Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem: Step 5

Encourage Positive Self-Talk

Perhaps you have heard your child say things like,

  • “I stink at this”
  • “I can’t do this”
  • “I hate myself”

These words perpetuate feelings of hopelessness. When your child is experiencing an emotional situation, the thoughts that go through his head can be either helpful by urging him forward, or hurtful by holding him back. A child who says negative things to himself is not going to soothe himself; rather, his words will stir him to new heights of anger. Give your child new language to soothe himself in difficult times.

  • “I’m mad but I can get through this”
    “I’m in control of myself”

You’ve heard the expression, “mind over matter.” It’s important to encourage your child to stay focused and positive so that he can accomplish his goals.
Listen to your child’s negative self-statements and then respond positively.

Try some of these, and come up with some of your own.

  • “Nobody is good at everything”
  • “I’ll get better if I keep trying”
  • “I’ll do better when I’m not so tired or frustrated”
  • “Maybe I’m no such a great speller, but I have lots of good ideas to write down”
  • “I can do this”
  • “When I put my mind to it, I can accomplish almost anything”

Check back Monday for Step 6


Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP


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