Building Self Esteem in My Children – By Failing

Building Self Esteem In My Children

Building Self Esteem In My Children – By Failing

Building Self Esteem in My Children – By…Failing? You might be wondering about that title up there.

Trust me, there’s a method to my madness…so stay with me for a bit.

Do you enjoy trying new things?

Do you enjoy failing new things that you try?

Probably not. I’m willing to bet very few of us actually feel encouraged when we try something new and immediately fail.

It’s rather deflating!

However, being human means that we’re not going to be perfect at everything.

The only certainty that we can count on, is that the real failure is when we fail to try at all.

Think about that for just a moment. Really ponder that sentence and think about the implications it has for us as parents. 

Building self esteem in my children is probably one of the most important tasks I feel I have as a parent. When I envision the future I want for my children, they aren’t meek and mild or unwilling to take chances.

I want them to be confident. I want them to be adventurous. I want them to try new things, accept change easily and adapt with relative ease. Building self esteem in my children now when they are young and impressionable could potentially be the key into growing them into successful grown up people one day.

Are you showing your children that trying, regardless of the outcome, is success?

Or are you shielding them from your mistakes…and your failures?

It’s tempting to only show my kids Ms Perfect Mommy. Ms Perfect Mommy never makes mistakes. She never gets her feelings hurt. She never tries something that might end in disaster. She never ever lets her children see her fail.

What does that show my kids though? It shows them a small piece of the big picture. It shows them that mommy only does safe things. Or worse, the illusion that mommy never fails, sets my children up for unrealistic expectations in life. Tells them that failure is not an option…mommy never failed, that must mean it’s wrong to fail.

No No No!

I am building self esteem in my children by showing them that failure is nothing but an ugly word for LEARNING.

Learning is a good thing, right? It’s always a good thing to learn. Even when the things we learn are hard. Even when the things we learn are uncomfortable…awareness and education are never bad.

How Am I Building Self Esteem In My Children?

Being silly and goofing up is a great part of life.

How am I building self esteem in my children day after day?

♥ I love them. And I don’t just tell them…I SHOW them I love them through my actions.

I tell them/show them I’m proud of them.

♥ I make mistakes and I admit to them.

♥ I let them see when I’m disappointed.

♥ I let them see when I’m hurt.

♥ I’m realistic about what they can handle. When my father passed away, I let them see me grieve, but only to a point.

♥ I try to be as honest with them as I can.

♥ I try to say yes, or “what about this?”…, or “I’ve got another idea”. BUT when the answer is no, it’s no…and they have to learn to be okay hearing it.

♥ Most importantly…I let them see me try.

What it all boils down to is being human, letting your kids see that you are human and having the patience and the grace to forgive yourself and others for mistakes and move on and grow.

Time will tell if my methods for building self esteem in my children will pay off.

I have one child who loves to try new things and views failures as mere roadblocks she needs to work her way around. I have another who often gives up before he even gets started, but who excels and progresses in his own time, on his own terms.

What does that say about my efforts at building self esteem in my children?

They learn so much from what we DO, very little from what we say...

What this says is that my husband and I still have a lot of years of parenting these kids in front of us (yeah the husband is integral to this whole parenting thing too 😉 ).

It’s scary to think about failing THIS. This parenting thing.

The important thing though? The thing that will make the biggest difference in our children’s lives?

That we TRIED.

Now, I’m hoping and praying that our efforts at building self esteem in our children do not result in a failure. I don’t think they will. I feel good about the big picture here.

I’m sure we’ll fail along the way though. Those moments will be learning moments. Not failures.

See how it all comes full circle?

This is how I’m building self esteem in my children. I’m building them up, so the world can’t ever tear them down.

How are you building self esteem in your children? Tell me in the comments.

 Tot Tuesday is a (mostly) weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc. Want to contribute? Email me heather @


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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

6 thoughts on “Building Self Esteem in My Children – By Failing”

  1. What a great and thoughtful post! The biggest thing I fear we might pass down to the kids is our frustration when things don’t go as planned. Both my husband and I can get frustrated (at ourselves) easily when a new project isn’t working out as well as we had hoped.

    This is a good reminder that we need to remember that trying is the important part — and that we could stand to treat *ourselves* with some patience, too, when we’re trying new things!

    1. awww thanks Alissa! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It meant a lot to me to write it because it’s something that I feel we need to consistently make sure we are thinking about/staying on top of.

      I do think that sometimes harsher reactions to failures should be kept back a bit. I know my husband gets MUCH more frustrated about things than I do and sometimes his words aren’t so…kid appropriate? LOL

  2. I loved this. All this is very true, sometimes I sheild Emma to much from my emotions. Can I please share this? You are such a good writer:)

  3. Excellent post! So often parents believe that to build their kids’ self esteem they should never let the kids think they [the kids] failed. Great point to allow kids to see parents’ failures to model problem solving and strength and perseverance. In fact, if parents would follow the guidelines you explained, they would realize that *they* cannot build their child’s self esteem — it’s called “self” esteem after all! — they can only encourage and model and love.

    1. Well said. It’s our job to put the seeds in place, build them up and give them the tools to handle lifes ups and downs. Ultimately, it’s up to them though.

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