peers, forgetting that everyone has their own special gift. Children and teenagers may develop low self-esteem also because of a lack of positive reinforcement for their efforts, constant criticism, and media and societal pressures to look, act, or behave in certain ways. 

How to Build Self-Esteem in Children and Teenagers

Improving self-esteem in kids and teenagers can feel daunting, especially since they are still growing and their bodies are undergoing many changes. But it is possible to change the opinions you have about yourself and your abilities and be more satisfied with life. 

Here are ways to help you build self-esteem in children and teenagers:

  • Encourage healthy habits like positive self-talk -- Encourage them to speak kindly to themselves and avoid negative self-talk.
  • Praise effort, not just achievement -- When children and teenagers receive praise for their effort, they learn that hard work and persistence are valued, regardless of the outcome. This helps them develop a growth mindset and a positive self-image.
  • Set realistic expectations -- Unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and a negative self-image. Encourage children and teenagers to set realistic goals and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small.
  • Be kind to yourself -- Don't be too harsh on yourself. Understand that everyone is unique and that we can't be all the same. I advise children and teenagers to surround themselves with supportive people and focus on what is within their control.

Building self-esteem is a gradual process that requires patience, perseverance, and self-compassion. You can build high self-esteem in children and teenagers.

APA Reference
Mbukha, T. (2023, April 24). How to Build Self-Esteem in Children and Teenagers , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Teddy Mbukha

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