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Empowering Your Child's Self-Esteem With These 5 Healthy Habits

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Did you know that according to Digital NHS, in 2022 ‘18% of children 7-16 years old had a probable mental health disorder’. In 2021, ‘(1 in 6) 6-16 year olds also had a mental health disorder’? That’s roughly 5 children in each classroom.

Read below for 5 health habits to instil into your child to empower their self-esteem.

Growing up I was really shy and wasn't very confident. I struggled to speak up for myself and cared a lot about other people's opinions, which caused me to be a people pleaser. You know that feeling you get when you say yes to doing something, when deep down you really wanted to say no? That happened often. I would then over-think and eventually resentment and anxiety would kick in.

If you have a child that struggles with this or even yourself, then read below for 5 tips that helped me to overcome insecurity and instead live a more fulfilling life:

Tip #1 - Communicate Clearly

Learning how to communicate well is truly a lifelong process and it's a good habit for kids to start working on when they're little. This in turn helps them to express themselves in a more productive way.

  • When talking to your child make eye contact, this shows that you are engaging and listening to what they are saying

  • Listen - take time to listen and pause before responding to them

  • If your child struggles to express how they are feeling, ask them to write it down

  • Ask your child questions e.g. how are you feeling today? What is your favourite thing about yourself? What made you laugh today?

Tip #2 - Practice Gratitude

Being grateful for the simple joys in life will help children to stay positive, even when things don't go their way. We all know that when you think positively, you attract positive things.

  • You can create a gratitude jar - write one positive thing that happened to you each week and place it into a jar. You can take one out and read it whenever you or your child needs some encouragement

"Researcher Chih-Che Lin (2017) found that a high level of gratitude has a strong positive impact on psychological wellbeing, self-esteem, and depression"

Tip #3 - Supportive Relationships

Children benefit most when their parents and the people around them are supportive in their daily activities. Children can continue to grow and succeed in everything they do with the help of supportive and caring parents

Tip #4 - Read Everyday

Reading to your child or reading together helps a child to learn new things about the world around them, it will also boost their brain development and your bond.

  • Be consistent. You do not have to read a whole book everyday, a few pages a day goes along way, just try to make it a regular habit

  • Make it fun - Use different voices, songs to make the story come to life

  • Point out connections - Apply the stories to your own life. It not only makes the text more meaningful, but it also may help your child cope with different situations they encounter in their everyday experience.

Tip #5 - Constantly Play

As adults, it's something that we should constantly be doing too. Play improves the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and young people, helping them live a happy and nurturing life.

  • Play a game of hide and seek

  • A game of peak-a-boo with your baby or toddler

  • Dance around the house to your favourite song together

  • Set up a play date with their cousin or friend


The main thing to take away from this is that having a healthy relationship with your child is important. Having supportive family and friends helped me massively on my journey. It sets the foundations for life. Children need to know that they are loved and supported constantly, even when they may not feel like it. We hope that these tips helped you and your child to begin a journey of a fulfilled and happy life. If you feel that your child is still struggling, then it may be worth speaking to a specialist

This year's theme for Children's Mental Health Week is 'Let's Connect'. Why not spend some extra time with your little ones this week, to show them how much they are loved and cared for.


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