Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Building your child’s self-esteem:

Friday is the national day of action against bullying & we focus on helping to build self-esteem to equip your child to handle bullying.
By Sue Evans
Date: March 20 2014
Editor Rating:

There are many resources and a lot of research to help children, parents and teachers with bullying. I read a very good article here last year on this topic also, so I am focussing this on tips and ideas for quick and easy actions to help build your child’s self-esteem so they are better able to handle bullying.

(I refer to the feminine gender, but it can also be masculine).

Build self-confidence 

1.  Start small:

Help her think about something she can do well, easily and immediately. It needs to be something that demonstrates that she is capable of achieving her goals.

2.  Help her identify positive attributes:

Talk to your daughter about things you and others think she is good at such as she is good with animals, or is strong academically or is funny. Help her make a list of these positive talents. 

3.  Use visualisation:

Ask her to imagine herself as the confident person she would like to become. Ask her to think about how she would feel, how others would see her, what her body language looks like, and how she would talk.

  • Write down a description of this person and the attributes she observes.
  • Ask her to practice doing this every morning while she is getting ready. 
  • Role play this with her.

4.  Use affirmations:

Help her come up with an affirmation that she can repeat to herself throughout the day. This is also good for helping to control emotions. Tell her to use this affirmation when she starts feeling stressed or upset about the bullying. For example, if she feels she is not good enough, have her say “I like myself just the way I am.”

5.  Do something that she is good at:

Help her make a list of several things she is good at. Have her pick one thing and together come up with a way that she can do this over the next week.

6.  Set goals:

Help her set goals for herself in other areas of her life such as setting goals for her future, her academics, or other relationships.

7.  Personal style:

Take her to get a new haircut or buy a new shirt. Help her put together some new outfits.  

Help build her social skills and encourage a positive connection with others

8.  Leadership

Find leadership opportunities within her community such as at school, church, sports, etc. These will encourage responsibility and independence and can ease fears of trying new experiences. 

9.  Become a tutor

Talk to the school and help your daughter become a tutor to another student who is younger than her.

10.  Volunteer

Find volunteer opportunities that she can engage in such as becoming a big sister, volunteering at a nursing home, etc. 

11.  Teen groups

Help your daughter find student groups she can join at school or outside of school - such as religious groups, music lessons, art classes, support groups, sporting activities. 

12.  Find a mentor

Teens often do not want to confide in their parents. Be willing to step aside and let another person take the mentor role such as an older cousin, an aunt/uncle, or trusted family friend.

And remember:

If your child is bullied, it's not something they will get over immediately. It will need time and patience to help her get back to her normal self.

You and your child will need to work together. It is also important that you do not take action or tell anyone else about the bullying unless they want you to do so.  By telling you her story, she is putting all her trust in you. The most important thing you can do is listen. This will be crucial in deciding what steps to take next. 

* * *

For further information, visit

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