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Helping your child grow up to be a confident individual

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Health & Development Friends and relationships

Every parent or carer wants their child to grow up feeling safe and secure and confident about how they look and feel. Building self-esteem isn’t something that happens overnight – you’re helping your child become more confident all the time, in the everyday interactions you have with them. Every time you praise them or show you trust them, you’re helping them feel valued and worthy of respect.

Tips to help your child build confidence

How can I help my child feel confident about how they look?

From an early age, children are bombarded with images of ‘perfection’ on social media and in music, TV, film, advertising. But while you can’t really stop them seeing images of ‘perfect’ bodies in the media, there are simple things you can try to help them be more confident about the way they look – take a look at our tips here.

Why is building confidence and a good self-image important?

If your child feels confident about who they are and how they look, this will help them stand up to peer pressure and help prevent future problems such as eating disorders, self-harm, alcohol and drug abuse, and harmful sexual behaviours.

What can I do if my child seems to have lost their confidence?

Children often lose confidence when they reach puberty and their bodies start to change. Just being there for them at this time, to talk to them and support them, can really help. Our pages on forming a good relationship and encouraging your child to confide in you have lots of tips for talking to your child and encouraging them to open up to you.

If you think their loss of confidence may be linked to something that’s happening in school (for example, if they suddenly stop talking about school or try to avoid going in) you could try talking to their teacher about it, although make sure they don’t think you’re going behind their back. Our page on school avoidance has more advice on what to do if your child refuses to go to school.

If you’re worried your child’s lack of confidence is linked to an eating disorder, this page has more advice. The YoungMinds and Beat websites also have lots of information to help.

Last updated: 4 Sep, 2023