20 Phrases to Strengthen Children's Self-Esteem

Good self-esteem serves as a solid foundation for the establishment of healthy relationships. With that in mind, here are some phrases to help strengthen children's self-esteem.
20 Phrases to Strengthen Children's Self-Esteem

Last update: 07 September, 2021

Self-esteem is of crucial importance in a person’s life: It allows them to feel secure, establish limits, and maintain healthy relationships. That’s why working on it has to be a continuous task that begins early in life. In this sense, parents and other adults have a central role in the establishment of children’s self-esteem. Here are 20 phrases to help you strengthen children’s self-esteem.

Why is children’s self-esteem important?

As we mentioned before, a child with good self-esteem is a self-confident child. Later they’ll become a responsible and considerate adult with other people, attentive to their own and other people’s emotions.

A child with sufficient self-esteem won’t seek to harm others through bullying because their security and value don’t depend on the power they show in front of others.

20 phrases to strengthen children’s self-esteem

A solid self-esteem is built from our own knowledge and from what other people recognize about us. Believing in ourselves, recognizing our value, and knowing our capabilities are fundamental for the construction of a healthy psychic structure.

Here are some phrases you can use with your children to strengthen their self-esteem:

1. “I trust you”

A child who grows up in an environment of confidence will be able to fight for their dreams and find the strength to do so.

2. “You’re doing so well!”

When children are learning to do things, such as a sport or reading, it’s very important to offer them a dose of motivation. This not only encourages them but also teaches them that the process is more important than the result.

3. “You can ask for help whenever you need it”

It’s very important for children to know that they don’t have to do everything alone. In case they encounter a challenge or difficulty that they can’t overcome by themselves, they can ask for help.

4. “I need you to help me with this, can you?”

Children need to be part of the home they live in. It’s good for them that we assign them responsibilities according to their age, since not only will they learn to commit themselves to tasks, but it will also make them feel important.

5. “Everyone makes mistakes and there’s nothing wrong with that!”

It’s important for children to know that everyone makes mistakes, regardless of their age. Mistakes should be naturalized so that they don’t produce frustration when they occur.

6. “Everyone has a superpower”

This phrase can be adapted according to age, but the message will always be that we all have something that characterizes and empowers us. All people have a gift, but perhaps it’s not the same as others.

As adults, we should support them and help them discover what their ‘superpower’ is.

7. “You’re very special to me”

Even if they know we love them, we should never stop repeating it to them.

8. “You did very well”

This phrase can be used especially at the end of a task or responsibility we’ve assigned them. It’s important that they notice that we recognize their effort and that we value what they’ve done.

A falther high-fiving his young daughter.

9. “You’re right”

Sometimes we adults are proud and can’t recognize that the little ones in the house are right. However, we need to break that distance and show them that we’re also capable of recognizing our limitations. They have ideas to contribute, and we can surely learn from them.

You may be interested in: How to Help Your Children Feel Worthy

10. “Keep trying and you’ll succeed!”

It’s important that we instill in them the value of effort, even if things don’t turn out well on the first try. Convey to them that what counts is giving it their all and not giving up.

11. “I understand how you feel”

For a long time, the main phrases people used to comfort others was went something like “don’t cry, it’s not that bad”. However, that has led children to placate their emotions as if expressing them were wrong.

Now that we’ve learned the importance of emotional management, we need to validate what they feel and encourage them to share it if they want to.

12. “What you think is very important to me”

Respectful parenting aims to banish adult-centric practices, according to which the only people who can be right or have an opinion are elders.

“When you grow up, you’ll have a say”. “When you grow up, you’ll understand”.

These are some of the phrases that cancel out children as active subjects, with their own ideas and participation. That’s why, from the new paradigms, we try to turn these customs and encourage children to have their own space where they can share their thoughts and feelings, where they’re considered valid.

13. “Thank you for helping me”

Being grateful is a habit that will make their lives much easier. And it’s good for them to learn it from an early age, by example. So, when they help us, it’s important to let them know that we’re grateful for their actions.

14. “You’re unique”

From a young age, it’s important for them to know that they’re special and that they don’t need to compare themselves to anyone.

15. “What you did was very valuable”

Lending a toy, helping their grandmother wash the dishes, or their little brother do homework, are good and altruistic actions. It’s good to reinforce them with kind messages.

16. “You have an important place in this family”

Beyond the fact that children perceive that they’re important to us, their parents, it’s also important that we recognize that they’re important to the whole human group to which they belong.

Giving them that place in the family and reinforcing their sense of belonging will make them feel special.

17. “I can’t do it for you, you’re the one who has to do it, but I’ll be there to support you”

Many times when they’re tired, nervous, or afraid, children ask us to do this or that for them. However, it’s good to encourage them to do things themselves and let them know that we’ll have their back.

18. “Whatever happens, you can trust me”

Children should establish relationships with adults based on trust and security and never out of fear. This will make us the first people they turn to when they have a problem or need comfort. It’s important to remind them that we’ll always be there for them.

A mother comforting her young daughter with a hug.

19. “No matter what anyone else thinks, you’re worth a lot”

Children need to learn that they’re worth much more than what others think or say, whether they’re adults or their peers. This way, they can develop their own personality and make their own decisions, without having to follow the crowd.

20. “You can say what you think, as long as you say it with respect”

It’s important that children learn to express themselves and set limits from an early age, and that they do so in an assertive and respectful manner.

You may be interested in: The Backpack of Positive Qualities

Conclusion regarding phrases to strengthen children’s self-esteem…

Children’s self-esteem is something that is cooked “over a slow fire”, in small, everyday actions. And this is a good thing because children need to know that they’re important and valuable all the time. Not just when they win a trophy or get a good grade. So, keep these phrases to strengthen children’s self-esteem in mind and use them regularly.

It might interest you...
An Activity for Working on Self-esteem in the Classroom
You are MomRead it in You are Mom
An Activity for Working on Self-esteem in the Classroom

Do you want to work on the development of self-esteem in the classroom but don't know how? Here's a very effective activity.



  • Goleman, Daniel. El cerebro y la inteligencia emocional: nuevos descubrimientos. B de Books, 2015.
  • Seitun, Maritchu. Capacitación emocional para la familia. Grijalbo, 2013.