Self-esteem involves feeling confident, competent, and secure, with a sense of belonging and identity. It affects our judgment and plays a role in our decision-making, emotional health, physical health, and relationships. People with healthy self-esteem can express their needs and understand their skills, making them more likely to reach their goals and experience success.
Many young students feel doubt creep in from a young age, a feeling that can stick around for a long time. You can help your child develop confidence and encourage them to embrace what makes them special. With your help, they can form a loving relationship with themselves and those around them.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem starts in childhood for many people. Those who didn’t fit in with the crowd, had an unhappy home life, or fought to receive parental approval can struggle to overcome negative thoughts about themselves. Low grades or experiences with bullies can also cause unhealthy self-esteem in children, making them think they aren’t worthy of happiness or fun.
Signs of low self-esteem in children include:
- Being critical of themselves and saying negative things.
- Refusing to accept compliments.
- Being afraid to try new things.
- Blaming themselves for negative outcomes.
- Referring to other people as better than them.
- Avoiding criticism or disapproval.
- Making harmful jokes about themselves.
Developing a healthy relationship between mind and body can be challenging for many children, and parents don’t always know how to help. Understanding what low self-esteem looks like can help you recognize what your child is going through and when they need your attention and help. Showing unconditional love, having fun together, giving your child responsibilities, and encouraging them to be independent can help them develop a healthy relationship with themselves.
Work with your child to help them see setbacks as learning experiences rather than failures. Introduce them to new ways to release stress or anxiety, such as painting, drawing, reading, or writing. When your child finds something they enjoy and take pride in, encourage them to show it off and pursue their interests.
10 Children’s Books About Self-Confidence
Reading doesn’t have to be an extravagant journey that takes readers to a faraway land through thousands of pages. Children’s books on self-confidence introduce them to the realm of kindness, self-love, and acceptance. From picture books to manifestation pages, books about self-esteem can teach your child that it’s okay to be themselves and how to accept their differences while they practice honing their literary skills.
1. It’s Okay To Be Different
“It’s Okay To Be Different” by Todd Parr is a wonderful book for young kids just starting or getting ready to start school. This book uses fun, bright colors to show children the importance of confidence and acceptance. Parr uses silly scenes and wit to discuss emotional responses and explain that every child is important and special just the way they are.
2. I Like Myself
Karen Beaumont depicts how to love the parts of yourself that can be frustrating sometimes, such as bad breath or messy hair. She teaches children how to love every aspect of themselves, underlining the idea that everyone has a bad day sometimes. Parents can use this book to get children thinking about what they like about themselves and encourage them to find something new daily.
3. The Lion Inside
Children often feel they need to pretend to be someone they’re not to fit in, but healthy self-esteem can’t shine through when people pretend to be something they’re not. After all, the point is to love yourself and to be proud of your accomplishments, personality, and uniqueness. “The Lion Inside” by Rachel Bright follows Mouse, who understands these feelings and tries to seek advice from the mighty lion, only to discover he already had the answer inside himself.
4. What’s My Superpower?
This fantastic book by Aviaq Johnston follows Nelvana as she watches her friends use their incredible superpowers. Although she’s happy for her friends and encourages them, Nelvana feels out of place. One friend always beats her in races and another can play on the monkey bars for hours. As she wonders what her superpower is, Nelvana has to look inside herself to discover that even if your superpower isn’t easy to see, that doesn’t mean it’s any less extraordinary.
5. I’m Gonna Like Me
This fun rhyming book by Jamie Lee Curtis is all about celebrating what you like about yourself. “I’m Gonna Like Me” follows a boy and a girl loving what makes them unique and being happy in their own skin. On top of showing self-confidence, this book introduces how to be brave, accept new challenges, and stay positive when setbacks appear.
6. Exclamation Mark
“Exclamation Mark” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal uses bold visuals to tell the story of a child who tries his hardest to be like everyone else. This book depicts how being different can be fun, exciting, and thrilling through the perspective of an exclamation mark in a world of periods.
7. I Can Be Anything!
In Diane Dillon’s “I Can Be Anything!” Zoe is a 5-year-old girl who knows the world has endless possibilities and that she can be or do anything she wants. Subtitled “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t,” this book is perfect for those struggling to follow their dreams because of the voice of doubt that can creep in. Zoe knows she has to work to achieve her goals, but ultimately, nothing can stop her.
“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes follows the story of a girl whose name is a flower. Although Chrysanthemum has always loved her name, the other kids in her class pick on her for it. Suddenly, Chrysanthemum isn’t sure about her name and struggles to enjoy her uniqueness like before. As a new friend shows Chrysanthemum how to love herself, Henkes depicts the story through beautiful illustrations.
9. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Molly Lou Melon is the shortest girl in her grade and stands out because of her buck teeth and deep voice. Despite her differences, Molly Lou Melon embraces a positive attitude and makes up for her size with confidence. It would be easier for Molly to hide in the shadows, but she sings loudly, stands tall, and smiles through school and life. Patty Lovell’s story highlights that you can choose what defines you.
10. I Am Enough
Grace Byers emphasizes that every person has a purpose and that we are all good enough. Byers presents her gentle message through a poem. This book is a loving ode to respecting others, being kind, and loving yourself because you don’t need to change. As someone who experienced bullying in childhood, Byers used her personal experiences and reflection on her journey to loving herself to help her craft this empowering book for other young girls.
Encourage Your Child to Be Confident With CCA
At Commonwealth Charter Academy, we encourage young learners to follow their interests and use the skills that make them unique. We create customized educational paths that align with each student’s career path and goals. We offer a large variety of courses for students K-12 that keep them engaged as they explore the world and themselves.
Fill your little one’s shelves with children’s books about building confidence and encourage them to practice it every day at CCA. Contact us to learn more about what we do to create a dynamic and safe learning environment for young learners that encourages them to embrace what they love.