5 Easy Ways to Strengthen Kids’ Self-Esteem


BLOG6.6I saw a news report on a study last week that said
girls are starting to worry about their size and appearance as
early as age 5. The study continued by saying this leads to kids
picking up anxieties and developing low self-esteem.

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And it’s not just young girls. All of our kids are struggling
with messages they hear and see around them, especially in music
and on television. As a child grows with low
self-esteem, it leads to more problems later on in life, like

It can sometimes be easy to tell when a child is struggling with
low self-esteem. While you are teaching, do you have kids who
degrade themselves? Do they not want to participate in activities?
Do they give up quickly during tasks? According to KidsHealth, these may be signs of kids who are
dealing with low-self esteem.

So, what can you do as a leader? Here are five easy ways to
strengthen kids’ self-esteem.

  • Pat on the back-   It’s easy to give
    your attention to class troublemakers instead of the quiet kids.
    Far too often, leaders spend a majority of their time on one or two
    disruptive kids. Giving honest compliments to kids will help
    improve their self-esteem and give the others examples of what to
  • Know names-   It’s a simple thing.
    Just call your kids by their names. I’ll admit it, -when I started
    teaching, it never occurred to me how important it was to call kids
    by name. But, according to pediatrician Dr. William Sears, calling kids by their names
    makes them feel special, unique, and important.
  • Super Service-   Give kids a chance
    to prove to themselves that they can make a difference. Help them
    take on a service project. Not only does it give them a chance to
    show God’s love to others, but it also builds confidence in their
    own abilities.
  • Add Adults-   Sad but true, some
    kids don’t get the love they need at home. Give the kids a chance
    to be around positive adult role models. Let them sit in with the
    adult choir. Have them pray with the senior class. Encourage
    bonding and give the groups time to talk together.
  • Watch your words-   The worst thing
    we can do is hurt a child’s self-esteem while they are with us at
    church. Laycie Costigan, a friend and fellow Group employee,
    recently wrote an amazing article called No Shame On You. In it,
    she points out how the way we speak to our kids could embarrass
    them or lead them in the wrong way. The article changed the way I
    choose my words and how I speak to kids.

Self-esteem is all about feeling loved and being confident in
your own abilities. We can use the Bible to help kids who are
struggling in those two areas. Remind kids that they are loved
(Psalm 36:5), that they were made special (Isaiah 64:8), and that
they can do big things for God (1 Timothy 4:12).

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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor.


  1. David Jennings on

    To Lola Omotosho-

    Thank you for reading! I have had kids in my ministry that show signs of low self-esteem. It is important to give these wonderful kids the emotional pick-me-up that they need!

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