Children’s self-esteem starts forming during the ‘baby years.’ Babies’ experiences with their parents during these early years start shaping their self-image, self-confidence, and self-efficacy. Parents who spend much of their time criticizing as opposed to praising what their kids do or attempt to do may foster low self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Parents send out many messages to their children about who they are. Young children absorb these messages and accept them as fact. As kids grow, other people enter their lives. Siblings, other family members, and family friends will also influence the way the young children see themselves.

The more positive messages young children receive about themselves the better chance they have of developing a positive self-esteem and in building their faith in their capabilities. Experiences during this early time play an important role in setting children up for the next stage in their life; how each child will relate to teachers, peers, academic challenges, and strangers.

When they start school kids go in with an already set level of self-esteem and self-efficacy. This will influence how children see themselves in this new environment and how they perceive their ability to handle new situations such as relating to peers.

During the elementary school years, new experiences continue to shape children’s self-esteem. Often times these new experiences will reinforce the beliefs children have already formed about themselves. Whether they are limited or boundless self-beliefs, children, just like adults, will use novel situations to support how they see and feel about themselves.

When kids enter the teen years, they enter these years with self-esteem and self-confidence levels that were formed based on the experiences they endured during infancy and childhood. The type of feedback they received from parents, teachers, coaches, and peers has now shaped their view of their worth, their abilities, and who they are.

During these years, parents still have a strong influence on how children perceive themselves. They have the power to counter the negative experiences children have and to endorse the positive ones. How parents help their kids handle the new situations will influence children’s subsequent self-perception.

Self-esteem develops early in life and evolves as kids go through different life experiences. Each life experience shapes their self-image which in turn shapes their self-esteem and level of confidence. It is important for parents to realize the power they have in shaping their children’s image of themselves and how they feel about themselves.

As soon as infants start exploring the world, parents need to provide a secure and positive learning environment. Correcting their children’s behaviour in a caring and nurturing manner is the best approach to build a positive self-image and a healthy self-esteem and confidence level in their children.

Author's Bio: 

Ivana Pejakovic is a Life Coach working with teenagers as they each make their own journey in life. Sometimes, with distractions all around us, we accidently or intentionally step off the road to self-discovery only to end up disoriented, confused and unhappy. Teens are particularly likely to step off the right path as they search for their true self and a place to fit.

Ivana works with two basic principles: self-love and self-awareness. Through these two principles, Ivana helps her clients experience fulfillment and balance, and she guides them to develop a healthy attitude and a healthy level of self-confidence and self-esteem. She aims for her clients to understand their true worth and potential, to focus on what matters, and to help them develop goals and a vision to guide them in a direction that is right for them. For more information visit