Characteristics of Children with High Self-Esteem

Positive self-esteem has a strong relationship with health and happiness. Discover the characteristics of children with high self-esteem in the following article!
Characteristics of Children with High Self-Esteem
Ana Couñago

Written and verified by the psychologist Ana Couñago.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Self-esteem is the subjective perception and assessment that one makes about oneself. In turn, it influences the behaviors and attitudes that are adopted on a daily basis. In this article, we’ll present the characteristics that children with high self-esteem usually have.

It’s important that children cultivate self-esteem in order to develop all their qualities to their maximum potential.

“Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.”

– Louise Har –

Characteristics of children with high self-esteem

According to psychologists Isabel M. Haeussler and Neva Milicic, the way positive self-esteem expresses itself depends on:

However, there’s a series of common characteristics that usually children with high self-esteem tend to possess. We’ll tell you what they are below.

Characteristics of Children with High Self-Esteem

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

– Mark Twain –

Characteristics of children with high self-esteem in relationship to themselves

At an individual level, children with a positive self-esteem often show:

  • Confidence and security in their own qualities and abilities.
  • A great sense of responsibility.
  • High intrapersonal intelligence: They understand and identify their own feelings and thoughts.
  • Self-control and self-regulation of impulses.
  • The ability to live in the present, enjoying every moment.
  • Humility: They don’t show off, nor do they feel superior to others when they do well or are successful.

Characteristics in relationship to others

In the social sphere, that is, in relationship to others, children with high self-esteem are characterized by:

  • Being open and flexible to the opinions and emotions of others
  • Valuing others, accepting them as they are
  • Demonstrating high interpersonal intelligence
  • Being assertive: Expressing feelings and thoughts in an appropriate manner, respecting their own rights and those of others
  • Communicating in a clear, direct, consistent, and constructive manner
  • Being autonomous and independent in making decisions
  • Taking the initiative in relating to other children
  • Being empathetic: Understanding the needs, feelings, and problems of others, putting themselves in their shoes, and responding correctly to their behaviors and emotional reactions
  • Having the ability to relate to adults in an appropriate manner
  • Respecting and accepting diversity
  • Having the ability to negotiate, mediate and dialogue in the face of conflict
Characteristics of Children with High Self-Esteem

Attitude towards tasks and obligations

In terms of the attitude they take towards tasks and obligations, these children are usually:

  • Committed to and involved in achieving certain goals.
  • Self-motivated and willing to make an effort.
  • Optimistic about their chances of success.
  • Consistent, despite the difficulties or problems they may encounter throughout the process.
  • Creative: They’re innovative and take risks when performing tasks.

And, at the same time, they:

  • Perceive success as the result of their skills and efforts
  • Accept and recognize failures or mistakes and try to find a solution to them
  • Have the ability to work as a team with other children, valuing the contributions of all members of the group
  • Have well-developed interests

Caring for children’s self-esteem

There are several external aspects that influence the formation of a child’s self-esteem, among which are the following:

  • The acceptance, affection, concern, and respect they receive from others
  • The interpretation of others regarding their own behavior
  • The comments, judgments and opinions that others make
  • The information that other people transmit about you

In this sense, it’s important to emphasize the responsibility that families and teachers have in caring for the self-esteem of the little ones. This is because they act as reference figures and cause a great impact on children’s personal development.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Haeussler, I. M. y Milicic, N. (1995). Confiar en uno mismo: Programa de desarrollo de la autoestima. Editorial Catalonia.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.