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Promoting self-esteem top tips

Promoting good self-esteem is important for everyone, especially children and teenagers.

It is okay to be different

Create an ‘it’s okay to be different’ atmosphere at home. Reassure them that everybody is different. That life would be boring if we were all the same.

Point out your child’s character strengths as well as any skills and talents rather than focussing on differences or difficulties. For example, “you are so good at keeping going even when things are tough”, and “you are great at thinking up new ideas”.

Use positive statements based on fact and experience

Identify opportunities for your child to use their strengths to solve problems. Help your child to notice and to remember positives.

  • Use social stories thinking about the positive side to life might help.
  • Keep a scrapbook of achievements or list of things that have made them happy.
  • Model hopeful self-talk. For example, change “I can’t” to “I haven’t learned how to yet”
  • Try to think of mistakes and challenges as opportunities
  • Encourage your child to have realistic expectations about being the best they can be rather than comparing themselves to others
  • Explore possible solutions and use structured plans to help your child deal with set-backs, problems and obstacles. Create a ‘we can sort this out’ message
  • Provide appropriate levels of independence to develop confidence. You might need to support this to begin with but you can reduce this as your child becomes more confident
  • Encourage a sense of purpose and belonging through activities, clubs, community events
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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: PSY27

Resource Type: Article

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