I wrote The Big, Bad Bully to help children and teens become aware of their thought life, stop negative self-talk in it’s tracks, and give them the tools to build positive thought patterns. Now, more than ever, we need to help our children build self-esteem.

A photo from my interview on The Morning Show for The Big, Bad Bully

I say this because as I was preparing to write The Big, Bad Bully I did some research on low self-esteem, and what I found scared me. Here are some of my findings.

The Evidence for Why We Need to Build Self-Esteem in Our Children

Low Self-Esteem is Persistent

Low self-esteem is a thinking disorder in which an individual views him/herself as inadequate, unlovable, and/or incompetent. Once formed, this negative view permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behaviour. 1

It Affects Their Daily Life

Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks. 2

It Can Change Their Behaviour

Teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are 4 times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they've ended up regretting later. 3

But it’s not just girls. Here's a shocking fact I found about how low self-esteem affects boys.

Low Self-Esteem in Boys

38% of boys in middle school and high school reported using protein supplements and nearly 6% admitted to experimenting with steroids. 4
As adults, we know the repercussions for low self-self-esteem and can intentionally work to build self-esteem in our children. But sifting through different strategies can be confusing. Luckily my co-author, Jack Canfield, has summed it up quite nicely.
Self-worth and self-esteem comes from believing that you are capable and loveable. — Jack Canfield, co-author of The Big, Bad Bully

So how do we help our kids and teens build their self-esteem? To start, try these 3 strategies.

3 Simple Strategies to Build Self-Esteem in Children

The most effective methods to build self-esteem use evidence to show your children that they are loved, and they are capable. They bring a child’s successes and support network into focus. If you were able to catch my interview on The Morning Show, these will sound familiar.

The Mirror Exercise

This exercise involves appreciating yourself aloud every day. You just have to say your name, acknowledge what you did that day, say “I love you!” to yourself, and take a deep breath to let it sink in. 


You can find the full instructions HERE. Get a free printable version that you can tape to your mirror HERE.

Put 2 Photographs in Your Child’s Room to Build Self-Esteem

One of them doing something they are good at (like a sport or interest) and a second one of the family from a happy memory. It could be a vacation you had or a birthday. Having a daily visual reminder of these two things reminds children of their accomplishments, their favourite memories, and can build self-esteem.

Build Self-Esteem in Your Own Life

If your children see and hear you criticizing yourself, they will unconsciously pick that up themselves. On the flip side, they will also pick up on a positive outlook. Why not try The Mirror Exercise together and see the results for you both!

Extra Tip: Join a Supportive Community

Another way to build self-esteem as an adult is by joining a likeminded community of people ready to support you through the lows and cheer you on during the highs. If you're a writer, check out my FREE Children's Book Writers Community.

Who can help you get started, navigate your biggest questions, and celebrate your success?

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