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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 09/14/08

How can I build my child’s self-esteem?

A healthy self-esteem is a child's armor against the challenges of life. Kids who feel confident with themselves have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. These kids look happy and feel optimistic, ready to face the world head-on. Children who lack self-confidence may feel incompetent and unhappy. Studies have proven that those with a low self-esteem are likely to try to buy happiness with drugs or unnecessary possessions. Although a parent cannot control a child’s thoughts or actions, they can learn the skills necessary to teach children self-esteem from a young age.

In the Jewish Community

Jewish children are vulnerable to the pitfalls of a low self-esteem as much as any other child. Many of the Jewish “teens at risk” who hang out with the wrong crowd, drink, smoke, or do drugs, started off at children with a shaky self-confidence. If the problem persists undetected, it can spiral out of control and lead to such things, or worse.

Use the following links to learn more about self-esteem. Find out why self-esteem is important and what can be done to raise your child’s confidence.

Frequently Asked Links

What is self-esteem and why is it important?

How can parents raise confident kids?

How can I spot low self-esteem in my child?

What kinds of people are vulnerable to having low self-esteems?

How does one’s body image affect their self-esteem?

Why might competition pose a danger to a child’s self-esteem? more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What are some of the effects of a low self-esteem?

How can I develop my child’s self-esteem?

What can a teen do to improve their self-esteem?

How can I help my teenager develop a healthy self-esteem? more

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Dealing With Bullies
No one likes a bully. Find out how to handle them in this article for kids.

How Can I Help My Child Overcome Shyness?
I am worried about my 15-year-old daughter because she is extremely shy and has a difficult time making friends. Is there anything I can do to help her?

News - Kids With Healthy Self-Esteem Less Materialistic

Many kids want to have all of the "it" playthings and clothes they see in ads, store aisles, or their playmates' toy bins. However, a study of students ages 8-18 found that low self-esteem boosts materialism, whereas raising self-esteem makes materialism plummet.


American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.

American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.

American Academy of Family Physicians
This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.

BAM! Body and Mind
This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids.

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