How many times have you looked in the mirror and cursed at the outfit you’re wearing, or thought twice about eating dessert because you didn’t want the calories? To be sure, these worries are a natural part of life. But, it’s important to be confident too, because kids learn how to have a positive body image from their parents. We talked to a few experts and rounded up 10 things to say about yourself in front of your kids to help foster strong self-esteem and a confident image of themselves. Keep reading to see them all.

1. I look nice today. Corinne from Pragmatic Parent reminds parents to compliment themselves in front of their kids. Little ones learn by example. If they hear you speaking positively about yourself, they'll carry that attitude with them as they grow.

2. That was challenging, but I’m going to try that new thing again. It's easy to get down on ourselves when we try something new, and we don't succeed. That's why Jane Rogers, a writer for Carrots are Orange, suggests instead of focusing on whether you did terrible at something, talk about how it was difficult but it won't stop you from trying again.

3. I'm happy I get to work at a job I love. How many times have you or your spouse come home from a long day at work and complained about all that happened? Remember that your wee ones hear what you're saying and you don't want them to associate work with negativity. Speaking about your job in the positive will help them look at working as something to embrace

4. I made a mistake. Problems happen, and we all make mistakes. The important thing to remember is not to get down on yourself for little things. Paul Axtell reminds parents that it's important to own up to any mistake, especially if your kids are involved. This will also help them learn personal responsibility. 

5. I love eating food that helps me stay healthy and fit. There's probably not a person alive who hasn't struggled with body image in some form or another. That's why Dr. Gail Saltz emphasizes that in order to raise kids who have a healthy body image, it's important to be positive about the foods you eat. 

6. Going to work allows me to provide food and shelter for our family. It can be tough for young kids to understand why mom and dad need to leave them for the day to go to a job. Emphasizing how work helps provide the essentials for life, such as food and shelter, will teach kids that work is important and helps the family.

7. I’m glad my body protects me and keeps me alive every day. Caitlin Cantor, LCSW recognizes that it's hard to love your body in our society. To help kids develop a positive self-image, Cantor suggests parents refer to their body as something that helps keep you safe and alive.

8. This outfit makes me feel beautiful. Raise your hand if you've found yourself cursing at yourself while trying on clothes because the outfit doesn't look quite right. We've all been there, but Dr. D’Arcy Lyness states that one of the key ways to build kids' self-esteem is to reframe your own reactions. The next time you're wearing something great, make a point to compliment the outfit and how you look in it.

9. I enjoy exercising because it makes me feel strong. With kids (and adults) spending so much time on electronics, physical activity is not always high on the priority list. Make a point to engage your family in something physical, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood, and talk about how exercise makes you strong.  

10. Life can be tough, but every day is a new chance to start over. It's easy for adults and kids to let the negative thoughts rule your mindset. Katie Hurley, LCSW suggests reminding your kids that life can be difficult, but every day brings a new opportunity.

—Leah Singer


How I’m Teaching My Son to Be Confident in Himself—& Why It Matters

6 Ways to Set Your Daughter Up for Success & the Studies to Prove It

How to Love Your Body So Your Daughter Can Learn to Love Hers, Too

Feature photo: Aziz Acharki on Unsplash