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How to help your toddler build healthy self-esteem



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Created on Sep 28, 2023 · 3 mins read
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People of all ages can struggle with low self-esteem, but when your little one starts to need help on this front, it can be daunting to know how best to support them. Making your little one feel loved and loveable at all times is so important.

When they’re little we shower them with kisses and cuddles, and this shouldn’t stop as they grow. The simple act of giving your child cuddles frequently will help their self-esteem flourish, making them feel loved and cared for.

As they become toddlers, they are slowly starting to understand their surroundings more and more. Before, they had very little concept of self or other, but with age, they start comparing themselves to friends or people they meet, and their perception of their own identity begins to grow.

Healthy self-esteem is not always the easiest thing to come by, so here are a few tips to help your child nurture and develop theirs.


Teach them how to handle social situations

Sharing with other kids or playing side-by-side is a pretty foreign concept to our little ones and won’t be something they can fully grasp until they are a little older. But you can help them start to understand by explaining it to them and leading by example. Say things like, “it’s time to pass the ball because it is my turn with it.”

Give them attention

If you have other children, take some time for just the two of you. Offering extra attention will make them feel important and heard. You can show this in small ways as well by putting your phone away when they’re speaking or making direct eye contact.

Let them make some choices

Trusting them to make a decision will give them some power, which they will be eager to get. Their self-worth will be boosted when you allow them to have some control.

Grant them more responsibilities

Brushing their teeth and cleaning up after themselves are big steps. Fostering independence and self-sufficiency is essential for their development. When they are able to rely on themselves for some things, their confidence will go up.

Compliment them on what they’ve done well

Children are hungry for your praise, so give it to them when they’ve shown good behaviour or bravery. Telling your partner things like, “Grace talked to so many new kids today!” within earshot will make them proud of themselves. These good feelings will only increase their want to do it again.

Avoid comparison

Resist the urge to make comments that might make them feel like they have to live up to other people. This is especially true for relationships with their siblings. Try to show them how unique they are and that they should simply always try to be better than they were yesterday.


Show them new activities they can try to create new skills; self-esteem grows from learning and practising new forms of success. Giving them plenty of thumbs up and smiles will make them feel like they’re doing well

There are plenty of ways you can support your little one and grow their self-esteem. Overall, nurturing their efforts and praising their strengths are great ways to build them up. Focus on the positives and continue to lead by example!

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