How to build a child’s self esteem: 30 Tips

To celebrate 30 years of Helen Doron English, we are featuring a series of blog posts, each with a list of 30 helpful tools for parents and teachers to use and share. This week’s post features 30 tips about building character and self-esteem in children.

1. How I look is not as important as how I act.
2. I treat others the way I want them to treat me.
3. It is okay to laugh at funny things, but not to laugh at others.
4. I believe that I am someone who can do important things.
5. I treat everyone with respect.
6. When I listen, I show others that I care about them.
7. I am being a good citizen when I volunteer to help others.
8. I think for myself and make choices that are good for me.
9. Each day offers a new start to do my best.
10. I try to understand what my friends are feeling.
11. When I make a mistake I try to do better.
12. Sharing with others makes me feel good.
13. I work out my problems without hurting myself or others.
14. When I smile at people, they usually smile back.
15. I encourage my friends to do their best.
16. I am honest; I do not cheat or steal.
17. I try to be creative and dance, draw, paint or write.
18. When I do what I say I will do, I am being responsible.
19. I am grateful for what I have, so I share with others.
20. I try to learn something new each day.
21. When things don’t go my way I try to make them better.
22. I do not make fun of others.
23. I feel successful when I do my best.
24. I eat healthy food, exercise and get enough rest.
25. When I cooperate with others, I get more done.
26. I like to get to know children who are different from me.
27. Since I tell the truth, my friends trust me.
28. I look for what is good in others.
29. I think before I act; how I act affects how others treat me.
30. I care about the earth so I recycle and do not litter.

We live in a time when teaching our children to be true to themselves is especially challenging. Young people are surrounded by technology overload, and unrealistic promises from advertisers and politicians, as well as television programs and movies filled with entertainment not appropriate for kids, although much of it is aimed at them. As a parent or teacher, you might feel overwhelmed as you try to help your children develop qualities such as: honesty, respect for themselves and others, humbleness, courage and altruism. You’re not alone in this challenge.

These 30 ideas may be used in a variety of ways by both teachers and parents and are relevant to all age groups. One idea is for a thought to be posted, read, and discussed at the beginning of each week. It could then be read daily with the children. At the end of the week ask them what they learned or how the thought applied to their lives or activities during the week. Have the children give written or oral examples, or have them draw a picture to explain their ideas.