Self-worth and self-esteem are often thought to be synonymous. Yet, they are not the same. Self-worth is the lasting deep knowledge that you are of value and worthy of love and good things. Self-esteem, on the other hand, is the thoughts and feelings you have about yourself based on changing external factors.

For instance, there will be days that you feel really good about your appearance or your talents and abilities and other days that you don’t feel very confident in how you look or your capabilities which can affect your self-esteem. A strong foundation of self-worth gives us the ability to ride out these shifts in self-esteem knowing that we have value just as we are. As shown in the video below, even if you crumple up or stomp on a $20 bill, it still holds its value. Instilling this deep knowledge of self-worth, down to the very fiber of our children, should be a top priority for parents.

As parents, we set the emotional foundations for our children and are who they initially look to for validation of their worth. As such, it is our duty to make sure they realize that they are priceless early on. We need to consider healthy ways for our children to view themselves and what our responsibilities are to get them to that point.

comparison is the thief of joy – Theodore Roosevelt
Making comparisons between your children, in front of your children, is a definite no-no. I admit I’ve been caught…these kids eavesdrop when you least expect it (especially at the most inopportune times). It’s sometimes difficult not to when you’re children are so different from one another. It can be an exhausting balancing game.  If you make a positive statement about one, be mindful that you may have to consider the other. Children are sensitive about how they are viewed by their parents. We play a vital role and our opinion usually matters the most.

Furthermore, we need to teach them not to compare themselves to others. It’s not a good feeling to feel less than someone else. We don’t want our child to get in the habit of comparing themselves to others. We want them to look at who they are and know that they are enough. Be vocal about the things you appreciate about them and what your child is doing to better themselves.

we set the example
We also have to be conscious of the way we treat ourselves. As I’ve mentioned before, children are nosy!! They hear us when we’re being self-critical. We can be our own worst critic. That’s not setting the best example of valuing one’s self. It’s hard to teach self-worth when we don’t practice it. Take the time to show your kids that you care for yourself and know your own worth. Be compassionate with yourself by not beating yourself up when you make mistakes. This’ll be a great illustration of showing our kids that making mistakes is just a part of growing up and that we’re all human. It’s a good way to help demonstrate resilience and teach positive self-talk.

helping others
Generosity and compassion are both great qualities that you can instill in your children. Giving them opportunities to help others also gives them a feeling that they matter. Feeling connected to others and having the ability to make a positive impact on another’s life can give your child confidence to interact with different people and also encourages them to try new things. This, in turn, can make for a more enjoyable life for your child into adulthood.

benefits of instilling self-worth
As stated before, having positive self-worth gives children the ability to ride out the ups and downs and challenges life can throw at them daily. Resiliency is such an important benefit that comes with valuing yourself.

In addition, children that realize their self-worth also recognize when they are being mistreated or taken advantage of and have the confidence to stand up for themselves or avoid negative situations. We’ve all heard of people that stay in abusive and dangerous circumstances because they feel they are not worthy of anything better. We do not want this for our kids!

Those that also value themselves take responsibility for themselves and their actions instead of blaming other people or circumstances for negative behavior. The knowledge that you are responsible for where you are in life is a huge step in maturity and growth.

Most importantly, making sure our children know they are priceless confirms to them that they are unique and valued for their own individuality.

priceless books to teach self-worth
There are plenty of children’s books that teach little ones how to value themselves. A few of our favorites include My New Best Friend by Sara Marlowe which encourages positive self-talk and self-compassion, I Am Enough by Grace Byers is a wonderful poem book that teaches children to love themselves as they are and believe they are here for a purpose, and Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a beautifully written love letter to remind girls to love themselves unconditionally.

coloring fun
Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.


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