Huffpost Parents

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sherrie Campbell, PhD Headshot

Self-Confidence Begins at Home

Posted: Updated:
sarahwolfephotography via Getty Images

A child's sense of self is shaped by every interaction he or she has, but it is shaped most powerfully by how they are loved and parented at home. How a child sees themselves will influence every aspect of their life from their education, relationships to their overall well-being. Life is about feeling good enough, competent, loved, successful and happy, and the outer world doesn't always reflect this, so unconditional love and acceptance at home is the best catalyst for self-esteem.

9 Truths Our Children Must Hear About Themselves

1. They are amazing. Our children need to know they are amazing just because they are. They don't have to DO anything to be amazing. They are a gift, deserve to be loved and treasured and need to be disciplined to think and believe in their own greatness. When we see them having low self-esteem we must remind them that nothing can stand in the way of their greatness.

2. They are significant. When we love our children and treat them with respect, they learn they are important and significant. When we include them in our lives and also respect and parent in alignment with their changing developmental needs, we show them we see them and they are important. We must verbalize their importance, and encourage them toward their unique purpose in this world.

3. They are smart. When we raise our children we must raise them to see, believe in and use their intelligence. When our children hear they are smart and we find every opportunity to show them this through their own actions, we help them believe it about themselves. When they believe they are smart they behave smartly, perform smartly, communicate intelligently and they make wiser choices.

4. They are beautiful. We are all beautiful in our own unique ways. We must tell our children they are beautiful inside and out and give them that idea of themselves. If they live from this idea they will strive to maintain it because it feels good to feel beautiful. Beauty is subjective, and the world may not always mirror this to them, so if they have this as an internal belief they will be able to carry this through the harder times.

5. They are special. Our children are precious people. They are unique and different from us and we, as parents, need to celebrate and allow this. When we love them according to their special qualities, they learn to see themselves not as different but as genuinely gifted, unique and special. When we allow them the freedom to be in their uniqueness and we recognize them with interest and support, they naturally find a confidence in their individual expression.

7. They are capable. When we teach them they are capable, they learn they can stand up with all the confidence in the world. They can look any person in the face and be proud of the person they are; it won't matter what people say about them, because they know all that matters is what they think of themselves. When we believe in their capabilities they will naturally live up to higher expectations.

8. They are powerful. As we parent them with love, discipline, support and positive affirmation we teach them no one can stand in the of their greatness. We teach them that no one can stop them but them, that no one can get in their way but them. We teach that getting in their own way is not an option. We believe in them to dig deep and to find the power to surpass all challenge.

9. They are lovable. Our children learn how to love themselves by how we love them. We must always affirm their unconditional lovability. No one is perfect, and having confidence doesn't come as a result of being perfect. Confidence comes from learning to love themselves in their not-so-perfect moments. We must always tell them to love themselves, not just that we love them but that they need to love themselves.

When we implant confidence into our children though our parenting they get a head start in life. They start life with an inherent belief in themselves and what they are capable of. This way when life gets hard, their natural drive will be to maintain and strive for that original sense of well-being they were gifted from our parenting. When we love them with discipline and positive affirmation they learn to treat themselves in just this way.

Little Life Message: Our external parenting becomes the internal dialogue within our children so we must strive to make it positive.