By Hester Leung and Sema Musson.

Self-doubt is a normal part of growing up. That little voice is inside all of us and always will be.

You know, the one that tells you, "You can't do that, you aren't good enough or you might fail."

Fortunately there are strategies that can help build self-esteem in your child so that voice inside doesn't hold them back.


Meditation helps you to be aware and in the moment, to not worry about the past or have doubts about the future. Deep breathing and meditation actually reduces stress and calms the mind.

Try some meditation apps with your child. Encourage your child to understand that the critical voice inside is not something that defines them and to let the negative thoughts go.

Hester Leung and Sema Musson are the authors of Being Brave – a novel and personal development guide for young girls about self esteem and resilience.


Spend time with friends and family, so your child can feel they are with people who are on their team.

Friends can help you celebrate achievements and are especially important when you are going through hard times. Keep reminding them that you're on their side.

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Recognise their strengths and abilities and nurture these. If they enjoy dancing, dance, if they like LEGO, do some together.

Spending time doing things they love will make them happier and more confident. Don't spend all your time and energy closing out weaknesses. Focus on what your child loves instead so they can thrive.


Teach them to value their thoughts and feelings by letting them know these are important. Let them voice an opinion.

Although speaking up can seem scary sometimes encourage them to put their hand up in class and share their ideas.

"Spending time doing things they love will make them happier and more confident."


If you try something new together your child can get used to the butterfly feeling in their stomach when they're nervous or worried.

Start with something small, like trying new types of food or an adventure to a new place. Any achievement can be celebrated—sometimes keeping a memento of an achievement lets them recall that feeling of confidence and reminds them, "Yes, I can do it."

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