Creative ways to boost your child’s self esteem!

Confidence and self esteem are SO important for a child to develop into a strong, resilient and capable adult. Children who believe in their strengths and use positive self-talk are more likely to have healthy friendships, do better in school, have more opportunities, and are more enthusiastic towards life.


Fun and creative ways to boost your child's self-esteem

These techniques are regularly used by me in psychology sessions with child clients. I see the benefits when children AND parents are engaged in these activities. Children just want to be loved, celebrated, and encouraged to think about themselves in a positive way!

‘I Can’ Jars

This exercise is helpful if your child often can’t think of their positive qualities, or gets stuck in the “I don’t know” or “I can’t do anything” mindset. Get a big glass jar and different coloured paper, cut up into square pieces. Explain that this is going to be the “I Can” jar, filled with all the amazing things your child can do! Sit down with them and start brainstorming e.g.

-I can spell 6 letter words

-I can run really fast

-I can comfort my friend

-I can eat more then my older brother

Once you have a few, then start adding more each time you or your child notices something they can do. If they come home from school and tell you about a question they answered right in class, get them to add it to the jar! (it is REALLY important that you notice these things and point them out to your child, they may not see it themselves) Soon it will be filled, and any time your child is feeling down about themselves, bring out the jar and get them to pick out a few to remind them of just how much they can do 🙂

Self-Esteem Bingo

This is a really cool activity to get kids excited about their own self esteem, as well as helping you catch their positive moments when perhaps they can’t themselves.

Grab a piece of paper and draw lines to create a typical 5×5 bingo card sheet. In each of the 25 squares, write down one way that your child could show positive thinking, good self esteem, or bravery. Some examples are:

-Said hi to a new person today
-Played well with a friend
-Said something nice about themselves
-Corrected a ‘Negative Nancy’ thought

It’s ok if several are repeated. You can do a few yourself and get your child involved in thinking up examples if they want. When the card is full, stick it up somewhere visible and start the game! When you notice your child doing one of the squares, put a stamp on it. When they get 5 in a row in any direction, they win a prize! When they fill the whole sheet, they get another prize! 🙂

Affirmation cards

Self-affirmations are positive statements you make to yourself to improve confidence, build resilience, and change the way you think about yourself. Children can benefit greatly by learning how to talk more positively about and to themselves. If you hear your child talk negatively about themselves a lot e.g. “I’m so stupid, no one wants to be my friend, I can’t do anything”, then they likely need to learn how to change the way they think.

Affirmation cards are a simple and wonderful way for your child to start the practice of positive thinking and setting they intention for the day. To make things easy for you, we have developed a set of fun, colourful, and illustrated affirmation cards for kids in the shop.

If you would like to make your own, grab some coloured paper, pens, textas, and brainstorm with your child. Try to come up with at least 20 different positive statements that they need to work on. Things like:

-I am a good person

-I have lots of skills

-People like me

-I am strong

Then, each day your child picks out one affirmation and says it out loud 5-10 times in their most confident voice. Pop one in their lunch box, pocket, pencil case for a little reminder throughout the day.

If you have liked these, why not grab ALL 8 strategies I use in therapy by clicking below:

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    1. Jess

      Great to hear Emily! If you sign up with email you can access the full article 🙂

  1. I LOVE these ideas. We are setting up a positivity tree in our hallway where we’re planning on getting the kids to write something positive and something they are grateful for, everyday. I really do like these ideas for getting them to focus on the good stuff rather than on all the negatives.

    1. Jess

      I love the idea of a positivity tree! I actually had one at my old workplace, where we would stick up any compliments we got from clients, to help us when it was a difficult day.

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