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8 Steps to Increasing Your Child’s Self-Esteem


Say you’ve been researching the impact of food and nutrition on your child’s health and you’ve decided to feed your child differently than the majority.  Or maybe food sensitivities or allergies are preventing your child from eating the foods that others are eating.  We already know that the everyday challenges of childhood – feeling different, being teased, feeling left out – aren’t any different for children with health concerns than those without, but they can be magnified.  In addition to teaching your child to understand his or her own body, you may want to simultaneously strengthen your child’s self-esteem so that your child becomes more comfortable with doing things differently. Yes, his or her self-esteem will build over time but there are steps you can take to build your child’s self-esteem faster.

If your son or daughter has high self-esteem, he or she knows his or her value.  Your son’s feelings of self-worth form the core of his personality and determine how he lives all parts of his life.  “In fact, self-esteem is the mainspring that slates every child for success or failure as a human being.” Your Child’s Self-Esteem by Dorothy Corkille Briggs.

Self-esteem comes from the quality of the relationships that exist between a child and those who play a significant role in his life.  It is up to you to show your child that he matters just because he exists.

Here are a few steps you can take for increasing your child’s self- confidence, no matter the age:

  1. Spend time with your child, as much time one-on-one as possible, showing your child that you enjoy being with him or her.  Ask your child questions about matters that interest him or her.
  2. Play with your child, even it’s just for 10 minutes a day.  For some, it is one of the hardest things to do, dropping all of your responsibilities and thoughts and just being in the moment with your child.
  3. Offer your child plenty of love and support.  Explain to your child that you love him or her regardless of how he or she behaves or the mistakes made; you can even tell your child that there is a name for what you share and it is “unconditional love”.
  4. Consistently show respect for your child’s rights and opinions.
  5. Compliment your child on specific good things he or she does or says and minimize the importance of your child’s mistakes.  If you focus on your son’s mistakes, your son will also focus on the mistakes he makes.  Children believe what they are told – they have no other reference points.
  6. Organize fun places to go and unique things to do.  Your child might not be eating what others do but they are doing activities that others are doing.
  7. Clearly define limits on your child’s behaviour – a child wants discipline and wants limits; rules help your son or daughter feel that he or she matters.
  8. When it comes to healing a rift in your relationship, nothing beats loving touch and children are particularly sensitive to this.  Even when one of my daughters and I are having a disagreement, it will take all my strength but I will reach for her, fold her in my arms, hold her on my lap and all is well.   Loving touch can be a part of each and every day.

Education brings confidence in your decision-making and reduces worry.  Your child will also have more confidence by being better informed so the more you can share with your child about what you learn about food, the better, of course, being cognizant of the fact that you cannot talk about food incessantly!

And don’t forget that the mind has a very powerful influence on health – if your children know that you love them and you are doing your best to make them feel better, feel better they will.

I’d love your feedback! And here, you will get commentluv. This is a plug-in that allows you the opportunity to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment.

Until next time,


Meredith Deasley

Certified Life Coach, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Spiritual Vitality Expert - Published Author, Speaker, and Teacher.


  1. Bob Pike on May 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Hi Meredith,

    Nice article. Concise and on point!
    Spending time together, practicing ‘timelessness’ in present time consciousness,
    practicing and teaching unconditional Love, demonstrating respect by honouring a child’s very existence, recognition by mirroring a child’s inherent value is huge, teaching creativity in action, defining boundries and the power of discipline, actualizing unconditional Love in relationship is the core or healthy.
    It would be true that a mom practicing these attrubutes would be showing resourcefulness to her world.
    Happy Mother’s day Meredith!

    • Meredith on May 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      Wow! Bob, we see the world through such similiar eyes. Thank you for taking the time to not only read my thoughts but to share in the way you do. With much appreciation, Meredith.


  2. Trace on May 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I am trying to change foods a bit at a time. I have an 11 year old that is making comments like” so you read this where” or ” here we go again, another book on eating “. He eats alot of fruit and I try to keep the junk food out and change things…like bread. He will only eat white bread for lunches)started about 6 months ago) and when I send something else he eats it but comes home to complain. I want to just keep sending the whole wheat but want the comments to end. Any suggestions to making this change easier.

    • Meredith on May 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      My main recommendation for a situation such as yours is to link your son’s “symptoms” to the food he is eating. Does he get sick often or have weight issues or seem down or tired often or maybe he is not having regular bowel movements…you get the idea. If he has one or more symptoms, you can tell him that it is the particular foods that he is eating that are causing or worsening those symptoms. My book outlines the symptoms and conditions that each food causes or worsens if you need help with making these connections. If the symptom becomes bad enough and he understands the link to particular foods contributing to the symptom, he might be more apt to try your new ideas. If that is not the case at this point, then tell him that when he starts getting sick more often or having symptoms, and it will happen eventually, you will be there to help. Some of my blog posts will also assist you with this challenge. Thank you for asking this question as many parents ask me for help with this and now my answer is in writing!

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